Summer 2024

National champion hurdler Alia Armstrong chasing spot at worlds with God included in entire life

Less than two weeks after winning a NCAA national championship in the 100-meter hurdles at a wet Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon, LSU’s Alia Armstrong is back in Eugene with a different goal in mind. This time, the objective is to earn a place in next month’s World Athletics Championships.

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Armstrong is set to compete in the USA Track and Field Outdoor Championships, which run from Thursday to Sunday. The top three finishers in the 100-meter hurdles will qualify for worlds, assuming they meet the standards for the event.

The national title was made even more sweet because it came after a frustrating end to Armstrong’s indoor season. She was disqualified from the SEC indoor championships for pushing a hurdle with her hand and then false started at the NCAA indoor finals, resulting in another disqualification.

She responded by running a personal-best 12.55 in the 100m hurdles NCAA outdoor semifinals to win her heat. Her time of 12.57 in the final would have put her fifth at the 2019 Worlds.

In an interview with WAFB, the recently-crowned national champion discussed her accomplishment, but also the importance of her faith and the impact her mom’s had on her.

“Growing up, my mom always taught me to know that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me, and my talent will never go unnoticed,” Armstrong said. “So every time I step on the line, I remember everything that my mother told me growing up. And I just run. I just do what I do and let go and let God.”

She said that at the beginning of her LSU career, she had a tendency to panic and start looking around if she felt someone close to her. But Armstrong credits a strengthened relationship with God and different perspective on running with fixing that issue.

“When I started trusting God and trusting myself and getting my relationship closer, I’m able to just let go and just run my race,” Armstrong said in the interview. “Like, do what I love instead of putting pressure on myself.”

Faith is a prominent part of Armstrong’s social media presence on both Twitter and Instagram. She regularly references God in her posts, including after becoming a national champion.

Whether it’s track-related or completely unrelated from her athletic career, Armstrong wants her faith to influence everything she does.

“God is included into my entire life,” she told WAFB. “My faith is included into everything I do on and off the track. When I am struggling in school, I leave it in God’s hands and do what I have to do as a human. And He does the rest.”

Armstrong said her performance over the summer will go a long way toward determining if she turns professional or not. Right now, her plan is to return to LSU, and she is letting God dictate her next step.

“When I put my trust in Him, I know He will never fail me, and that’s all I recommend anybody would do, is just put trust in Him,” she told WAFB. “And He shows. He shows up every time.”

The first round of the 100m hurdles is scheduled to begin Friday at 8:10 p.m. ET. The semifinals and final are Saturday afternoon.

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