Wed | Jul 28, 2021

Quick steps in the right direction for Nelson

Published:Wednesday | April 21, 2021 | 12:12 AMHubert Lawrence/Gleaner Writer

Not surprisingly, Kemba Nelson has slashed her personal best for the 100 metres after registering a time of 11.18 seconds while competing at the West Coast Classic in Arizona on Saturday, in her first run at that distance for the season.

She returned soon after to set another personal best, this time over 200 metres, leaving little doubt in the mind of the modest University of Oregon student athlete that she is moving in the right direction.

A winner of the 60 metres at the NCAA Indoor Championship in March, Nelson erased her old personal best of 11.49 seconds in the 100m.

“It’s a very good opener, big PR jump as well, so I’m happy. I’m happy, I’m going in the right direction, I think,” she assessed.

She started fast, but worked on technical matters in an effort that saw her win by 0.30 seconds.

“I was more focusing on not leaning forward and standing up, and doing the right things and executing properly, so that was basically what I was focusing on,” said the former Mount Alvernia High School and University of Technology sprinter. “I feel like it was a very good execution actually.”

Nelson, 21, had won the NCAA Indoors with a 7.05 seconds run to upset the field.

Following her impressive 100m run on Saturday, Nelson was back on track less than an hour later to set a personal best of 23.03 seconds in the 200m event, finishing behind American Shae Anderson, who clocked 22.96 seconds.

“I’m feeling good about the 200m as well,” Nelson said. “It was just a very short time to recover for the 200m at that meet, so it was just [from] one to the other, [but] I’m trying to get to love it (200m).”


The 100m remains her main event and Nelson is looking forward to upcoming races at that distance.

“It’s just trying to get better, trying to put a good race together at the right time and let’s see how everything will unfold. I’m very excited about this season,” Nelson declared.

The right time could be when her university hosts the NCAA Outdoor Championships in the completely renovated Hayward Field stadium.

Noting that the renewed venue will host the Oregon Relays this coming weekend, she added: “I hope I get to compete there before the actual championship though, but I’m not sure. I really look forward to competing there.’’