By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– The 300 meter hurdle race is something that challenges an athlete mentally and physically for those who run in it.
Wilson McLean, who’s coming off his first series of races Thursday at 3A’s Jefferson High School, found himself flying solo at West Salem High School against some tough competition from Oregon City, Sheldon and Bend while donning his Salem Academy colors in the 110 meter and 300 meter hurdle races as he described the 300 meter race as:
“I mean you run that first 100 and depending on your first couple of hurdles, your feeling good. Then your coming into that corner, you want to maintain posture. Maintain good hurdle form and then you stare down the barrel of the gun as you come down that last 100 stretch. You just got to stay mentally tough and that’s what I felt that I did today. I love this race but my lord, when your coming down that back-stretch it’s like no other feeling. It’s like a bear that jumps on your back, it’s hard to run.”
Following his PR-effort at the 100 meter dash (11.37) that saw McLean finish eighth in the race that saw the host-West Salem take the top three spots; McLean lined up in the last heat, the fastest heat, of the 300 meter hurdle race knowing that his hands were full in front of him.
The gun goes off and McLean was middle of the pack on the back-stretch heading into the final 100 meters of the race and slowly moved to the front as they race came down to him and Oregon City’s Isreal Miles, 3A versus 6A as they dug in. McLean managed to get the best of Miles time by 0.31 of a second as McLean described the race as a ‘son of a gun’.
His time flashed up on the timer: 39.29.
Not that it’s a PR for McLean, it’s also break’s the Crusaders 15-year record in the event set by Lee Clarkson. That time was a 40.09 so McLean shattered it by a unbelievable 0.80 of a second as the senior truly starts his season.
“This feeling is sensational, again the competition was amazing for me so I feel like that pushed me to get that PR. I never broke a 40 before, it’s the first meet of the season for me other than Jefferson on Thursday, this is my first meet where I ran the 300 hurdles and then come out of the gates with a PR I mean…I feel just blessed, I’m so ready for the season because I can only imagine where it’ll go,” said McLean.
“I’m excited for our team, I’m excited how I’m going to do individually. It’s all excitement from here on out.”
The time in the 300 meter hurdles race was also too a meet record.