(Photos by Zach Jevne) [Order this photo]
Hard work and confidence paid off in a state championship for Taylor Glover Friday afternoon. The Spencer senior, who is no stranger to placing at the state meet, won the Class 3A Girls 400-meter hurdles for her first state title.
"My ultimate goal was to win it, and it feels so amazing to have accomplished it," Glover said following the race, which she won by over a second. "I just feel amazing right now because I knew I could do it but it's the fact you have to go do it. I was so nervous before the race I almost got sick and I usually am never that bad. I just told myself not to psych myself out and just go out there and run, and that's what I did and it all worked out."
She took to the hurdling events like a natural, winning conference, districts and placing fifth at the Drake Relays in the 400 hurdles. Glover also has been a key addition to the Spencer girls' shuttle hurdle team, which qualified for Saturday's final with the second-fastest time in 3A.
It may have looked natural this spring, but it was Glover's hard work that made it look so easy. Extra work in the off-season, mixed in with her other two sports paid off.
"Coach (Al) Pierce mentioned (running hurdles) after last year's track season, and with volleyball and basketball, it almost seemed impossible," Glover said. "But Ali Meister and I would go in at 6 a.m. to do hurdle drills twice a week through the fall and all winter. That kind of got the awkwardness of doing the hurdles out of the way. If I hadn't done that, I wouldn't be here right now."
Glover run away from the competition down the straight-away, defeating runner-up Kaleigh Haus of Carlisle by over a second.
Glover already had finished sixth in the open 400 on Thursday and her anchor leg of the 4x400 relay put Spencer into the finals with an eighth place finish in prelims, in the day's final event. She'll run the shuttle hurdle relay with Meister, Kelli Kramer (who was also in the 400 hurdles Friday and finished 14th) and Karis Rhode.
Glover will run at Minnesota State University-Mankato next year.