Kirtland junior Katie Straus has rewritten the school record books this season and thanks to her performance at the Division II regional meet at Austintown Fitch High School she’ll get one more crack at improving on her times.
Straus finished second in the 100-meter hurdles and third in the 300 hurdles to advance in both events to next week’s state track meet at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus.
“There was nothing to be upset about,” Straus said. “When I saw the 100-meter time I was extremely pleased. I had been wanting to break 15 (seconds) and in the 300 I was hoping to make it out of the regional finals.”
Straus ran a time of 14.9 seconds in the finals of the 100-meter hurdles to shatter her own school record of 15.22 seconds. In Thursday’s preliminary heats she tied the school record in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 45.3 seconds and in Saturday’s finals she finished third with a time of 45.48 seconds.
“In the 300, it felt great,” Straus said. “It was funny because it was right down to the tenths of a second. I have one last week to try and get lower than that time.”
Both hurdle events were highly competitive.
Defending 300-meter hurdle state champion Jasmine Harris of Orange won both the 100 and 300 and Hathaway Brown’s Sophie Richards joined Harris and Straus in the top three of both races.
“It was fast,” Straus said. “It’s a different feeling when you have everyone next to you. They’re there and they make you faster. I think that’s why I was able to make my time go down so much.”
Straus believes she thrives on the competition and running against Harris in particular has helped her to set new personal bests.
“I know she’s fast,” Straus said of Harris. “I have to really push myself to be able to stay next to her and compete with her. Having her as a competitor really pushes me to be faster over and in between the hurdles.”
With just one week left in the 2015 season, Straus is focused on the state meet and being mentally and physically ready to compete. To remain stress free she’ll likely resort to some unconventional activities.
“This week just try and approach it and be really relaxed,” she said. “I don’t want to overthink it too much and be too stressed out to where I show up and drop the ball. I guess I’ll just keep trying to distract myself. Maybe I’ll clean my room. That will do it.”