The steps in between the hurdles never synched up and Wichita States Natalie Morerod was laughing in disbelief when she crossed the finish line to conclude the 400-meter shuttle hurdle.
That was a little high school-esque, Morerod said.
But Morerod couldnt complain after Saturdays finale of the K.T. Woodman Classic hosted by WSU at Cessna Stadium.
Earlier in the day, the junior ripped off a 13.67-second run in the open 100 hurdles to claim victory. It was the closest she has looked to her All-American form since injuring her right foot at the start of February.
It feels good, Morerod said. I feel like a D-1 college athlete again.
Even with the goof-up at the conclusion of the meet, teammates and coaches were thrilled to see the old Morerod back.
Im so proud of her, said senior Tanya Friesen, who ran in the shuttle hurdle with Morerod. I know shes had it tough, but we all knew she was going to come back. I know shell be fine.
Assistant coach John Wise, who coaches hurdles, added: When she runs that way, she gets our whole group going.
Morerod said the exact injury hasnt been identified yet, but there is pain when she lands on the track after hurdling and also running the curves on the track.
Morerod runs both hurdles races and takes the curve leg on WSUs 400-meter relay team.
Basically, my bones dont get along, Morerod said. They dont want to be next to each other. If something gets worse, it could actually be pretty bad. So I just have to be cautious and theres a lot of maintenance involved.
A lot of tape in my future, she said, sticking out her foot.
With the Missouri Valley Conference meet four weeks away, Morerod is excited about the possibilities now .
Shes going to be in pain the rest of the season, theres no doubting that, but at least now Morerod can hope for a return trip to the NCAA Outdoor meet.
Im really happy about how today went, Morerod said. I feel like Im getting back to where I should be.
Wind problems WSU head coach Steve Rainbolt felt that many of the races by the Shockers were excellent, but the times may be misleading because of a strong headwind beating down on runners down the homestretch.
Even when you think the wind is assisting you, it can really throw you off because the wind was so strong, Rainbolt said.
Another Friesen performance After breaking the school record in the heptathlon, which also ranked her third in the nation, WSU senior Tanya Friesen set a personal-best to win the long jump with a leap of 20 feet, 3 inches.
It is less than eight inches away from the school record, which Friesen now has her eyes on.
In your senior year, its not so much about working on anything, Friesen said. Its going to come down to the little things. Its a lot of tweaking now.
But after stringing together two of her best performances as a Shocker, Friesen wont be surprised if the personal-bests keep coming.
When you come off of PRs, you have so much more confidence the next time you do an event, Friesen said. Its my senior year and I want to go out with a bang. I really think I can get that (long jump) record.
On Friday, WSUs Aliphine Tuliamuk-Bolton won the 1,500 meters with a time of 4:35.58 and the 5,000 with a time of 16:51.71. Emily Hornbeck won the 10,000, running it for her first time, with a time of 37:39.41.
Friday Event Winners
Javelin McPhail, Fort Hays St., 146-8. 1500 Tuliakmuk-Bolton, WSU, 4:35.58. Steeplechase Nolan, Oklahoma City, 10:56.21. 5000 Tuliamuk-Bolton, WSU, 16:51.71. 10,000 Hornbeck, WSU, 37:39.41.
Javelin Trimble, Lawrence Fit, 214-2. 1500 Barrientez, unattached, 3:52.74. Steeplechase Deir, Iowa Central, 9:22.73. 5000 Kisorio, unattached, 14:35.50. 10,000 Chakisso, Iowa Central, 30:41.54.
Saturday Event Winners
Hammer Andrews, Shocker TC, 203-2. Triple jump Grant, Missouri St., 41-0 1/2. Shot put Winters, Kansas St., 50-10. Pole vault Shimanek, Okla. Baptist, 12-5 1/2. High jump Rhoade, Central Okla., 5-9 1/4. Long jump Friesen, WSU, 20-3. Discus Garcia, WSU, 181-9. 100 hurdles Morerod, WSU, 13.67. 400 relay Kansas State (Williams, Farley, Twiss, Gibbs) 45.44. 400 Gaskin, Kansas St., 54.21. 100 Kimpel, Iowa Central, 11.36. 800 Helker, Okla. Baptist, 2:15.10. 400 hurdles Krais, Nike, 59.45. 200 Maximilien, Missouri St., 24.28. 200 Maximilien, Missouri St., 24.28. Shuttle hurdle relay Wichita St. (Andrews, Friesen, Thomas, Morerod) 58.00. 1600 relay Kansas St. (Gaskin, Kolmer, Williams, Gamble) 3:47.63.
Hammer Raynor, Johnson Co., 185-2. Triple jump Okonta, UMKC, 49-6 1/2. Shot put Hershberger, Kansas St., 56-5 1/2. Pole vault Savage, Kansas St., 16-11. High jump Ploude, Emporia St., 7-1 1/2. Long jump Bowry, Kansas St., 24-11 3/4. Discus Raynor, Johnson Co., 181-7. 400 relay Barton (Green, Berry, Cronwell, Winters) 40.68. 400 Hartnett, Shocker TC, 48.06. 110 hurdles Julmis, unattached, 13.69. 100 Lionel, Iowa Western, 10.47. 800 Sheperson, Okla. Baptist, 1:53.92. 400 hurdles Mack, Emporia St., 52.62. 200 Winters, Barton, 10.59. Shuttle hurdles relay Iowa Central (Caldwell, Gime, Ray, Brown) 1:00.10. 1600 relay Okla. Baptist (Allen, Hinton, Bish, Sheperson) 3:14.17.