Kelvin Reese, born four years before Terry, ran 13.97 as a senior in high school. If you look up the national high school list from that year you'll find his name just a bit under Roger Kingdom's. Terry chased that mark through his high school career but could come no closer than 14.11 as a senior. That time helped get him a scholarship to North Carolina State, where his brother also competed.
"I was trying to develop a rivalry," Reese says of his freshman year, when he and his brother worked out together. "He was somewhat injured that year. The one time when I had chance to race him was at the ACC meet. He didn't make it out of his preliminary race and I did, so I didn't get to run him head-to-head."
In the next three seasons of hurdling for the Wolfpack, Reese progressed to an altitude-aided 13.74. He won only one Atlantic Coast Conference crown, the indoor title in 1989; outdoors he placed no higher than 2nd. He made the NCAA final his last year, finishing a modest 7th. All in all, Reese had a decent collegiate career, but no one in 1989 pegged him as an Olympic prospect.
Working without a coach for the next five years, Reese persevered but made little progress. In 1992 he ran only 13.93 and failed to qualify for the Olympic Trials. In 1993 he ran only indoors. The next year, he PRed with a 13.72 at the Penn Relays. At nationals, he made it to the semis.
Finally, working as an assistant coach at N.C. State, Reese decided to get serious in 1995. For the first time since his college days he signed on with a coach, Trevor Graham. "When I was coaching myself, things didn't quite work the way I had planned," says Reese. "The change definitely put me to the next level."
The results came fast. For the first time, Reese made the final in the USA Indoor Championships, finishing 6th. Outdoors just three weeks later, he smashed his PR with a 13.46 clocking on his home track. In May he made it down to 13.37. His "big moment," he says, came in Sacramento at the USA Championships, where he ran a wind-aided 13.23 to make the finals. Once there, he finished 4th, just 0.13 away from the team. In a brief European vacation, Reese ran six races, never finishing worse than 4th. He clocked a PR 13.33 in Lucerne. In the course of his season he never ran slower than 13.61, a time that would have been a PR a year earlier.
"There were some things that we had to hold off on last year because I was learning so much," says Reese. In the Olympic year, "I'm looking forward to even faster times than I ran last year. There's a good chance that I can run in the 13.0 range."
If Reese sounds competitive, that's not by coincidence. "Ever since I began going into hurdling, I just fell in love with it," Reese says. "I'm a very competitive person. Anything I do, I want it to be competitive. If I'm out with my friends and we're going to the putt-putt course, it's a big challenge. If we're going to the bowling alley, it's a big challenge."
He confesses that he has given up racquetball for now, after his over-competitiveness caused him to injure an ankle. Off the track, he may just stick to the challenge of miniature golf. "That's a lot safer."
Born June 20, 1967 in Orlando, Fl 6-1/1.85m 170/77kg Oak Ridge HS (Orlando) '85 North Carolina State '89 unattached PRs (outdoor): 110H--13.33 '95 (13.23w '95) TJ--48-2.5/14.69 '85 PRs (indoor): 55H--7.08 '95 60H--7.60 '96 Major Meets (110H unless noted): 1986 dq-s)USA Junior 1986 11)USA Junior TJ 1988 6h)NCAA Indoor 55H 1988 3h)NCAA 1988 6h)USA 1988 7s)Olympic Trials 1989 3h)USA Indoor 55H 1989 7)NCAA 1989 8s)USA 1993 4h)USA Indoor 60H 1994 7s)USA 1995 6)USA Indoor 60H 1995 4)USA 1996 6h)USA Indoor 60H