The Duncan Banner

May 21, 2013

Hurdling past the competition

Sean Gorman
The Duncan Banner

DUNCAN — Since the start of her high school track career, Duncan hurdler Rebecca Brewer has earned back to back trips to the Class 5A State Tournament, three state medals and an invitation to this year’s Meet of Champions.

Believe it or not, she’s only getting started.

The sophomore has burst onto the scene in her first two years with the Lady Demons, including fourth and sixth places finishes in the 100 and 300 meter hurdle events at this year’s state tournament, respectively.

“It’s taken a lot of practice, a lot of mechanics and a lot of nights being one of the last ones there working with the coaches,” Brewer said. “The expectations have gotten larger each year, and I think there are a lot of people on the team returning who can make even more of a difference next season.”

When Brewer first competed in middle school, she had no idea what would unfold on the track in the years to come.

“I did track in middle school and honestly I didn’t think it would be something that I’d be good at,” Brewer said. “But I continued doing it my freshman year, and that’s when I began to excel.”

 That freshman season was capped off by what Brewer called the turning point of her career: competing at her first state tournament in the 100 meter hurdle and earning a sixth place finish that she had not anticipated.

“Last year at state was a key moment. I didn’t think I was even going to make it to state, didn’t think I would medal,” Brewer said “I had qualified with 50 seconds at regionals and out of the blue I ran the event in 48 seconds. I was able to slip into sixth place. It was quite exciting.”

After finishing her first full year of high school track on a high note, Brewer ran into difficulty at the start of her sophomore campaign. Challenging weather conditions, a midseason leg injury and heightened expectations all served as hurdles Brewer had to take on off the track.

“This year kind of got off to a rough start,” Brewer said. “The weather wasn’t the greatest and I pulled something in my leg. It didn’t ever stop me from competing, but I could never stretch it out.”

Brewer had finally healed from the injury by the time regionals came around, and it certainly showed. A third place finish in the 100 and 300 hurdle events and a fifth place ranking in the 100 meter dash led Brewer to qualify for state in three different events.

When it comes to handling the pressure of performing, Brewer turns to her faith. She prays before every race, something she says puts her in the right state of mind to compete.

“ I feel like this year there was more pressure on me, with people thinking ‘she went to state last year, she should do better’” Brewer said. “Prayer really helps a lot. I always pray that I dont fall or get injured and pray for my opponents out there, that they also dont get hurt.”

In the earlier stages of her career, Brewer pointed to improving her trail leg, strides and timing of her jump as challenges she has overcome to achieve success.

“You just gotta trust yourself. That’s where I was having problems, I would stutter before the hurdles,” Brewer said. “I don’t think I’ve ever really been afraid of falling though. I just think ‘If I get over the hurdle, I’ll be okay.’”

A big part of what drives Brewer each race is the group of people she’s constantly trying to beat. By the end of her sophomore season, Brewer said she recognized most of the competition and knew what their times were.

“I could name most of them,” Brewer said. “Like anyone competing in something, I would go online and check their stats. I know a lot of the girls this year were seniors, so that made me feel really food any time I would beat them.”

As her career continues to take off, Brewer knows that this is just the beginning. Expectations will continue to be raised, including her newest goal of finishing in the Top 3 at next year’s state meet.

At this rate, Brewer has as good a shot as any to turn those future expectations into a reality.