Photo: The Belmont “Hurdle Squad”: Joy He, Knar Krafian, Sam Lu and Sarah Firth.
Talk about hitting the mark.
Belmont High School’s “Hurdle Squad” – junior Joy He, sophomores Knar Krafian, Sam Lim and Sarah Firth – had one chance to reach the qualifying time in the unique 4×55 meter Shuttle Hurdle Relay to qualify for the 2019 New Balance Nationals Indoor in New York City in early March.
The squad came to the Reggie Lewis Center on Sunday, Feb. 10 to compete in the apt name MSTCA “Last Chance to Qualify Meet” with one thing in mind: 34.44 seconds, the time they needed to reach to punch their tickets to the Big Apple. The girls knew they were fast having won the 4×50 yard hurdle relay at the MSTCA Indoor Division 2 Relay in 30.85 seconds.
Now a little about the event. The shuttle hurdles is hardly seen by even track fans as it takes place in relay meets. Each of four hurdlers on a team runs the opposite direction from the preceding runner. It’s a shuttle as no baton is used, when the runner crosses the line, the next takes off much like swimming relays. The event can at times be the roller derby of track with barriers flying and runners falling into other teams lanes.
Held early in the meet, the squad was matched up against a very good Andover team. By the time Firth took off on the anchor leg, Belmont needed a power run from Belmont’s best hurdler this season. And the second year runner crossed the time slightly behind Andover. But it wasn’t the placement, it was the time. The time came up on the scoreboard. Belmont: 34.44. On the button.
The “Hurdle Squad” is heading to New York City. Enjoy the backpacks of swag.