Blistering Masai Russell adds to Kentucky’s SEC sprint hurdles legacy

Masai Russell of Kentucky made history with 7.77 secs at the SEC Indoor Championships on Saturday and adds to the Wildcats' 60m hurdles rich history.

Wayne Porter

Masai Russell of Kentucky in action at the 2023 Rod McCravy Memorial Meet
Masai Russell of Kentucky in action at the 2023 Rod McCravy Memorial Meet. Photo by Ethan Rand/UK Athletics

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Masai Russell of Kentucky took the track and field world by storm when she smashed the SEC Championships and Facility Records on her way to her first conference 60-meter hurdles title. Russell’s winning time of 7.77 seconds was an astonishing achievement, coming only 0.02 seconds off the collegiate record she had set previously in Lubbock, Texas.

Russell’s victory builds on Kentucky’s excellent legacy, with the Wildcats having won five out of the last 10 SEC 60H golds. Jasmine Camacho-Quinn and Keni Harrison, the 100m hurdles gold and silver medalists at the last Olympic Games in Tokyo 2021, are the other Wildcats in history to have won SEC Indoor Championships 60m hurdles titles.

READ MORE: Arkansas Razorbacks sweep SEC Indoor Championships again

Camacho-Quinn won the SEC Indoors in 2017 and 2018, and Harrison took crowns in 2014 and 2015.

“I wanted to come out with the win,” Russell told the SEC Network during her post race interview. “I’ve always been like second or third at SECs, so to finally come out on top and win is just a blessing. All my hard work has truly paid off.

“So it’s about truly trusting the process and honestly trusting your training and trusting your coaches because no one would have expected me to be putting up the numbers that I have been putting up. But it just takes time.”

Meanwhile, at the 2023 Big 12 Indoor Championships, Ackera Nugent of Arkansas put up a valiant fight against Russell, with the two athletes competing closely before Nugent lost ground in the final stretch and had to settle for second place.

Nugent’s efforts were rewarded as the Arkansas sophomore recorded a personal best of 7.81 seconds, while Charisma Taylor of Tennessee rounded out the podium with the bronze medal, posting a time of 8.03 seconds.

About The Author

Wayne Porter

Wayne is a former college runner who used his talents to help pay for his education! He is a former junior college champion and coach

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