United States track and field star Aries Merritt returned to his alma mater, Wheeler High School for a visit with students Friday, Oct. 5. The Class of 2003 graduate shared his experiences winning the gold medal in the 110-meter hurdles at the 2012 Olympic Summer Games and breaking the world record last month at a meet in Belgium. Merritt was joined by Kevin Young, who won Olympic gold in hurdles during the 1992 summer games in Barcelona, Spain. After an enthusastic welcome from the Wheeler student body, the duo of elite hurdlers encouraged students to focus on their studies and set high goals for themselves.
The 27-year-old Merritt’s star rose while running for Wheeler, where he captured the 2003 individual title in hurdles and led the Wildcats team to its state championship the same year. Merritt went on to break records during college at the University of Tennessee and earn Olympic gold in London.