EAST SACRAMENTO — Lolo Jones ran an impressive 12.89 seconds in the prelims of the women’s 100-meter hurdles at the USA Track and Field Championships Friday evening.
Jones’ time was her best this year and the sixth fastest mark in the world this season. All eyes are on Jones to see how she would perform since she competed for Team USA in the women’s bobsled in the Winter Olympics held this past February.
“It’s always good to get the first one out of the way so you can work on your routine,” said Jones, who will move on to the semi-finals and possibly the finals of the event on Saturday. “But it was still a good race. The wind was
so strong and pushing the hurdlers right up on the hurdles. So you really had to focus.”
Jones also had to make adjustments from making runs down an iced track in a sled to dart out of a starting block to clear 10 hurdles. She and Jazmine Fenlater finished in 11th place in Sochi, though the women other two teams did claim a silver and bronze medal for the United States.
Jones admitted that in her first couple of track meets after the Winter Olympics were tough on her physically and mentally. Bobsledders have to use their strength for the push off of the sled as well as their speed. Now Jones has to get back into the grove with hurdlers that haven’t skipped a beat in the sport .
“It is quite difficult to go to the first couple track meets after bobsledding and you’re completely not having your hurdle rhythm racing against girls that have been hurdling since January,” Jones said. “It’s tough to work through that, but you go out there and race for the USA.”
Jones also said she was a bit conflicted whether bobsledding helped her in track and field or hampered her performance when she returned to the sport. She said it’s been like “riding a wave” from meet to meet.
“There would be moments when I’m like I am doing good and bobsledding helped,” Jones told The OBSERVER. “Then there were other times I was like, ‘Oh my God…it absolutely hurt me.’ But overall, I think it was a perfect ying-yang relationship because it makes me powerful.”
Since the Winter Olympics experience, Jones has been working on her weight, too. Leading up to the 100 hurdles prelims, she said there were “four or five pounds” that she couldn’t shed. While bobsledding, Jones blew up to 160-plus pounds. As of Friday afternoon, she was hovering around 140 pounds.
“I’m still like trying to find (my) balance,” she said.
When asked what type of food she had to give up to get over those hurdles, Jones quickly replied, “Everything.”
“Right now I am eating air,” Jones said. “Before, I was eating double-bacon cheeseburgers everyday…with fries. Now I’ll have a single cheeseburger after a track race and maybe without the bun.”
In other USATF Championships events on June 27 at Sacramento State University:
Will Claye bounced 58 feet and three inches in the Men’s Triple Jump competition. The mark is his personal record, the best mark in the world this year, and the seventh best by an American in that field event.
“It was awesome,” Claye said. “It’s just a blessing to be here. This is an amazing track.”
Sanya Richards-Ross came out blazing in the Women’s 400 meter run. Richards-Ross clocked a time of 50.03 seconds in the prelims of the event and the mark is currently equals the best time in the world this year.
By OBSERVER Staff Writer
Antonio R. Harvey