Order Of Merritt
Aries Merritt became a high school national champion — representing Wheeler High School of Marietta, Ga. — here at The Armory. While at the University of Tennessee, he broke the 60m hurdle record at the Armory's Collegiate Invitational, which he held until earlier this year.
More recently he ran a close third behind David Oliver and Jason Richardson in the event at the 2012 Millrose Games.
So, yeah, we absolutely consider him one of the Armory army and celebrated when he won the Olympic gold medal in the 110-meter hurdles in London.
But now he has taken things a significant step further — as if Olympic gold isn't far enough. Today at the Memorial Van Damme, a Diamond League stop in Brussels, Merritt shattered the world record in the men's 110-meter hurdles. His time — 12.80 — was .07 seconds better than the previous mark of Dayron Robles of Cuba.
Fellow competitor Lawrence Clarke, who runs for Great Britain, excitedly tweeted, "I was just in the lane next to the World Record!"
For Merritt, 2012 has been a remarkable season. In addition to Olympic gold and the World Indoor 60m title, he has run sub-13 a record eight times, but today's clocking was still surprising. It was the biggest drop in the world record since Renaldo Nehemiah took more than a quarter-second off in 1981.
Afterward, Merritt explained that he wanted to run sub-13 again to end his season strong. "I can't believe I ran that fast," he offered. "I am so in shock and I'm so happy that I am finally living up to my potential."