This past weekend, the Colorado College track and field team traveled to Pueblo, Co. to compete in the Spank Blazing Opener. One athlete in particular looked especially tiger-like as she attacked the 400 meter hurdles. Having raced the hurdles only twice this season, senior Asmeda Spalding is already ranked third in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference.
Fueled by a McDonald’s breakfast, Spalding competed in the 400 meter hurdles, the 4×400 meter relay, and the 4×100 meter relay. “Last weekend I overcame a block about going over the hurdles with my bad leg,” said Spalding. “I didn’t come in last even though we were running against DI and DII [teams]. It just felt good.”
Spalding maintained great energy throughout the meet and performed well in her events. “I always listen to ‘Regulate’ by Warren G before races, and I try to eat a big breakfast with eggs,” Spalding said. “Honestly, I really like McDonald’s and a Dutch Bros in the morning; you kind of have to empty out your system so that when you get to a race, it’s all flushed out.”
The difficulty of the different events is a hot debate in the track world, but most people can agree that the 400 meter hurdles is one of the hardest events. “The 400 m is hard enough because you’re on the cusp of anaerobic and aerobic activity, and you’re going full speed,” Spalding said. “Once you add hurdles in the way, it makes the race harder than you ever thought it could be. The last 100 m, you can’t move your legs, and you still have to jump over a hurdle. One hurdle can ruin the whole thing.”
According to Spalding, it’s a mentally and physically demanding race. “After the race, you see people collapse, and that really only happens a lot in the 400 m hurdles and the steeplechase,” she said. “When your heat comes, you just kind of say, ‘Ok, now it’s my turn to collapse!’” For such an exhausting race, Spalding looked surprisingly graceful and agile.
Spalding admitted that she loves the feeling of smoking the rest of the runners in her heat. She has a very competitive spirit. “The best ending to a race is when you beat someone,” she said. “I was thinking, ‘It’s my turn. Move b*tch; I’m going to come right next to you in the second lane and beat you in the last 5 m.’”
Track meets can last for over five hours, and Spalding loves to treat herself afterwards. “After a meet, I love to get Taco Bell or chicken nuggets,” she said. “I’ve been really into mixing the honey mustard, barbeque, and ranch sauce together lately.”
There are two track meets left this season; Spalding is excited for what the team can do in the next few weeks. “We’ve already broken old records this season , and we’re looking at setting two more records,” Spalding said.
“This year Sam [Gilbert] decided to run the 200 m and she’s doing really well,” Spalding explained. “She’s running on the 4×400 m relay this weekend, which is really exciting.”
Spalding mentioned that several athletes are currently fighting for a spot on the 4×400 m relay, so this upcoming meet at University of Colorado Boulder could be a huge deciding factor. This weekend, Spalding is praying for less windy weather, and to shave off more time in her events.