All by herself:

Osage’s Halbach makes her own way in hurdles

By Kristi Nixon

DES MOINES — Part of a state championship shuttle hurdle relay a year ago, Osage junior Brooklynn Halbach as the lone returnee from that squad showed that she belonged by qualifying for the Class 2A 100-meter hurdles final on Saturday, May 21.

Osage’s Brooklynn Halbach clears the final hurdle in the Class 2A 100-meter hurdle preliminary on Friday, May 20. Halbach nabbed one of the final spots run Saturday, May 21. EJ Photo/Kristi Nixon

She did so by taking the eighth and final spot in the second of three heats on Friday afternoon, running to 16.11 seconds for a place in the 1:05 p.m. final Saturday.

When Halbach realized she’d made it, she burst into tears.

“I think it was a way of expressing my feelings,” Halbach said. “I feel like…I know last year we won and I don’t think I burst into tears then because we worked for it all season long. This season was a little more iffy and even with minimal races I was on the edge, knowing that. Seeing my name in the eighth place to make it to the finals is awesome, it’s a great feeling.”

Before her race from several different points in the stands, her name was called out in support, including her parents, who she called her biggest supporters.

“I think our community is a great support system from Osage with different parents looking down on everyone running on this track,” she said. “We have Barb (Schwamman, who) comes down here and supports everyone just the same. My parents, my friends, my teammates, they’re awesome. They make me run better, I think. They make my nerves go away a little bit easier.”

Her time was a personal best. In fact, all but one of the finals qualfiers ran PRs as well as eight others who didn’t qualify for the final.

“I don’t think I hit a hurdle, my practice run-through was a little iffy,” Halbach said. “I was getting a lot of nerves after that practice run-through, hit a hurdle, wasn’t right. But, coming out of those blocks, when I heard that gun, I knew it was go-time and I was clean over every single hurdle and I knew that that point to the finish line was the most important. I pushed through, used that energy and I got eighth.”

Barring something happening, Osage is assured at least a point with her finish. After Friday, the Green Devils remained with 10 team points since none had been accrued yet. They sat in the top-10 after her race going into Saturday.

Helping the team race is key, Halbach said.

“I think it’s very important,” she said. “Last year, coming in third (as a team) that was awesome. Out of nowhere, I was not expecting that. Yesterday, I know (coach Adam) Brinkman said we were sitting fifth. We have a lot of races going on today and tomorrow, but honestly, I didn’t think I’d get that eighth-place mark. Even one point means a lot to the team and my coaches, as well.”

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