Taylor Hogan has become proficient at a little known and awkward-looking track event.
A 16-year-old from Omaha, Neb., Hogan won the girls’ 15-16 3,000-meter race walk on Friday. A race walk can usually be seen at the Olympic level. It differs from the usual long, smooth strides of sprinters and distance runners. It is a foot race, but one foot must appear to be in contact with the ground at all times. That reduces the length of an athlete’s stride so racewalkers try to maintain a steady pace.
Race walking is not a high school event in Nebraska. The Cornhusker Flyers, a youth track and field and cross country club in Omaha, is the only club in Nebraska to offer the event, according to Hogan who offers the following keys to success.
“Have fun with it,” said Hogan, who will be a junior this fall at Millard North High School. “Keep your mind occupied because it’s a long race. It’s like a different kind of mind set. I think it’s a lot of fun just to have something a little less nerve racking.”
Hogan plans to run the 400-meter dash and 800-meter run for her high school team.
“I’ve been doing track since sixth grade, but I just started with the club (Cornhusker) this year. I just started doing race walking this year. It’s a lot of fun,” said Hogan, who plans to attend the national Junior Olympic meet.
Iowa State recruit wins
The Junior Olympic meet encompasses athletes from the young age of eight- and nine-years-old to athletes heading off to college in the fall.
William Dougherty will attend the University of Iowa with a track scholarship in the fall. Dougherty, 18, won a tight contest in the boys’ 17-18 decathlon, which includes 10 events over two days.
It was after the conclusion of the pole vault, one of his weaker events, that he thought he might have a chance at a win.
“I kind of knew I was winning after the pole vault (on Friday) when I realized some kids weren’t making up a lot of ground. I’m not very good in the pole vault being from Iowa,” said Dougherty who graduated this spring from Woodbury Central Community High School in Moville, Iowa, located 15 miles east of Sioux City. “I’ve never pole vaulted before the decathlon. When they didn’t perform as well as they could have, I knew I might have it.”
Dougherty was participating in his eighth decathlon overall and second one this year.
Some of his top high school track accomplishments were placing first at state in the 1,600-meter relay as a junior and second in the 800-meter run. He has run a 1 minute, 56.9 second 800-meter and a :49.9 mark in the 400-meter. He has three third place medals from state, two fifths and a fourth.
Dougherty hasn’t decided for sure about attending the national meet, but thinks it would be good experience.
Young one day, old the next
Breann Jackson was a young freshman last school year at Northern State so she was eligible to compete in the Junior Olympic meet this summer. The soon-to-be sophomore at NSU won the hammer throw in the 17-18 division.