My record-breaking hurdle race

By Katharina Guth | May | June 2020
Nerve-racking, adrenaline-pumping occasions create an exciting life. I have experienced many during my participation in sports competitions, but I will always remember one particular situation: my record-breaking hurdles race at the 2018 track finals at San Lorenzo Valley Middle School. It was on May 18, starting at 4:00 p.m. My nerves were going crazy since the day before. The qualifying meet was the week prior, and I had received my worst time and placement ever: 10.5 seconds and third place overall. I usually get around 10.1 seconds and first place, so the increase in my time resulted in me being very anxious before the race. Not only were these the finals, but it was my last chance to break the B-girls 55m hurdles record, because next year, I wouldn’t be a B-girl anymore. Our team warmed up 15 minutes before the start of the meet. After that, we still had time to hurdle before Ms. Kiel called us. Three other SLVMS hurdlers, Lila, Lucy, and Braelyn, and I prepared ourselves for the race. At 4:00 p.m., Ms. Kiel called all hurdle finalists to the clerk of the course. It was exciting, and my adrenaline was pumping. There, my friends and I waited until finally, it was our turn to race. I was always anxious before a race, but these were the finals, and because I had acquired such a terrible result in the qualifying meet, I was feeling even more anxious. When the time came, we walked into our assigned lanes and waited. When one is nervous, time goes by a lot slower; it becomes agonizing. I was waiting in lane three. My brain was telling me to calm down, that I will receive a medal, and that is the important thing, but I did not acknowledge this — I was too stressed out. Finally, before the gunman, Ed Farrell shot the gun, I was able to calm myself down. I told myself that this race did not matter; it did not matter if I looked good, if I scored well, or even if I broke the record. Because of this, I was able to concentrate on stretching and getting ready for Ed Farrell’s terrible start. Ed Farrell always starts differently: sometimes he says “on your marks” and immediately shoots the gun, or he waits five seconds and then shoots. Racers have to be ready for his starts because if they are distracted, they will start late. After my supportive talk, Ed Farrell walked us to the starting line, got us into position, said “on your marks,” and immediately shot the gun. The race was about 10 seconds long. As soon as I went over the second hurdle, I was ahead by two meters. I came in first and asked the lady for my time: 9.45 seconds. I was stunned. I had both broken my PR, and the school record, which was 9.85 seconds. I shrieked and alerted my friends. It was one of the best moments of my life. Together, we placed top five. Only a Scotts Valley girl got between us and received third place. Mr. Richey took a picture of us, and everyone was rejoicing. It was a proud moment, and I am so glad that I got to share it with my friends! We had trained hard and had fun while doing it. That’s what sports are supposed to be: fun and done with friends. I would never have broken the record without the help and support of my friends, family, and especially my coach. It was a marvelous experience!

Katharina Guth is a student at San Lorenzo Valley High School in the San Lorenzo Valley Unified School District

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Association of California School Administrators