‘This will be a business trip for me, not a vacation’: YSU’s Harden preparing for U.S. Olympic Trials


YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Girard native Collin Harden was enjoying an Oreo milkshake on Tuesday when his coach called and broke the news that he’d qualified for the Olympic Trials.

Harden, who’s in the best shape of his life, says his first thought was, ‘Well I guess I can’t finish this’.

“Honestly, I wasn’t even thinking about the Olympics,” says Harden when ran a personal best 50.21 at the NCAA Regionals this year.

It’s a time, in the 400 hurdles, that ranked Harden among the best in the nation this season and has earned him an invite to the U.S. Olympic Trials later this month.

“This will be a business trip for me, not a vacation,” says Harden. “My mind is focused on making it to the next round, just running as fast as I can. That’s all I can control. At that point, I am still enjoying this. I am human.”

Harden was a two-time All-American at Youngstown State and one of the most decorated athletes in school history. Now he’s one of 28 hurdlers in the country competing for one of just three spots on the U.S. Olympic team.

“I’ve raced against these guys since I was freshman,” says Harden. “So just the fact that I’m in the position that I am now and I’m competing with them, that just says that I’m among the best. You try not to get big headed about it. You try to stay level headed. Of course, they’re good. They’re good. They ran fast times, but at the same time I’m where they are.”

The Olympic Team Trials will take place in Eugene Oregon on June 24th.

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