"I knew I was going to do something great!", Demisha Roswell says of her 12.44 lifetime best at Big 12 Championships

By May 19, 2022

Demisha Roswell shocked everyone, herself included when she won the 100m hurdles at the Big 12 Outdoor Conference Championships at Fuller Field in Lubbock, Texas on Sunday. The Texas Tech senior edged her more heralded compatriot Ackera Nugent, the 2021 World U20 champion and a talented field, clocking 12.44, the second fastest time in the world this season and the fastest in the NCAA.

Only the 12.39 from Tokyo Olympic champion, Jasmine Camacho-Quinn, has been faster this year. Nugent’s time for second place, 12.45, is the third fastest time in the world in 2022.

The victory was a bit of a surprise for the 24-year-old Vere Technical and New Mexico Junior College alum, who went into the final having run 12.78 in her preliminary round heat. “No, I didn’t expect the time. I was more excited about the win, to be honest. I’m still in shock!”, she said.

From the gun, Roswell found herself matching strides with Nugent but was never intimidated and had no intention to yield as they raced towards the finish line.

“That’s the crazy part of the race because I told myself I want to win I have to win. I was like “Oh no,  you’re not getting away today,” she said laughing while admitting that she felt something special would happen.

“From the moment I wasn’t nervous I knew I was going to do something great. Ackera is an amazing competitor and the both of us know we got to show out and fight and that’s what I did because I wanted to win.”

Roswell credits her faith in her coaches and continuous hard work in improving her technique for getting her to this point where she is the fastest Jamaican sprint hurdler in the world this year, a significant achievement given her country’s stock in hurdling talent that includes Olympic medallist Megan Tapper, 2015 World Champion and national record holder Danielle Williams, World U20 record holder Brittany Anderson and, of course, Baylor's Nugent.

“The main factors are time, patience and faith,” she said. “Every day I have to keep improving because my hurdling is not perfect but thanks to my coaches for always trying with me to improve my hurdling.

“I don’t have the best hurdles technique because I wasn’t cut out for hurdling. I was just a 200m and a 100m runner when suddenly my coach from back home, John Mair, told me, ‘ Roswell, I think you should do hurdles. I said to him ‘Huh, me? I can’t do hurdles coach. He then said, ‘Listen, to me you’re going to do it so I went for it.”

She said when she moved to the United States to attend New Mexico Junior College, her coaches Keith Blackwill and Tabarie Henry helped her improve her technique even though it still wasn’t perfect. Still, it was good enough to win her the NJCAA Indoor 60mh title and 100mh Outdoor title in 2019 and the 60mh title in 2020.

At Texas Tech, the work to perfect her technique continues.

“Coach (Zach) Glavash got me here and Coach (Calvin) Robinson started work on me. My technique has gotten better from last year until now. I thank God for these coaches every day for working with me even though there is still room for improvement,” she said.

With the sweet taste of victory still lingering, Roswell has an eye on even bigger scalps this summer. She reveals that she plans to earn a spot on Jamaica’s team to the World Championships in Oregon this summer.

 “Most definitely that’s the aim, trying my best to make this national team,” she said.

“(I am) just looking to stay healthy and be ready because hurdling is unpredictable, anything can happen but I won’t be travelling across the ocean and not make the team. So on that day, the time will tell. I put everything in God's hands.”

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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