Hurdles in track and field explained

By Ed Rietveld

Imagine running full speed and trying to cross the finish line with the fastest time possible, but there are barriers that block the way. Jumping over those barriers is the only way to reach that finish line.

This is what hurdlers in track and field face when they run. There are two different hurdling events in collegiate women’s track and field. The 60 meters, which is run during the indoor season, and the 100 meters, which is run during the outdoor season. In the 60 meters there are five hurdles, and they are evenly spaced; the 100 meters has 10 hurdles.

Senior sprinter Megan Gregory competes in both events for the Huskies as well as the regular 60 meters and 100 meters. Earlier this season, she placed sixth in the 60-meter hurdles at the MAC indoor track and field championships.

“Some of the things I focus on are just making sure I pull my trail leg over and execute once I go over one hurdle,” Gregory said. “[I need to] execute and get to the next hurdle as quick as I can.”

Gregory said running hurdles quickly became something she enjoyed competing in after she first tried them.

“I started running hurdles…in seventh grade,” Gregory said. “It was just something new to try in track and I loved them a lot. It became my favorite event.”

Gregory isn’t the only NIU track and field member to take on the hurdles. Senior Jenelle McCalla, junior Natalie Tarter and sophomores Michaela Dwyer and Lydia Mitchell competed in the 60 meter hurdles in the indoor season.

As with anything new, Gregory said it takes some time perfecting her hurdles technique.

“Absolutely, it takes some getting use to,” Gregory said. “You [have got to] be used to having those barriers there and kind of taking control and not letting them intimidate you.”