Stepping out today with a 7.37 sprint sans barriers in the 60 heats at the Indiana Relays, 100 hurdles World Record holder Kendra Harrison has stamped her early ’18 indoor season as a dash-heavy campaign. It's all part of the now 2-time No. 1 hurdles Ranker's plan for the quadrennial "off year" where Americans at least have no major international outdoor championships on their calendars.
Harrison, 25, began her year two weeks ago on her home track at the Kentucky Invitational with a busy competition slate: 7.98 60H heat, a world-leading 7.82 final an hour later, and then just over 2 hours after that a 23.16 clocking for 200 on the Wildcat's oversized oval, just 0.16 shy of her absolute PR.
The 7.37 at Indiana, Harrison's first flat 60 in 4 years, missed her best by just 0.06.
The dashing has a purpose. "My main goals this season are to improve on my running mechanics and to work on my speed," Harrison told T&FN via email a day before her IU outing. "So I will be running in some sprint races indoors/outdoors. Running in the sprints will take me out of my comfort zone and make me mentally stronger for the hurdles."
When one is a World Record holder—there aren't too many currently competing—lowering the global standard is obviously a goal, but it does not top Harrison's to-do list.
"It’s not a majority priority but I know if I improve in the areas I struggle in I have a good chance in breaking it," she explained. "I tend to float at the end of my races so finding away to not to can definitely allow me to drop time."
"Outdoors," Harrison adds, "I will not only be trying to sprint but will also go after the Diamond League win to get the wild card for [the ’19 World Championships in Doha].
What Harrison won't do is initiate a course she formerly mused about for ’18—revisiting the 400 hurdles, in which she feels she's got more to give than her world class 54.09 PR. That's a project for some future year.
"I won’t be going into the 400 hurdles just yet," she says