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Wichita State hurdler Morerod back on track

  • Eagle correspondent
  • Published Saturday, April 13, 2013, at 10:15 p.m.
  • Updated Sunday, April 14, 2013, at 8:40 a.m.

The steps in between the hurdles never synched up and Wichita State’s 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 couldn’t complain after Saturday’s 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.

“I’m so proud of her,” said senior Tanya Friesen, who ran in the shuttle hurdle with Morerod. “I know she’s had it tough, but we all knew she was going to come back. I know she’ll 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 hasn’t 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 WSU’s 400-meter relay team.

“Basically, my bones don’t get along,” Morerod said. “They don’t 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 there’s 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 .

She’s going to be in pain the rest of the season, there’s no doubting that, but at least now Morerod can hope for a return trip to the NCAA Outdoor meet.

“I’m really happy about how today went,” Morerod said. “I feel like I’m 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, it’s not so much about working on anything,” Friesen said. “It’s going to come down to the little things. It’s a lot of tweaking now.”

But after stringing together two of her best performances as a Shocker, Friesen won’t 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. “It’s my senior year and I want to go out with a bang. I really think I can get that (long jump) record.”

On Friday, WSU’s 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

Women

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.

Men

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

Women

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.

Men

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.

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