Geneseo’s Hannah Waller will be competing in the 2012 USATF National Junior Olympics Track and Field Championships July 23 to 29 in Baltimore, Md. in the 400-meter hurdles.
“This year, my school season was really my break-out season,” said Waller. “I was asked to join the club and, after talking to my parents, I decided to go for it.”
Waller has been training over the summer as a member of the Trackmyspeed Track Club, which was founded by Abraham Reed-Jones and is based out of Champaign. Waller trains three days a week in Champaign and then is home for a day before heading to a meet on the weekends.
“This summer season has taught me so much about what is possible if you put your mind to it,” she said. “My expectations for Nationals is to drop two or three seconds off my time.
“I am expecting to see a lot of really good runners and it should be some amazing competition. All-and-all, I have this opportunity to push myself and I am going to take it. I am going to leave it all on the track. It is really exciting.”
Jones, an University of Illinois alumni, five-time Big 10 Champion and three-time All-American track and field athlete, developed a speed program to help athletes improve results.
Waller, who will be a senior in the fall at Geneseo High School, has seen the changes in her times when compared to her high school best times. In the 100-m hurdles, Waller’s high school best is 15.79 seconds, while her TMS Track Club time is 15.74. Waller’s high school best in the 300-m hurdles is 47.72 and her TMS time is 44.67. Her 400-m hurdles TMS time is 1:06.98.
In the 200-m dash, Waller’s high school best is 29.01 and her TMS time is 26.61. In the 400-m dash, Waller’s high school best is 1:08.6 and her TMS time is 1:00.2.
“It amazed me at first because I have dropped so much off my times this summer, but at the same time I have trained the hardest I have ever trained,” she said.
“At first, I didn’t know how much dedication it would take and I just wanted to do it because it was different. I wanted to take a chance and once I got started I realized I can’t stop now because I saw how much potential I had.”
To help offset the cost of the trip to Nationals, Waller will be hosting a Hurdle World Camp at Geneseo High School Aug. 1 for athletes in seventh to 12th grade. The camp will include work in hurdles, block starts, sprint technique, speed strength exercises and nutrition.
“The Hurdle World Camp is a perfect thing for people who want to learn,” she said. “Abe is an expert at hurdles.”
For more information on the camp, Trackmyspeed or to register for the camp, visit www.oj-a.com.