This was the first year that Wilson junior Rachel Glenn tried her hand in the hurdles, and it ended in gold as Glenn won the 300 hurdles in 41.71. It was a fitting end for Glenn, who initially wanted nothing to do with the event.
“I had to trick her into it,” said Wilson assistant coach Shannon Fisher. “I told her it was a high jump workout.”
“Oh I didn’t want anything to do with the hurdles,” said Glenn. “I feel a little differently now.”
The win was made bittersweet by the rushed circumstances of the meet. Glenn was trying to defend her state championship in the high jump at the same time as the 300 hurdles was going. She jumped over 5-6 and 5-7 with ease, won the 300 hurdles by a second, then ran directly back over to the high jump.
Glenn and the Wilson coaches were frustrated because they didn’t feel she was given adequate time to recover before going back into high jump competition, where she ended up missing three jumps at 5-8 to finish in second.
“It was frustrating, I was really sad about it,” said Glenn.
“I’m not going to disguise how I feel about it,” said Wilson coach Neil Nelson. “I disagree with some of the changes they made–they raised the bar one inch at a time instead of two inches at a time which prolonged the event. She didn’t get enough time to recover. After the high jump she was up there crying, she felt embarrassed. You tell her there’s nothing to be embarrassed about, they took it from you–now go get this 4×4.”
Glenn was trying to tie Lakeisha Backus, Lashinda Demus, Kinshasa Davis, and Ebony Collins as the only Wilson athletes with three individual state championships. She’ll still have her senior year to put herself in the history books for Wilson and the Moore League. The only two league athletes with more than three individual state titles are Poly’s Ariana Washington (six) and Bryshon Nellum (four).
When the dust had settled, she was able to appreciate winning the 300 hurdles in her first year competing.
“When I got off the track I didn’t get to enjoy the moment because I had to get back to the high jump,” she said. “Now, realizing that I won, it means so much. I never thought I’d make it this far in my first year, let alone to win.
Nelson was pleased with the day on the whole, as every Wilson competitor on Saturday reached the podium with a top six finish.
“The point was to make it to Saturday and then the point was to get on the podium,” he said. “Everyone who competed today got on the podium, I’m happy with that.”
Both Bruins relays placed well at the end of the day, and Armando Bryson finished sixth in the 800.
“Today is a blessing,” said Bryson. “This time last year I was at a youth track meet running with other kids that didn’t make the state meet. I saw this as the cream of the crop, it was the biggest thing in the world–and I made it.”
Wilson will have quite a bit of talent returning next year with a big group led by Glenn, who will be the brightest star in the sport going into her senior season with lots of history on the line.
“Rachel’s future is bright, our future is bright,” said Nelson. “This is just the beginning.”
Boys’ 800: Armando Bryson (Wilson, 6th, 1:52.97)
Girls’ 300 Hurdles: Rachel Glenn (Wilson, 1st, 41.71)
Girls’ 4×400: Long Beach Poly (1st, 3:46.23; Quwshaya Peters, Saundria Martin, Samina Haddad, Kenya Payne), Wilson (4th, 3:49.84, Diona Griffith, Maya Bryson, Rachel Glenn, Tyler Nettles)
Boys’ 4×400: Long Beach Poly (2nd, 3:17.68; Jaelen Johnson, Liam Anderson, Jaelen Knox, Everett Steward), Wilson (3rd, 3:18.02; Armando Bryson, Jordan Weimer, Andrew Richards, Seaver Cardoza)
Girls’ High Jump: Rachel Glenn (Wilson, 2nd, 5-6)