Sincere Rhea ran the hurdles faster than he ever has Saturday. But with an asterisk.
Rhea, a University of Miami junior from St. Augustine and Maurice River Township in Cumberland County, won the 110-meter hurdles in his 2023 debut at the Hurricane Invitational on his home track in Coral Gables, Fla., in 13.72.
But the performance was aided by an assisting wind of 4.1 meters per second. Any race of 200 meters or less with a tailwind over 2.0 meters per second is considered wind-aided for record purposes.
Still, it’s No. 5 among U.S. men and No. 12 in the world regardless of conditions in the early going this outdoor season.
Rhea’s wind-legal PR is 13.89, which he ran in May of 2021 as a freshman at Penn State in the trials of the Big East Championships in Champaign, Ill., and then matched last April at the LSU Alumni Gold meet in Baton Rouge.
According to the Maximmoinat wind correction calculator, 13.72 is the equivalent of a 13.79 with a legal 2.0 wind or 13.93 with no wind. So Rhea’s fitness is there, especially this early in the season.
Rhea will be back in action and hopefully with legal wind this weekend at the Florida Relays, although the meet web site says the qualifying standard for the 110 highs is 13.50, which only one hurdler in the world has run this year – Japan’s Rachid Muratake, who ran 13.25 at the Sydney Track Classic two weeks ago in Australia.
So either that’s a mistake or the hurdles field will be very small.