Before she laced up her spikes Friday, Avrie Welton said she was going to win the Class A championship in the 300 low hurdles.
The Omaha Central junior backed up that declaration Saturday with a gutty performance that helped ease the sting of not making it to state in the high jump. One of the state’s top high jumpers entering the postseason, Welton no-heighted at the District A-1 meet.
It was a tough week leading up to state for Welton, who said she got through it with a lot of prayer and support from one of her teachers at Central, Jimmy Foster.
Welton started the race strong, which she said was a must if she was going to be the first runner to the finish after qualifying with just the sixth-fastest time from Friday’s prelims.
“I knew what I had to do,” Welton said. “I had to be the very first one over the very first hurdle.”
She was the first runner over every hurdle, including the last one, the one that proved to be the hardest to clear. Welton admitted she was running out of steam at the end because she had put so much effort to get to that point.
Welton stutter-stepped before leaping over the last hurdle and fell across the finish line, exhausted, just ahead of freshman teammate Madalyn Buller, who was second in 46.03.