By Thomas Sellers Jr.
MURFREESBORO – Finishing second in the 110 Meter Hurdle final left Bartlett Panther Kylan Bernard with a bitter taste in his mouth.
But the recent Bartlett High School graduate knew he had to put his time of 14.78 and the defeat to Rockvale’s Jakobe Tharp in the rearview mirror. Bernard had a chance to have a grand finale as a Panther.
“I just got to let that first race go and focus on the next race,” he said. “I can’t focus on the race I lost and bring it to the next race because I am going to do badly in both. I had to focus on the new race and I did what I had to do.”
Bernard used a late burst in the final two hurdles to outlast Dohnavon Hunt (38.23) and take the Class 3A 300 Meter Hurdle championship at the 2022 TSSAA State Track & Field Championships Division I-3A and Unified Meet at Middle Tennessee State University’s Dean Hayes Stadium.
Prior to his final high school race in the 300 Meter, Bernard had a personal best of 37.6. At Sectionals two weeks ago on his home track, Bernard leaped and raced to a first place finish at 37.57.
Bernard also won the Sectional crown in the 110 hurdles at 13.92, clocking the best time in the state leading to the finals.
Returning to Murfreesboro, Bernard wanted the 300 Meter Hurdles because he finished third at State in 2021. Trying to take both hurdle events, Bernard’s comeback effort in the 110 Meter Hurdles came up short with Tharp finishing the event in 14.17.
“I knew it was going to be a lot of great competition and I had to come out here and compete,” Bernard said. “And show them I am the best or one of the best at what I do. I didn’t know about the guy who beat me in the 110s. We had a good conversation – real humble. I like coming out to compete against real good competition.”
The competition was fierce in the 300 Meter Hurdles. Trailing a couple of hurdlers with only four hurdles left, Bernard displayed his championship pedigree and seized the moment, finishing at 38.14.
“I knew this year I had to come back and get the title,” he concluded. “It feels great and amazing.”
Bernard wraps up his Bartlett Track career as a champion and now prepares to take his talents to the next level to Meridian Community College in Meridian, Mississippi. He will be competing for the Eagles under Head Coach Chip Gayden.