The NCAA 100m hero & US 100m boss at the youthful age of 22, Aleia Hobbs says running began at eight years of age after running from a dog.
“That’s the first time everyone realised I was fast,” says Hobbs. “I started running track after that.”
Subsequent to making a trip to her first IAAF Diamond League meeting in Lausanne in July 2018, she had no real option except to pull back after a niggle in her knee transformed into out and out agony, the 22-year-old shedding into tears in the treatment room in the wake of pull out the race.
A medical procedure was pursued on her knee in August, a similar strategy to which Hobbs had to her left knee in 2015.
“I was like, ‘dang, again?’” says Hobbs,
“It was the cartilage. They drilled a couple of holes in it and cut off a bit of loose flap that was catching.”
Recuperation has been moderate, yet in particular enduring.
Hobbs burned through 30 days on bolsters, relaxing around her home in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in the pre-fall warm, reviling the reality she lived on the third floor in a working with no lift.
“That sucked,” she says. “I got a little sad. I didn’t want to leave the house because I didn’t want to walk up and down the stairs. I’d just call friends and be like, ‘can you pick me up some dinner?’
“But eventually I had to get out because I can’t just be in the house all the time. Nowadays I find the positive in things so I was like, ‘okay, after this I’m going to feel better’.”
A much needed diversion originated from a far-fetched source, bowling..
In her last year going after Louisiana State University – the powerhouse program directed by mentor Dennis Shaver – Hobbs won the 60m title at the NCAA Indoor Championships in Texas before blasting to triumph on a rain-absorbed track Oregon to take the NCAA open air 100m title in 10.91.
The earlier year Hobbs blitzed a 10.85 PB at the SEC Relays in April, however when it mattered the most she could do was finish fifth at the 2017 NCAA Championships in Eugene, running 11.12. She could without much of a stretch have turned professional at that point, however something didn’t feel right.
“I felt like I had a lot of work to do and I wasn’t in that much of a rush – I was being patient,” she says. “I loved LSU, even to this day. The team environment feels like a family and that’s very important.”
In her last year, Hobbs demonstrated top notch running, winning every 100m she competed in and breaking the 11-second boundary in 10 out of 12 races.
As she looks to 2019, there will be three primary targets:
“Diamond League meets, USA Champs and Worlds,” she says.
With only Dina Asher-Smith and Marie-Josée Ta Lou running as fast as Hobbs’s PB of 10.85 in 2018, reaching those heights in the Iaaf World Championships in Doha would surely strike her gold.