The Tennessee Vols have another track legend in the making.
After blazing through the Mens 100-meter semifinal and shattering the NCAA record with a time of 9.82 seconds Wednesday, Christian Coleman made it known he is on pace for more than just a few titles.
Tonight, Coleman became the second person in NCAA history to sweep all four sprint titles in the same year. The other person: former Vol and Olympic gold medalist Justin Gatlin.
His time in Wednesday's semifinals, a personal best by 0.14 seconds, is also the fourth-best in history by an American and a new collegiate record.
“The sky’s the limit as fast as I can ever run. I just wanted to come out here and make it to the final, really. That was the plan,” said Coleman, who has focused the past few weeks on getting out of the blocks quickly.
“I felt like I got a pretty decent start, I separated and got on top of it and I just wanted to finish to the line and make sure I made it to the final,” he said. “It felt pretty good.”
Coleman’s 9.82 broke the previous NCAA record of 9.89, set by Florida State’s Ngonidzashe Manusha at the 2011 NCAA meet in Des Moines, Iowa.
Former Olympic champion Justin Gatlin, who has run 9.74 in the 100, has been a mentor to Coleman in recent months. Coleman says Gatlin has become a good friend and encourages him.
“He came through the collegiate ranks like me, and he went through the same kind of things that I’m going through right now, as far as what to do with my career and the pressure of being one of the best sprinters in college,” Coleman said. “He’s given me a lot of advice.”
About one hour after the 100 preliminary, Coleman got out fast in his 200 semifinal but appeared to slow down before the line and took second in his heat in 20.21 to qualify for the final. He’s second on the NCAA all-time list at 19.85, set earlier this season.
Coleman is no surprise at the outdoor championships. He won the 60 and 200 at the NCAA indoor meet, tying the collegiate record of 6.45 in the 60 final.
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