The 60 meter hurdles is just too short of an event for Tashina McAllister, who won the NCAA indoor championship there last month.
The senior likes more of a challenge, so there’s not a better race for her than the 400 meter hurdles, often regarded as the most difficult in track.
“It’s weird,” McAllister admits. “I didn’t try it until my sophomore year and my mom begged me to try them. I finally did and I fell in love with them.”
McAllister won the 400 meter hurdles, an event that only takes place outdoors, to open the outdoor season at the Wartburg Select in a time of 1:01.96.
After winning her first national title in March, she’s excited about transitioning into her favorite part of the track and field season.
“The way that I think about it is the 60 hurdles are actually my weaker hurdle event,” McAllister said. “Coming into practice I just take advantage of it. Just running (the 400 meter hurdles) hard when you get a chance.”
The other Wartburg competitor that won an individual national championship in Nebraska this season is Colt Feltes in the shot put.
The three weeks off from competition before the outdoor season didn’t have much of an effect on him as he set a school record with a throw of 56 feet, 4 inches Saturday.
“That last school record was really bothering me so I wanted to get it back,” said Feltes, who now holds the outdoor records in the shot put, discus and hammer throw and the indoor records in the shot put and weight throw.
He and Jonas Elusme combined to give Wartburg its first team trophy with a fourth-place finish at the NCAA indoor championships.
“I don’t think people realize how big of an accomplishment that was,” Wartburg head coach Marcus Newsom said. “The great thing about our men’s team is we’re a very humble team. I’m very proud of how they’ve handled being humble and kind of their drive and their fight and their attitude toward that.”
Feltes hopes to win another championship outdoors, but isn’t worried about losing during the outdoor season. He’s more focused on individual goals.
“If you compare yourself to the guys at the top, some day you might be that person at the top, then who do you compare yourself to? So I always kind of just beat on myself and I try to up myself every week,” Feltes said.