Grimes Off to Fast Start for No. 8 Lady Raiders

Katie Grimes has broken indoor school records in both the 55 meter hurdles and the 60 meter hurdles.

February 9, 2012

by Holly Kitten
Texas Tech Athletics Communications

When Texas Tech hosted its first indoor track meet to open the season this year, junior Katie Grimes not only placed first, but she broke the school record for the 55 meter hurdles running a 7.74.

Two weeks later, at the Texas A&M Challenge in College Station, Grimes placed first again, and set another personal record for herself in the 60 meter hurdles with an 8.33. She wasn't finished yet, though. Just last week at the New Balance Invitational in New York City, Grimes broke her PR and the school record once more, running an 8.28.

One might think running comes easy for Grimes. But she will be the first to admit, it wasn't always so. In fact, she said she didn't even enjoy it at first.

"I was all about basketball and volleyball," Grimes said. "I didn't like track. I didn't like running or anything."

However, Grimes's mother began coaching at Canyon High School in 2006 when Grimes was a sophomore, and she then became involved in the track program. With her mother's encouragement, Grimes said she and her sister worked hard at the sport.

"We just became really good at it," Grimes said. "I don't know. It was out of nowhere really. It just worked out."

"That was really when I was like, `I could actually be good at this.' So, I started putting everything I had into it"

- Katie Grimes on her breakout 2010 season

From that point on, Grimes said she loved running, and continued her hard work in order to earn a track and field scholarship. After being recruited to Tech, Grimes spent her first indoor season in 2010 competing in the pentathalon.

Sprints Coach Dion Miller said the pentathalon helped maximize Grimes's potential.

"We really wanted her to understand this whole collegiate process," he said.

The next year, Grimes again started the season with the pentathalon. However, as she began exceling more in hurdles, coaches moved her focus to only that event.

At first, Grimes said she was frustrated with her hurdle performances, especially at the Mt. SAC meet in California during her sophomore outdoor season.

"I was tired of getting beat and had the worst race," she said. "I called my dad, crying. I was so upset."

Then, things changed.

"The very next meet, I broke the school record in outdoor," Grimes said. "That was really when I was like, `I could actually be good at this.' So, I started putting everything I had into it, and had a really good year last year."

That improved confidence has carried into this season. Miller said her understanding of the hurdles is better, and her workouts look better, too.

"Your workouts are the best indicators as to what you are going to do at the meet," he said.

So far, Grimes has shown dominance by placing first at every meet this year except for the New Balance Meet, where she still managed to break a personal record.

"I remember afterwards telling Coach (Miller) I ran as fast as my legs could take me," Grimes said. "My body hurt afterwards because I was running so hard. He was proud of me, and I was excited."

Miller said Grimes's performance was good in New York, especially considering the large size of the meet.

"The best of the best are there," he said. "It's one thing to do it, and win by three or four hurdles, but then to go in and compete with the best, and be lined up with them three or four hurdles, and to concentrate and focus - those are the things you have to go through at this time of the year if you want to be good."

Grimes said she hopes she can be better than good, though. Last year, she had a taste of the national meet after going as an alternate. This year, she hopes to compete.

"I want to go to nationals," she said. "I want to do well. I think this year, I have the experience under my belt."

Grimes is aware she needs to improve her already record-breaking times, Miller said. With her new confidence, he believes Grimes has a great opportunity to qualify for nationals.

"She's been working great," Miller said, "I really want her to focus in on the big picture, and learn from every experience that we take it through, and hopefully, things will line up."




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