Former Kentucky track superstar Daniel Roberts is now officially a winner at the professional level.
This afternoon, Roberts took home the 110M Hurdles victory by crossing the finish line in 13.08 seconds to secure a spot in the Diamond League Finals.
This was his very first victory as a Diamond League professional athlete.
Result of the men's 110m Hurdles
— IAAF Diamond League (@Diamond_League) August 24, 2019
This result gives Roberts the eighth-best performance on the All-Dates, All-Time Collegiate List, and it is now the fourth time that he managed a sub-13.10 time this season.
Back in June when he was still officially a Wildcat, Roberts tied a 40-year-old collegiate record in the NCAA 110-Meter Hurdles by finishing the event in 13 seconds flat.
Just a few days later, the junior Kentucky star announced that he was forgoing his senior season and turning pro.
“I’ll be going pro,” he said at the conclusion of the event. “[My contract isn’t finalized] yet, still in the works… [With] the collegiate season over with now, I ain’t got nothing to hide.”
In the NCAA 110-Meter Hurdles on Friday, Roberts tied the record, but was unfortunately topped by rival junior Grant Holloway of Florida, who finished with a final time of 12.98 seconds.
Combining the times of both Holloway and Roberts, along with the rest of the participants, Friday’s event actually set the record for fastest college hurdles race ever.
“There’s more to come with D-Rob.” UK assistant coach and Roberts’ event trainer Tim Hall said following the decision. “He’s a special kid, special talent. I just can’t say enough about him. I’m super proud of him. The future is so bright for him. He’s just a humble kid. So proud of all the things he’s accomplished.”
Overall, Roberts’ time at the NCAA championships was a new personal best and ranks second-best in the world. His time of 13 seconds gives him the second-best time at the collegiate level in history and he is tied with two other men for No. 22 on the world all-time list.
“It’s been an awesome rise,” Kentucky head coach Lonnie Greene said at the time. “People might not understand how fast that race was. It took the world lead, right off the world record to beat Daniel. Coach Hall has done a great job with him. He’s an excellent coach, Daniel is an excellent pupil.
“And he’s represented the brand very, very well. That’s what I think future Wildcats out there and Big Blue Nation want. They want us to represent the University well and I think Daniel is the epitome of that.”