Out of The Blocks: Mikiah Brisco On Medaling At Worlds While Unsponsored, Carrying Momentum

Out Of The Blocks

March 31, 2022

One of the best stories to come out of the 2022 World Indoor Track and Field Championships in Belgrade, Serbia was Team USA’s Mikiah Brisco coming away with a silver medal in the women’s 60m in 6.99 seconds. That is the fastest time by an American woman since Gail Devers in 1999.

Switzerland’s Mujinga Kambundji won gold in 6.96 to move into No. 4 on the all-time list. Brisco’s Team USA teammate Marybeth Sant-Price took bronze in 7.04.

In the first “Out of The Blocks” conversation with Jasmine Todd, Mikiah sat down to talk about her time in Serbia and how she’s looking to keep the momentum going into the outdoor season ahead of the U.S. Championships and World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon this summer.

You can watch the full interview here. The interview is also available on Spotify so subscribe to Out of The Blocks With Jasmine Todd there. It will populate on Apple Podcasts in the coming days so keep an eye and subscribe there as well.

On her experience at the World Indoor Championships
“It was honestly a great experience. This is my first year not being sponsored so I felt like I had a chip on my shoulder this whole season just trying to prove that I am deserving of something…It was nice to see all of my hard work paying off and do something I’ve never done before and something that hasn’t been done in the U.S. in a couple of years.”

On being an unsponsored athlete
“Fortunately, I was sponsored coming out of college. I did have that experience of having a sponsored athlete and being able to travel and have some stuff taken care of. This year, when I realized I didn’t have a sponsor, I felt like it made me more grounded in the things I was doing. I had to be more responsible in every aspect of my life to make sure I would be covered, my bills would be paid and I can still do this sport. Fortunately enough, I am able to survive without a contract this year. I just find that it’s made me work harder and be better before the time comes for me to get another contract.”

On the 60m vs. 100m preference
“I favor the 60m just because the strong point of my race is my start. That extra 40 meters – I can do it but there’s something extra about the 60m. I would personally prefer the 60m. It’s indoors so I don’t have to worry about any outside conditions.”

Explaining the technical differences between the 60m and the 100m
“With the 60m being shorter than the 100m. The 60m is a 100m condensed. In the 100m, you have your drive phase, your transition phase and the last part of the race is having frontside mechanics and finishing. Instead of a drive phase being from 0 to 30m in a 100, you condense it down to about 0 to 20m. You transition for about 10m whereas in a 100m it would be 10m to 20m. In a 60m, the race is basically over after that. You’re basically going to finish or not. It’s so quick. You have to make sure everything is slightly perfect because everything is so fast but in a 100m, you have a little more time to adjust and a little more time to make up ground if something goes wrong in the beginning.”

The state of the U.S. women’s 100m
“Like every year, it’s just about who can go to the Trials and put together the best race at the right time. I can’t say what times are going to be run. I just know it’s always gonna be fast because the U.S. is so competitive in the short sprints. You never know what someone is going to run and who shows up on that day. It’s up in the air and it’s about who gets it done on that day.”

Her background and a hurdler and jumper
“I hurdled in high school mainly because my sister did it. I thought, ‘I can do it too then.’ I started doing hurdles and got better at it. At LSU, I did it up until my senior year. It was just what would make me better for the professional level or what would suit me better as a professional. That was short sprints. I had the speed but not the technique to go over the hurdles fast. I just had to cut that out.”

“I jumped 18-feet in high school. I think that was OK. I only did that because my sister did it too. My only regret in the long jump is that I never asked for the clap. I wish I would’ve done that before concluding that event in my whole career.”

Why indoors doesn’t get enough love?
“It just comes down to what pays people. When you look at contracts even they say you can run the indoor 60m but what matters and what people know worldwide is the 100m. It comes down to money – where you get the money – and that’s in the 100m and not the 60m. I feel like they’re both important but at the end of the day money always talks.”

Which has been more meaningful: Winning the 2017 NCAA title or the World Championship silver medal?

“They both were top-level races in their respective categories. I PR’ed in both of those races…I guess I would say the 6.9 because it’s so recent and that’s been a goal of mine longer. I had it written down longer than I had that 10.96 written.”

Citius Mag Staff