At the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China, Queen Harrison became Virginia Tech’s first female Olympian. At 19 years old, she was the youngest athlete on the 2008 USA Olympic track team.
Queen’s path to success was unconventional and not without its challenges. As an adolescent, both Queen’s parents were incarcerated. Despite their absence, and under the continued guidance of her three older sisters, Queen remained focused and acquired a level of determination and mental toughness far beyond her years.
It was this determination and toughness that saved Queen from falling victim to her circumstances, becoming instead an Olympian, NCAA Champion and a true competitor both on and off the track. Queen moved from Loch Sheldrake, NY to Richmond, Virginia during her sixth grade year and joined the Hermitage High School’s track team as an effort to make friends. During her senior year, Queen caught the attention of Virginia Tech coach, Lawrence Johnson.
As a freshman at Virginia Tech, she placed 3rd in the 400-meter hurdles at the NCAA Championships and burst onto the international scene when she won the Pan American Junior Championships in the 400-meter hurdles and took silver in the 100-meter hurdles.
After dominating the field in the women’s 400-meter hurdles at NCAA East Regional during her sophomore year, Queen was forced to withdraw from the NCAA National Championships due to a hamstring injury. Although distraught, she took the time to rest and prepare for the 2008 U.S Olympic Trials which were taking place in Oregon a few weeks later. At these Trials, Queen leapt into the Virginia Tech track record books. After coming off the 9th hurdle in 5th place, Queen adjusted her stride to avoid fellow competitor Miriam Barnes, who had fallen into Queen’s lane, and made up almost 10 meters to finish 2nd, securing her spot on the USA Olympic team bound for Beijing, China.
Queen’s campaign into the history books did not end there, however. In her final year as a Virginia Tech athlete, Queen took gold medals in the 60-meter hurdles, 100-meter hurdles and 400-meter hurdles at the NCAA Championships, becoming the first female athlete in NCAA history to win all three events at the national meets. As a result of her efforts that season, Queen was awarded with the highest honor for a collegiate track and field athlete, the Bowerman Award.
In 2011, Queen over came early season injuries to finish runner-up at the USA Championships. She went on to reach the semi-final at the World Championships in Daegu, South Korea.
During the 2012 season, Queen got off to a great start but her Olympic dream ended in the semifinal of the U.S. Olympic Trials where she was disqualified in the 400-meter hurdles after a controversial false start ruling. Despite this setback, Queen shifted focused to the 100-meter hurdles for the remainder of the year and finished the season ranked No. 7 in the world.
During the 2013 season, Queen had her best post-collegiate season thus far. She started off the season strong, winning the Drake Relays against a competitive field. She then, again in Des Moines, at the USA Outdoor Championships finished runner-up, posting the 2nd fastest time in the world of the season and clinching her spot on the USA World Team. Queen is currently ranked 5th in the world in the 100mH, after the World Championships held in Moscow, Russia.
Ranked 5th in the World in 2013 – 100mH, 2nd fastest 100mH time in the world in 2013, 2013 USA Outdoor 100mH Runner-up, 2012 2nd place at Lausanne, Zurich, Berlin and Zagreb, 2011 World Championships Semi-finalist 2010 NCAA Champion – 60m hurdles, 100m hurdles, 400m hurdles, First ever athlete to win the 100m Hurdle and 400m Hurdle double at the same NCAA Championships, 2008 Olympian, 3 time USA Outdoor Championships Runner-up, Bowerman Award Winner 2010, 2008 ACC Women’s Performer of the YearQueen's website »