It might seem unreasonable for any athlete to be disappointed after winning a second straight 110-meter hurdle state track title in just his sophomore season.
Sims won the Division-I small schools 110-meter hurdles in a time of 13.89 Wednesday afternoon at the Spring Fling in Murfreesboro, more than a full second faster than his nearest competitor. Sims followed that up later in the afternoon with another title in the 300-meter hurdles (38.56). Sims has also won two indoor titles, giving him five total individual championships only halfway through his prep career.
"I wanted that record so bad," Sims said. "I broke the 60 meter indoor record earlier this year, so that was my goal coming in to today. I've been a little hurt all season, so I haven't been able to train the way I've wanted to, but I'm really happy with the way I ran today."
Sims admitted that while this meet was extremely important to him, the time he's spent running at national meets with his AAU team has helped him prepare mentally for big stages.
"I do have a little anxiety in meets like this," Sims said. "Competing in larger meets like the Junior Olympics helps me stay focused here on my own race and my technique and not worrying about what others are doing."
Sims said he prefers the 110-meter hurdles to the 300s, adding that he feels really good about his work out of the blocks and his technique over the hurdles. He did concede that he had areas where he could improve.
"I need to work on my overall speed," said Sims. "I have to get better at being able to maintain top speed for just a little longer. That's what's going to get me closer to my goals of breaking the state record and competing nationally."
In his second victory of the day in the 300 hurdles, Sims said his strategy for the race didn't exactly go the way he had planned.
"I had planned to just go out and stay with Kiyontae Warren (Austin-East) for the first 200 meters or so," said Sims, who ran in lane five, just ahead and outside of Warren in lane four. "But when we got into the curve I didn't feel him or see him so I just took off."
Sims said that one of the most difficult things about the
300-meter hurdles after the prep season is finished is transitioning from 300
meters to 400 for the AAU season.
"I know a lot of people think it's only 100 meters longer, but that 100 meters makes a huge difference, especially in the way you have to train," Sims said. "In my opinion the 400-meter hurdles is the most difficult race in track."
Sims is part of a sophomore duo at Arts & Sciences that is set to shatter state records and make a name for themselves on the national scene. Teammate Alayah Dozier also had a fantastic day on Wednesday, winning the 400 meters, and placing second and third in the 100 and 200 respectively.
"We train together pretty much year-round," Sims said about the friendship. "We ride together to a lot of practices and just get along so well. We've become more than just friends; we're pretty much family."
Sims will get a week or two off before he ramps up his work with his AAU team, and look to get back to shredding the state's hurdle records, both indoor and outdoor, as a junior this fall.