We have profiled athletes in the past, but never a hurdler and Brianna Rollins is making enough waves for us to break the duck. The super talented American track and field athlete has been sensational in the 100 meters hurdles category. Older sister to 6 brothers, the 2013 Clemson gradutae came into the limelight with her scintillating NCAA record, she’s a three time hurdles champion winning the 60 meters hurdles in 2011 and 2013 and breaking the NCAA record in the 100m hurdles in 2013, following which she turned professional.
While Rollins didn’t qualify for the 2012 US Olympic athletics team, she won gold the next month at the 2012 NACAC under-23 championships with a time of 12:60 in the 100m hurdles. The next year, she would go on to break the American record for the 100m hurdles, beating the time set by legendary athlete Gail Devers, with a time of 12.39. It’s tied as the third-fastest run in history in the category.
At the 2013 World Championships in Moscow, she won gold again with a 12.44 finish, outpacing Olympic and reigning world champion Sally Pearson. A great 2013 was capped off with the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Athlete of the Year Award.
At the 2014 IAAF Diamond League’s Rome leg, she won gold again, but fell well short of the podium with a 5th place finish in the 100 metres hurdles with a time of 12.81 at that year’s national championships.
“It’s almost surreal that I was one of the best hurdlers in the world last year,” Rollins says. “I’ve come such a long way and I’m always so grateful for that,” she told her sponsor Nike in an interview for the website earlier this year. And as for her terrific success, she credited her 6 brothers. “I just want to be such a great role model for them,” Rollins says. “I think about the things I’ve been through. I just want them to see that this life is a great life. If you want to become who you are planning to be, just do the things you need to do.”
Unfortunately, at the 2015 Beijing World Championships, Rollins could not defend her crown, finishing fourth behind gold medallist Danielle Williams, second place finisher Cindy Roleder, and bronze medallist Aline Talay.