EUGENE, Ore.– A year ago at the State Meet as a freshman, Emily Scanlan was a trip away from finishing higher than eighth-place of the 100 meter hurdles.
The journey back to the 100 meter hurdle finals was anything but easy for now-sophomore Scanlan, injuries slowed her down along the way to the point that she thought about hanging it up.
But Scanlan battled and stayed the course as she took home the District Title with rhe support of her family behind her.
“This season has been the most rewarding season that I’ve had,” said Scanlan. “I mean I’ve only had two-years of track since I’m a sophomore and just battling through injuries and mental trials and stuff, it’s just an amazing blessing and I’m really thankful that I was able to stick with it with the support of my family.”
Entering the State Meet the sophomore PR’d with a knee brace on the knee she hyper-extended during the middle part of the season with a 16.06, good enough for sixth-fastest overall entering the second day.
“Well yesterday I was extremely that I was able to make it to Finals today and I don’t know if there’s any better feeling than what I’m feeling,” said Scanlan with a smile and a laugh.
More of that feeling momentarily as she entered the blocks on Day 2 of the finals, Scanlan shed the brace and replaced it with tape as she lined up for the race.
“My goal was to really be focused and I knew what I wanted, so I set out to get that in this race and just focusing everything, all I’ve worked for in the season was my goal and if I didn’t finish first, still I’m in the Top 8 and I’m proud of accomplishing that,” said Scanlan.
With that in mind, Scanlan lined up and went; and something was just right about Saturday as she was clearing the hurdles with ease.
Perhaps it was going without the brace, perhaps it was it was a good day with the sun and the dry weather; but once she was nearing the end, she knew something was right.
“I felt really good actually, my knee has been healing and I think today, like not running with my knee brace for the first-time ever this year, I’m really thankful it paid off and I didn’t injure it that,” starts Scanlan on the mojo and the knee. “I don’t know, maybe.”
She crosses the line, takes a quick look around and falls to her knees in excitment for winning the State Championship Title in another PR of 15.29, nearly a full second faster than Friday and 0.19 than second-place.
“Probably the last..after the last hurdle and I didn’t see anyone in my peripheral vision and I was like, ‘Holy smokes, am I in first?!? What is going on?!?,” said Scanlan. “And I crossed the finish-line and then I saw them pass it and I was like, “Oh my gosh, this is really happening’.
Scanlan found it hard to describe the emotion outside of happiness as she took the podium for first-place, but knows it’ll be a lot of work to return to this honor as a junior in 2018.
“Pure happiness,” Scanlan said of the moment as she starts to look ahead to her junior year. “Just do the best that I can bercause this year I feel like I gave it my all and if I come back next year, and if I don’t make it to finals or if I don’t win in finals; then I’ll still be proud of myself for whatever far I do.”