Renaldo Powell finishes last in 60m hurdles at nationals, ends college career
Powell raced in the preliminaries, but was unable to make it to the finals in the 60m hurdles, finishing 16th overall out of 16 competitors. The top two places in each heat and the next four fastest times advanced, while Powell's time of 7.90 put him out of competition.
The preliminary run was his slowest since the Akron Invitational on Feb. 2, where he ran a 7.91. His time was also several tenths of a second behind his record-setting performance at the Mid-American Conference Indoor Championships.
Powell finished behind Miami's Artie Burns, who recorded a 7.87 in the first heat. In his own heat, Powell was behind Trevor Brown of Colorado State University, who finished in 7.85.
During the race, Powell said the opponent next to him traded elbow blows over the hurdles. This threw off his steps over the third and fourth hurdles, and slowed him down.
“I got a great start and was feeling really good; I was ahead of everybody on the first hurdle,” Powell said. “I think I could’ve made the finals if he hadn’t hit my arm over just two of the hurdles.”
The cutoff for the finals was 7.69. On Saturday, University of Florida senior Eddie Lovett won the 60m hurdles with a time of 7.57.
Powell’s place was good enough to earn him national recognition.
“It’s great being second-team All-American,” Powell said. “There are those plaques on the wall of All-American athletes when you walk into the IAC and I’ve been looking at those since I came here. I finally get my picture on the wall.”
At the MAC Indoor Championships, Powell raced his career best, achieving a career-long goal of beating CMU's 60m-hurdle record. Powell qualified for Nationals with his record-setting time of 7.74.
“It was a great experience to be here and to be around so many talented athletes," Powell said. "It helped motivate me even more. A lot of the people here were just like me, they had a goal their freshman year and they achieved it.”
Powell ends his career as a two-time individual MAC champion in the 60-meter hurdles, in addition to holding the school record for the event.
Because Powell competed for the past four years in outdoor track, he will be ineligible to participate for CMU this spring. However, Powell still hopes to compete in open meets and improve his times.
“I know that the race I ran at Nationals wasn’t the best that I can do,” Powell said. “I have unfinished business.”