Putting in extra effort has Fanning clearing hurdles
TRURO - Samantha Fanning didn't even run a full set of hurdles before last weekend's Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation District Track and Field meet at the TAAC Grounds.
But after seeing her performance you wouldn't know it.
The Grade 10 student won in the intermediate girls 80m event in 14.7 seconds with a comfortable 2.1 second lead.
"It was definitely a surprise," the 16-year-old said with a smile. "I know the competition isn't as strong because not as many people do hurdles (at districts) so I thought I could do well, but not that well."
Now Fanning is hoping to continue that today and Saturday at the NSSAF Northumberland Region Championships at the TAAC Grounds. She'll also be competing for the Cobequid Cougars 4x100 and 4x400m relay teams. The top five finishers in each event move on to provincials at Beazley Field in Dartmouth next weekend.
Fanning said she was nervous before last weekend's heat.
"We had only run a few hurdles at a time so I was just thinking 'What if I fall?'" she said with a laugh.
Although her time isn't close to any record, Cougars head coach Jody Miller said he feels Fanning has more in the tank.
"Oh yeah she definitely has the potential to do more," Miller said. "It's going to come down to the start and the first hurdle. If she can improve on those she can improve her time immensely."
That is exactly what she has been working on this week. Working hard to improve her performance isn't anything new for Fanning, who has been competing in hurdles for the past four years.
"She's the best (to coach)," Miller said. "She's very mature and she's always willing to stay late."
Staying late to work on getting out of
the starting gate, or making sure she has the right number of strides between each hurdle is also something she enjoys and Fanning recognizes the value of getting extra tips from her coaches.
"Sometimes there's so many people at practice that you don't get much 1-on-1 time and I find I learn more in 1-on-1."
Fanning said she feels that extra effort showed in her performance at districts and has her feeling she'll stop the clock in better time against faster competition this weekend, something she said she feeds off of.
"When there are faster runners around you it makes you push yourself more," Fanning said.