Sharika Nelvis

Sharika Renea Nelvis (born May 10, 1990) is an American hurdler. In 2014, she was NCAA indoor and outdoor sprint hurdles champion. After graduating from Arkansas State University that summer, Nelvis turned professional and topped the indoor world list in 2015. Nelvis represented the United States at the 2015 World Championships in Athletics in 100 m hurdles and the 2018 IAAF World Indoor Championships in 60 m hurdles. Nelvis won the women's 60 metres hurdles with a time of 7.70 at 2018 USA Indoor Track and Field Championships and repeated in 2019.

Sharika Nelvis
Sharika Nelvis Boost Boston Games 2017.png
Sharika Nelvis Boost Boston Games 2017
Personal information
Born (1990-05-10) May 10, 1990 (age 31)
Alma materArkansas State Red Wolves
Height1.74 m (5 ft 9 in)
Weight71 kg (157 lb)
Country United States
Track and field
Position60 m hurdles
100 m hurdles
University teamArkansas State University
Turned pro2014
Updated on 22 March 2018.

Early lifeEdit

Nelvis was born in Memphis, Tennessee on May 10, 1990.[1][2] She had a difficult childhood; both of her parents died before she'd turned eight, and after her grandmother suffered a stroke Nelvis was taken in by an aunt and separated from three of her four siblings.[3][4]

Nelvis took up track and field in sixth grade, competing first in the sprints and then also the hurdles and the long jump;[4] in addition, she played volleyball, softball and basketball.[3] She became a leading track athlete at Northside High School, winning four events at the 2009 class AAA Tennessee state championship meet.[5]

Collegiate careerEdit

After graduating from high school, Nelvis briefly attended Southwest Mississippi Community College, but found it did not suit her; she left almost immediately and transferred to Arkansas State University, having been recruited by its assistant track coach, fellow Memphis native Jason Brooks.[3][4]

Nelvis missed the 2009–10 track and field season due to ineligibility resulting from her transfer, but after that, she developed rapidly under the coaching of Brooks and Arkansas State's head track coach Jim Patchell.[4][6] In 2011, she was named the Sun Belt Conference's top freshman both indoors and outdoors.[3] Over the next three years Nelvis won Sun Belt championships in the sprints, hurdles and long jump; she was named the conference's top track and field athlete indoors and outdoors in 2012 and again in 2013.[1][7] She broke 13 seconds in the 100 m hurdles for the first time at the 2013 NCAA championships, winning her semi-final in 12.84 (+1.3); in the final she ran 12.92 and placed sixth, her first points finish in an NCAA meet.[7]

In 2014, her senior year, Nelvis developed into America's top collegiate hurdler. She became NCAA indoor champion in the 60 m hurdles (7.93) and outdoor champion in the 100 m hurdles (12.52w), both times defeating a field that included Jasmin Stowers.[7] Nelvis was named Sun Belt Female Athlete of the Year and won the Honda Sports Award for the best collegiate female track and field athlete in the nation;[6][8][9] she was also short-listed for the Bowerman, but lost to middle-distance runner Laura Roesler of Oregon.[10]

Professional careerEdit

Nelvis started competing as a professional in 2015.[11] After losing her first race she remained unbeaten during the 2015 indoor season, winning seven consecutive races; her winning time in Malmö (7.83) was her personal best and the fastest time in the world that winter, one-hundredth of a second ahead of Stowers.[7][11][12]

Outdoors, Nelvis made her Diamond League debut in Doha, placing second to Stowers in a personal best 12.54.[7] She then scored her first Diamond League victory in Rome, improving to 12.52 as Stowers, Brianna Rollins and Sally Pearson all crashed; the win moved her into an early lead in the 2015 Diamond Race.[13][14] Nelvis entered the national outdoor championships as one of the favorites, and won her heat in a world-leading 12.34 (+1.9); the time moved her up to seventh on the world all-time list and third on the national all-time list.[15][16] She also led the field in the semi-finals (12.37); in the final she only placed third in 12.59, and made the American team at 2015 US Outdoor Track & Field Championships for the World Championships in Beijing by one-hundredth of a second.[17][18]

Nelvis won her first US title in the women's 60 metres hurdles with a time of 7.70 at 2018 USA Indoor Track and Field Championships where she set the NACAC & American record and earned a spot on Team USA at 2018 Birmingham World Championships where she placed 4th in 7.86.


  1. ^ a b "Sharika Nelvis Bio". Arkansas State University. Retrieved June 8, 2015.
  2. ^ Sharika Nelvis at World Athletics
  3. ^ a b c d "Student Profile: Sharika Nelvis". Arkansas State University. Retrieved June 8, 2015.
  4. ^ a b c d Jennings, Chantel (June 11, 2014). "Sharika Nelvis leaps life's hurdles". ESPN. Retrieved June 8, 2015.
  5. ^ Smith, Jason (May 22, 2009). "Northside star takes four titles in track & field". The Commercial Appeal. Retrieved June 8, 2015.
  6. ^ a b "Sharika Nelvis named Sun Belt Female Athlete of the Year". Retrieved June 8, 2015.
  7. ^ a b c d e Sharika Nelvis at Tilastopaja (registration required)
  8. ^ "Nelvis of Arkansas State Named 2014 Honda Sport Award Winner for Track & Field". The Collegiate Women Sports Awards. June 18, 2014. Retrieved June 8, 2015.
  9. ^ "Track & Field". CWSA. Retrieved 2020-03-26.
  10. ^ "Past Winners of The Bowerman". U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. Retrieved June 8, 2015.
  11. ^ a b Minshull, Phil; Julin, A. Lennart (February 25, 2015). "Nelvis hurdles world-leading 7.83 to upstage Lavillenie and Barshim in Malmo". International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). Retrieved June 8, 2015.
  12. ^ Jalava, Mirko. "2015 World Indoor Top 20". Tilastopaja. Retrieved June 8, 2015.
  13. ^ Minshull, Phil (June 4, 2015). "Vesely finds form in Rome in time to defend world title". IAAF. Retrieved June 8, 2015.
  14. ^ "Diamond Race Standings" (PDF). IAAF. June 7, 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on January 12, 2016. Retrieved June 8, 2015.
  15. ^ Pfeifer, Jack (June 17, 2015). "2015 USATF CHAMPS FORMCHART—Women". Track & Field News. Retrieved June 27, 2015.
  16. ^ Chavez, Chris (June 27, 2015). "Kynard soars to second US title, Nelvis flies to 12.34". IAAF. Retrieved June 27, 2015.
  17. ^ Chavez, Chris (June 27, 2015). "Bartoletta jumps world-leading 7.12m at US Championships". IAAF. Retrieved June 28, 2015.
  18. ^ "Results - Saturday". USA Track & Field. June 27, 2015. Retrieved June 28, 2015.

External linksEdit