Track and field: UK’s Bryant posts best 200 time in the world

February 10, 2014 

Bryant

University of Kentucky sprinter Dezerea Bryant ran the fastest 200 meters by a woman in the world this season at the Doc Hale VT Elite Meet this past weekend in Blacksburg, Va.

Bryant's time of 22.82 seconds Saturday was her second title in the two-day competition — she won the 60 meters on Friday — and she also took "Most Outstanding Performer" of the meet.

Bryant broke her own school record in the 200 by 0.22 seconds and set a new personal best.

The UK junior and Clemson transfer is just 0.14 seconds outside the all-time collegiate top 10 in the event. She ranks 15th all-time.

Making Bryant's performance more impressive is the fact it came at Virginia Tech's Rector Field House. Each of the 10 fastest 200-meter indoor times have come at Arkansas' Randall Tyson Indoor Track, which has steep banked turns and is considered one of the fastest indoor tracks in the world.

"Her goals are centered around being a professional athlete," UK track and field coach Edrick Floréal said. "If you're going to do that you're going to need to produce professional athletes' times week-in, week-out. That's kind of what she has to learn to do.

"You're a performer, you have to put on a show. The superstars, when they compete the whole world knows about it. You can't compete and sort of go unnoticed. The 200 meters showed us that she's on that level now."

Floréal pulled Bryant aside on race day to discuss the team's increased expectations and the need to focus.

"I had to talk to coach Floréal before the day started because my 60-meter didn't go as I planned, even though I won," Bryant said. "I ran fast in the 200 meters so I was happy with the meet overall. Coach Flo's talk helped me relax."

Kendra Harrison, who won the 60-meter hurdles, was second to Bryant in her first collegiate 200 meters with a time of 23.47, the third fastest indoor time in UK history. Morganne Phillips was sixth in 24.25.

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