By Carlena Knight
Sprint queen Joella Lloyd said she still has her eyes set on qualifying for the upcoming Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
Lloyd, running at home at the Tennessee Challenge on Saturday, for the University of Tennessee sped across the line in a time of 11.19secs, just four seconds off from the Olympic qualifying standard of 11.15.
She noted that with just a few tweaks here and there, she is confident that she can make the time and become the second athlete from Antigua and Barbuda to qualify for the Olympics.
“I would say I would need to improve on my 100m start because my end and the transition is fine but once I can get the start down, I believe I can make the qualifying time,” Lloyd said.
When asked about where she sees herself in two years, the 19-year-old Antigua Girls High alumna mentions that she expects to be dominating the US collegiate circuit.
“I still see myself running on the collegiate circle and I feel like I will be SEC champion because I know what to do now. This year, it’s been all about learning the ropes and now I fell like in the future I will know what to do,” she added.
The Lady Vols redshirt freshman was named the Southeastern Conference Track and Field Newcomer of the Week just a few days ago.
She received the honour after breaking a 28-year-old national record in the 100-meter dash at Saturday’s Tennessee Challenge in Knoxville.
The time also broke a 13-year record in the UT track programme.
Lloyd’s time also ranks fourth in the SEC this season and eighth in the nation in 2021.
She also ran the second leg of the 4×100-meter relay for the Lady Vols on Saturday.
UT’s team posted a time of 43.59 seconds. That mark is tied for fourth in program history. It is also third in the conference and eighth in the nation during the outdoor campaign this year.
The Newcomer of the Week award was established by the SEC this season and is given to redshirt freshmen and sophomores who missed the conference’s season in 2020, which was canceled due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.