Nugent, though, has even bigger things on his mind.
“I’m feeling good and looking forward to seeing how everything turns out,” he said. “This is kind of a warm up for the Olympic Trials, but I’m here to compete. It should be interesting.”
That’s right, Nugent is set to compete in the Olympic Trials at the University of Oregon’s Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore. on June 23 at 9:30 a.m.
He said the entirety of his season has been spent in preparation for that one race.
“It’s all about peaking at the right time,” he said. “Of course, I want to win a national title and a team title, but it’s an Olympic year and it’s time to get ready for that as well.”
Still, Nugent is realistic about his chances.
“Unfortunately for me, right now there are some of the most legendary hurdlers of all time that are professional,” he said. “The next trials will be completely different though. I’ll be older and more experienced.”
Nugent, who is just 14 semester hours and one internship from receiving his degree in disaster studies, will no longer be eligible to compete in collegiate sports after this season. He said his intention is to turn professional as a hurdler after this season is over.
“Hopefully I land on a good agent,” he said. “All signs are pointing at going pro, so why not?”
Nugent said he is beside himself at the mere thought of a pro career in track.
“Coming out of high school, my thinking wasn’t of going professional; it was just to get through college,” he said. “I’ve done that, so now it’s on to the next step.”
Nugent said he is just happy to know his hurdling career will still have legs after this week.
“I still have track ahead of me no matter what,” he said. “If I don’t make the Olympic team, I’ve got a meet in Mexico coming up. It’s sort of like a Pro Bowl for college athletes. It’s the top-two in every event.”
Regardless of what his future holds, Nugent has some big races ahead this week.
“Now it’s just time to kick it into another gear,” he said. “It’s a very fun time.”
On Wednesday at 7:15 p.m., Nugent will run the lead leg on the Tigers’ 4x100 meter relay team, as it attempts to qualify for the final of that event on Saturday at 11:03 p.m.
However the relays turn out for LSU, Nugent said he knows he is done running them after this week.
“They’ll just put an Olympic team together with some fast 100 runners,” he said with a laugh. “They won’t need a hurdler.”
On Thursday at 6:50 p.m., Nugent will attempt to qualify for the finals in his bread-and-butter event: the 110 meter hurdles. The finals are at 12:07 p.m. on Saturday, June 9.