Alastair Aitken
Alastair Aitken
Alastair Aitken's
Interviews and

Danielle Carruthers - August 2010

When you think of the famous women sprint hurdlers competing in 2009/2010 names come thick and fast, Lolo Jones (USA), Priscilla Lopes-Shliep (Canada), Sally Pearson (Australia), Brigette Foster-Hylton (Jamaica) and Dawn Harper (USA) .All those names spring to mind but with the event being so wide open with so many talented sprint hurdlers,  there is certainly room for another one to look out for and I consider that person to be DANIELLE CARRUTHERS (USA), who will be a factor in the World Championship and Olympic year's of 2011 & 2012.
   Danielle Carruthers changed coaches which effected her form in 2007/2008 as, she had been American Indoor Champion in 2005 and 2006. She actually beat Lola Jones in 2010 in Glasgow indoors and had a victory over Dawn Harper at one time.
   In 2010 the very highest competition is the World is the Diamond League and I will pick out a few of her best results in that:- 14th of June, Bislet Stadium:- 1 Lolo Jones 12.63 and Danielle Carruthers 4th in 12.74; At Monaco on the 7th of July, 1 Jones 12.63 and 2nd Carruthers 12.68 with Sally Pearson 3rd in 12.76; Gatehead 16th of July
1 Jones 12.79, 2 Carruthers 12.98, 3 Priscilla Lopes-Shliep 13.01 and then in London on August 13th, in the Final from two heats, Shliep won in 12.52 with Carruthers 5th in 12.82.
   In 2004 Danielle Caruthers had some impressive races with a personal best of 12.56 and then came 4th in the Olympic Trials by a mere 1/100th of a second behind Melissa Morrison, who was chosen for the Olympic team, as the first three past the post selection policy dictates. . In 2006 again she agonisingly missed out on a bronze medal in the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Moscow again by 1/100th of a second. (60 m Hurdles First 4 1 Derval O'Rourke (Ireland) 7.84; 2 Glory Olozie (Spain ) 7.86; 3 Susanna Kallur (Sweden) 7.87; 4 Danielle Carruthers (USA) 7.88.)
   Her PB's for 100/200 are 11.43/23.24 in 2001.
                        Danielle Caruthers was born 22nd of December 1979 at Paducah , Kentucky
   " I started  running when I was 14 at High school in Kentucky. They were City races and I usually won them.'
   ' My Mother was totally against me running. Every year they told her 'You  should let her run' My Mum never agreed to it. My Mum was not into sport and never had been. The second reason was we did not have insurance so, if I got hurt she has to pay for it'
   ' When I got to High School I was in my Physical Education Class and I was running the '40' .I beat all the girls and most of the guys as well and I broke the State record. They contacted my Mother and assured her, as I was in High School, I would have the insurance and it was going to be OK.then, I won my first Indoor State Title at 60 metres and just kept on running from that point'
"My High School coach Cecil Ward was phenomenal and a Father figure to me. He picked me up from practise and took me home and drove me to High School meets, even ten hours away. he had a big heart. He coached at Western Kentucky University for a little while. He loved helping the high school students."
" I am very close to St Louis so Jackie Joyner-Kersee has a meet there every year. I went there and ran well and got to meet her and Bob Kersee plus Gail Devers and they gave you ideas of how good you could be."

Her thoughts about being amongst the Best!
 " I did not think about it till I got to College at Indiana University. I had a 'Stella' time winning races and getting placed Nationally. I switched coaches and everything."

The Hunger after just missing out in 2004
" I know it is there and, athletics helped me in other issues. If I had not experienced the things I have in sport, life would seem so much more complicated. There are certain things in life that does not seem complicated to me. It is not a big deal with heart situations.'    'You are going to fall at a hurdle and mess up. You have to be able to build yourself up and then go out and run the next week!
' I fell this year in the 'National Indoor Championships then came back and ran the 'Super Eight' and I won that. It was a hard thing to do as I had fallen pretty bad and hurt myself then, a week later, I had to be able to say OK I have got to run the race.'
   'If you can do this and focus you can almost do anything!'

What stands Out
"Fourth in the Olympic Trials. It was my first ' Get Over Moment' I ran 12.62 . If I had been in any other country I would have made the Olympic Games! (She ran her PB at the Steve Prefontaine Meet of 12.56 on the 19th of June that year, coming second to Perdita Felicien (12.46).
   ' Getting a grip on yourself later in the season and saying, 'Get over it!, it happens You can't go back on that you have to keep pushing forward.'
   2007-08 were hard for her after running so well in 2006 with problems of changing coaches. It had taken her two years to get back to where  she was in 2006 and, running well again in the top flight of the Diamond League and she points out " I have a great coach Rana Ryder. Good with sprints, technical events, hurdles and long jump. He is 40 now and studies the sport for 20 years and he has had athletes at every Olympics in those years. He is really knowledgeable and I don't think I could have run as fast as I could have run without him."


" I like All Pop, Hip Hop, Rock and classical as I am from Kentucky I like that music too."
   Her parents are now very supportive although they have not got great knowledge of the sport.

Alastair Aitken

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