Queen Harrison advances in 100 hurdles at worlds
MOSCOW (AP) - American hurdler Queen Harrison speaks with conviction and runs with confidence.
Why expect anything less?
"I think my name definitely plays a part in my personality, makes me who I am,'' said Harrison, who won her first-round heat at the worlds championships on Friday. "With a name like Queen, you have to a certain level of self-assurance. You can't go into a room and say, `Hi my name is Queen,' and act all timid and shy and things like that. My name adds to who I am.''
Her father has 23 kids, nine with her mother, and gave them powerful names. There's Princess, Graceful, King Master, Victory and Empress, to name a few.
"My large family makes me unique,'' said the 24-year-old Harrison, whose full name is Queen Quedith Earth Harrison. "Coming from a huge family, you take a little bit of personality from all those people you hang around with.''
It also makes the holiday season festive. That's a lot of presents.
"We actually pick names out of the hat,'' Harrison said, laughing. "Saves money.''
For years, Harrison has split her time between training for the 100 and 400 hurdles. This season, she decided to concentrate only on the 100, simply to lessen her workload.
"As I'm getting older and more mature, I want to see what will happen if I focus only on one, see how great I can be,'' she said. "I'm definitely not done with the 400. I'll be back in it next year. I just wanted to see what would happen.''
Hardly a favorite in the stacked 100 hurdles at U.S. championships two months ago, Harrison finished runner-up to Brianna Rollins to earn a spot in Moscow.
All four of the Americans in the event advanced on Friday, with Rollins turning in the top time at 12.55 seconds.
"Felt good,'' said Harrison, who attended Virginia Tech. "It was early in the morning and I'm not much of a morning person.''
She used to be.
Growing up, her father would wake the family up at 6 a.m. to go through an exercise routine that included jumping jacks, push-ups, sit-ups and jogs around the neighborhood.
Then they would deliver newspapers.
"It wasn't even foreign to me then, it's all I knew,'' said Harrison, an NCAA champion at Virginia Tech. "As I got older, I was like, `I guess everybody doesn't do this before they go to school in the morning.'''
A CUT ABOVE: Triple jumper Will Claye has become the go-to guy with the electric clippers, turning his hotel room into a makeshift barber shop.
"I'll be in the room and hear a knock. They'll be like, `Can I get a haircut?''' said Claye, who easily made it out of qualifying on Friday along with teammate Christian Taylor. "I'll let them in and give them a haircut.''
So far, Americans Justin Gatlin, Jeff Demps, Michael Tinsley and Tony McQuay have all stopped by.
Here's the best part: The haircuts are free.
Well, for teammates. Everyone else he charges a small price, even hanging a little sign outside his room.
Claye has been cutting hair almost as long as he's been jumping.
"I'm pretty good,'' he said with a shrug.
He has no plans to leap into a different career, though. He'll stick with jumping, especially after winning silver in the triple jump at the 2012 London Olympics along with bronze in the long jump.
SWITCHING ROLES: Hurdler Ryan Wilson is going from competitor to coach.
Fresh off winning a silver medal in the 110-meter hurdles, Wilson will now root on Nia Ali in the 100 hurdles. He's been coaching Ali since November.
Ali advanced out of her heat on Friday.
"It's going really well so far,'' Wilson said. "I haven't really had a lot of the frustrations that I'm sure come with coaching. So far, it's going great. Nia has been wonderful with allowing me to remain as intense and committed to my training.''
Now that's he's a coach, Wilson is realizing the hurdles are nerve-racking to watch.
"Easily, being a coach is more stressful,'' Wilson said.
AROUND THE TRACK: Bruno Hortelano-Roig is from Canada, attends Cornell University in New York and sprints for Spain. On Friday, he set a Spanish record in the 200 meters when he advanced with a time of 20.47 seconds. Hortelano was born with Spanish citizenship and lives in Burlington, Ontario. He's now a senior at Cornell majoring in biological engineering. ... The U.S. 4x400 relay team of Ashley Spencer, Jessica Beard, Joanna Atkins and Francena McCorory won its heat to advance to the final.
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