St. Augustine senior Sincere Rhea led all qualifiers into the 60-meter high hurdles finals at the New Balance Nationals Sunday morning at the 168th street Armory.
Rhea, who ran one of the fastest times in U.S. schoolboy history in the prelims on Saturday, wasn’t quite as fast Sunday with a 7.20 for 55 meters and a 7.73 for the full 60 meters, but most importantly he earned a center lane in the finals later Sunday.
Rhea ran 7.10 and 7.64 on Saturday, moving into the No. 10 spot in U.S. scholastic history for the 55 highs and No. 12 for 60 meters.
Rhea, a Millville native, and his main rival, Kurt Powder of Oscar Smith High in Chesapeake, Va., ran in separate heats in Sunday’s semifinals.
Powder, who ran 7.61 on Saturday – 7th-fastest in U.S. high school history – ran 7.78 on Sunday.
They are the only hurdlers under 7.90 going into the finals.
Rhea finished well ahead of Myles Marshall of Marietta, Ga., in the second of three semifinal races. Marshall ran 7.95. Powder edged Deanthony Coleman of Montgomery, Ala., who ran 7.84.
Since the top two in each race advanced automatically, there was no reason for either one to run faster.
The final is scheduled for 1:49 p.m. and it’s going to be fast.