Hurdling to win

Brandon Woods, Staff Reporter

 

On Feb. 24, North’s Aaron Mallett competed in the prestigious Brooks PR Invitational in Seattle, Washington in February. This was a track meet for the top high school students in the country. Mallett competed and won the 60-meter high hurdles event with a blistering time of 7.8 seconds.

These athletes were able to compete in this meet due to a golden ticket invitation that was sent to their high school track coach. As for Mallett, the ticket was sent to Coach Dowling, who notified his senior track athlete about the ticket immediately.

“At first I didn’t know what it was, but once I read it I got excited,” Mallett said, who has a full-ride track scholarship to Iowa.

The meet was held in Seattle at the indoor facility of the University of Washington. This indoor track is considered the fastest track in the nation. As for Seattle, Mallett says that it is a very beautiful city, even though it was raining the whole time that he was there.

Besides the athletes who got invited along with him, Mallett traveled to Seattle alone. It didn’t bother him however, because he had a lot of supporters.

“Although I went by myself, I didn’t feel alone because I knew that I had people that would support me,” he said.

Once the athletes arrived in Seattle, they  received new spikes that they were able to keep, along with a warm up suit and a speed suit. Brooks sponsored these items.

Going into prelims of his event, Mallett didn’t feel nervous, because he knew that he would make it to finals.

“I felt like I was the best one out there,” he said.

Mallett finished second in his preliminary heat at a time of 7.83 behind Freddie Crittenden, whom is a former student of McCluer North.

“I wasn’t mad about coming in second, but I knew that I had to come back stronger during the finals,” Mallett said.

Thirty minutes later, it was time for the finals. Mallett said that he was so nervous that he was shaking. He was far more nervous than he would be in a normal meet.

After exploding from the blocks, and accelerating over each hurdle, Mallett soared across the finish line in first place at a time of 7.8 seconds. He finished two hundredths of a second in front of Crittenden, who finished second at 7.82. This time ranked Mallett as No. 2 in the state of Missouri at this event, and No. 3 in the nation.

“After winning, I just wanted to thank everyone who supported me and watched me the whole time that I was here,” he said. “I was ecstatic.”

At the award ceremony, Mallett stood on the first place podium with a huge smile on his face. As a first place winner, he received a golden shoe, which is a traditional award for first place winners. Mallett plans to get a glass case for his golden shoe, and hang it up on the wall in his room.