By Neto Baptiste
National sprinter, Joella Lloyd, said she was “very excited” following her historic accomplishment at the SEC (Southeastern Conference) Championships over the weekend when she clocked 7.15 seconds to win the 60-metre dash for the University of Tennessee, becoming the first from her university to win the event.
Speaking on the Good Morning Jojo Sports Show on Tuesday, Lloyd said she was not too bothered by the competition ahead of the race, thinking only of getting to the finish line as fast as she could.
“I was just thinking that I really wanted to win, and I was looking at the number because I was in lane five, and I was saying that I want to get to that number first and I basically just zoned out everything else, thought about my lane and focused on me. I was not sure of the time [after the race] but I knew it was better than my previous PB [Personal Best]. I was very excited because I didn’t know I was the first lady Vol [Volunteers] to win the 60 at the SEC, because we have very good programmes and it’s pretty exciting that I could add to that,” she said.
Lloyd also took comfort in what she believes to be progress in an aspect of her race that she has struggled with for quite some time.
“I have been reacting to the gun much better than last year and the years before. The only problem is that after I react, I don’t push and keep driving so we are working on that because somehow, I go back to what I feel comfortable with which is popping out the box so we’ve been working on reaction time and weights,” she said.
The athlete, who is hoping for a smooth transition to the outdoor season, said her aim is to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics slated for July 23 to August 8.
“I am in a good position to at least qualify because the time is 11.15 [seconds] and I am projected to be at least 11.1 outdoors. I wouldn’t say I am peaking too early. I have been training for a little while now so I feel like I am just finally getting where I am supposed to be,” Lloyd said.
Lloyd is currently a sophomore at the University of Tennessee where she is studying psychology.