2012 Olympic Trials champion (12.93)
2012 USA Indoor champion (7.43)
2011 USA Outdoor runner-up (13.12)
Third at 2009 USA Outdoors (13.15)
2012 Olympic gold medalist (12.92)
2012 World Indoor gold medalist (7.44)
2005 World Junior champion (13.56)
2006 NCAA champion (13.21)
Awards and Honors
2012 Diamond League champion
Seven-time NCAA All-American
2012 USATF Fans' Choice Awards Breakthrough Athlete of the Year winner
Aries Merritt had a season in 2012 most only dream of. When he ran his final race of the year, Merritt owned an Olympic gold medal, World Indoor title and the world 110m hurdles record (12.80), shattering Dayron Robles' previous WR of 12.87 set in 2008. Before 2012 Merritt's personal best was 13.09 (2007). First determined he would be a hurdler when his high school coach witnessed him jumping a fence, Merritt credits much of his recent success to altering his approach to the first hurdler from eight to seven steps. In 2012 he ran the seven fastest times in the world and his eight sub-13-second races stands as the most ever run in a single season. After an outstanding career at the University of Tennessee, Merritt decided to forgo his senior season to pursue a professional career in track and field. Merritt left Tennessee with 14 total school, meet or facility records, including every high hurdles school record, in his possession. He finished the 2006 college season undefeated in every 55m hurdles, 60m hurdles and 110m hurdles race he finished, including prelims and finals, for a record of 18 wins. In 2006, he broke the 24-year-old Univ. of Tennessee school record of Willie Gault and the SEC meet record (13.29) held by two-time Olympic silver medalist Terrence Trammell. Merritt won the 110m hurdles at the 2006 NCAA championships in 13.21 seconds, breaking Greg Foster’s NCAA meet record of 13.22 in 1978 and lowering his own school record (13.22)—only National Track & Field Hall of Famer Renaldo Nehemiah from the University of Maryland has ever run faster at the collegiate level (13.00, 1979). While at Tennessee he won the Ed Murphey Award (for most outstanding performance) and Most Valuable Track Athlete Award in 2005. As a prep star in Georgia, Merritt was one of only eight hurdlers nationally named to USA Today's All-USA High School Team. During his senior year of high school, he went undefeated in the 110m hurdles. Merritt won the 2003 Georgia state 5A title in the 110m hurdles and took runner-up honors in the 300m hurdles. He also received Best Performance trophies at the 2003 5A Georgia state championships for running a 13.76 in the 110m hurdles and 36.71 in the 300m hurdles at the state meet. Merritt is extremely involved in community outreach and has coached youth in Knoxville, Tenn.
2012: Olympic gold medalist (12.92); Olympic Trials champion (12.93); 1st in Brussels (12.80 WR); 1st in Berlin ISTAF (12.97); 1st in Birmingham (12.95); 1st at Monaco (12.93); 1st at London Grand Prix (12.93); 2nd at Pre Classic (12.96); 4th at Shanghai (13.26); 1st at Daegu (13.21); World Indoor champion (7.44); USA Indoor champion (7.43); 6th at Birmingham Grand Prix (7.55); 3rd at Millrose Games (7.53).
2011: 5th at World Outdoors (13.67); 2nd at USA Outdoors (13.12); 1st at Oslo (13.12); 3rd at Prefontaine (13.18); 1st at Houston Leonard Hilton Indoor Invitational (7.63); 1st at Houston Invitational indoor (7.46); 1st at Birmingham indoor (7.49).
2009: 3rd at USA Outdoors (13.15); 2nd in Ostrava (13.15); 2nd at Reebok GP (13.28).
2008: 4th at Olympic Trials (13.27); 5th in 110mH at adidas Track Cassic (13.54); 2nd in 110mH at Reebok Grand Prix (13.24).
2007: 6th at USA Outdoor (13.24); 1st at Stockholm (13.09PR); 8th at USA Indoors (7.72); 1st at Millrose Games (7.61); 5th in Reebok Grand Prix (13.2); 5th at Nike Prefontaine Classic (13.42).
2006: 1st at NCAA Outdoors (13.21); 6th at USA Outdoors (13.43); 5th at Lausanne (13.12PR); 1st at Stockholm (13.17).
2005: World Junior champion (13.56); 5th at NCAA Outdoors (13.56); 7th at USA Outdoors (13.39); 1st at SEC Champs (13.38); 5th at NCAA Indoors 60mH (7.77); 1st at NCAA Mideast Regional (13.64).
2004: 4th at NCAA Outdoors (13.47); runner-up at USA Junior Champs (13.84); 16th in prelims at NCAA Indoors (7.85); 5th at Mideast Regional 400mH (53.06).
USA/World Rankings and Personal Bests
2012: Indoor bests – 60m hurdles, 7.43 (No. 2 in the USA, No. 3 in the world); Outdoor bests – 12.80WR (No. 1 in the USA, No. 1 in the world by T&FN)
2011: Indoor bests – 60m hurdles, 7.46 (No. 2 in the USA, No. 2 in the world); Outdoor bests – 110m hurdles, 13.12 (No. 3 in the USA by T&FN, No. 5 in the world by T&FN)
2010: Indoor bests – 60m hurdles, 7.66 (No. 15 in the USA, No. 35 in the world); Outdoor bests – 110m hurdles, 13.61
2009: Indoor bests – 60m hurdles, 7.68 (No. 13 in the USA, No. 31 in the world); Outdoor bests – 110m hurdles, 13.15 (No. 5 in the USA, No. 7 in the world by T&FN, ranked No. 4 in the USA by T&FN)
2008: Indoor bests – 60m hurdles, 7.65 (No. 9 in the USA, No. 25 in the world); Outdoor bests – 110m hurdles, 13.24 (No. 7 in the USA, No. 10 in the world, ranked No. 5 in the USA & ranked No. 6 in the world by T&FN)
2007: Indoor bests – 60m hurdles, 7.61 (No. 7 in the USA, No. 16 in the world); Outdoor bests – 110m hurdles, 13.09 (No. 4 in the USA, No. 6 in the world)
2006: Indoor bests – 60m hurdles, 7.51 (No. 3 in the USA, No. 4 in the world); Outdoor bests – 110m hurdles, 13.12 (No. 4 in the USA, No. 6 in the world by T&FN, ranked No. 3 in the USA by T&FN)
2005: Indoor bests – 60m hurdles, 7.72 (No. 14 in the USA, No. 41 in the world); Outdoor bests – 110m hurdles, 13.38 (No. 12 in the USA, No. 21 in the world)
2004: Indoor bests – 60m hurdles, 7.85; Outdoor bests – 110m hurdles, 13.47 (No. 19 in the USA, No. 44 in the world)