Hurdlers fine-tune skills, mentality for Nationals

The Newtonite

[media-credit name=”courtesy of Jack Prior” align=”alignright” width=”300″][/media-credit]

Junior Carla Forbes, who will be competing in Nationals, lands a 18 ft jump, achieving a record in the long jump at the MSTCA Division I State Relays Saturday, Jan. 21.
by Jacob Schwartz

Keeping the right mindset could help girls’ track’s hurdle team place better at the New Balance Indoor Track Nationals in New York tomorrow and Sunday, according to coach Joe Tranchita.

“We’ll need to see it as an opportunity to succeed and not as an opportunity to fail,” he said.

The spotlight will shine on the members of the hurdle team Saturday, who are the only members of the team participating in Nationals.

Senior Kayla Prior, a member of the hurdle team, which includes Prior, seniors Kayla Wong, Stephanie Brown and junior Carla Forbes, said she is excited for the event. “The best of the best are going to be there,” she said. “It’s a little scary, but it’s a good scary.”
The hurdle team will also need to go into its event with the right mentality about how it will clear the hurdles, Tranchita said. “They shouldn’t be trying to jump over the hurdles. It’s a sprint, and the key is to clear the hurdles as minimally as possible.”
Prior said the hurdle team’s goal is to achieve an All-American score, meaning it would have to score in sixth place or better. Last year, the team missed the All-American placing by only hundredths of seconds.
Tranchita said, “There won’t be any room for error. Every runner will have to be perfect and will all have to go beyond her personal record for us to achieve our goal.”

Forbes, a hurdler who will also compete in the long jump and triple jump at Nationals Sunday, has made a name for herself in the two events. Last year in Nationals, she won the long jump, and she won triple jump two years ago.

For Forbes, “The training is not really much different than for other events,” she said.

Sunday will mark the first time Forbes will have participated in the triple jump since the Dartmouth Relays, Saturday, Jan. 7. “Right now I’m just trying to get into the rhythm of the event,” she said.

While according to Forbes the atmosphere at Nationals can be stressful for anyone participating, Tranchita said the event is “only as different as the athletes make it. It will be more intense because the overall depth of talent will be increased, but that doesn’t change what our team is capable of.”
The team placed first in All–States Sunday, Feb. 26, outscoring Mansfield, who defeated the Tigers at All–States last year.