“I feel good,” Nugent said. “Everything seems good right now.”
Nugent won the SEC title in the 110-meter hurdles two weeks ago after posting a personal record 13.56. He will look to improve on that time this weekend as he takes part in the NCAA Division I Track and Field Regionals on the UNC-A&T campus in Greensboro, N.C. The top 12 finishers in each event will advance to the NCAA National Outdoor meet in Eugene, Ore., which be begins on June 9.
Nugent said winning the SEC is certainly a boost going in to regionals.
“Winning these big meets, like the Penn Relays and winning the SEC,” sophomore Nugent said, “gives me a little bit more confidence than I had at this time last year.
“That’s for sure.”
The SEC title was Nugent’s second. He won an indoor title in the 6-meter hurdles earlier this year. He will be shooting for his second regional crown, after winning the 110 hurdles at the Midwest Regional in 2009.
“I think my experience will help me,” Nugent said.
Nugent will also be a part of the Tigers’ 4x1 relay team. He will be the first leg of a team that features Will Coppage, Armanti Hayes and Gabriel Mvumvure. Nugent helped the Tigers finish second in NCAA at the national meet in the 4x1 last year. LSU comes in with a time of 39.34. Florida State is tops in the relay with a 39.06
In the hurdles, Nugent’s 13.56 enters the regional as the second-best time. Only a 13.50 by South Carolina’s Johnny Dutch is better. Nugent does have a higher goal, though.
“I want to try to get 13.30,” he said. “That’s my goal.”
That would likely lead to his ultimate goal for the weekend, another regional title and a return trip to the National championships.
“If everything goes according to plan, with the way we have been practicing,” Nugent said, “everything should come together really well.”