Talia Highbarger, who will be a Shocker next year, won the 100 meter hurdles with a time of 15.66.

If any Wichita State University officials were in attendance at Saturday’s Kansas State Track Meet, it’s likely that they came away impressed after watching the 4A Girls 100 Meter Hurdles event.

Talia Highbarger, who will be a Shocker next year, won the event with a time of 15.66.

In order to win the event though, Highbarger said that she knew she needed a better start in the finals opposed to Friday’s preliminaries, which she finished second with a time of 15.96.  

“I thought my start (Saturday) was good, which was good because my prelim start sucked,” Highbarger said. “I started off better this time, and I felt like I had it from the beginning.”

So what went better for the senior from Circle?

“I have no idea,” she said. “I just probably got a better warm up.”

After clearing the final hurdle and crossing the finish line, a lot of emotions were running through Highbarger.

“Excitement, a lot of that,” she said. “I’m pretty happy. It was really exciting, after getting third last year and seventh my sophomore year, I’m just happy to finally be on the top.”

After leaving the podium, Highbarger was all smiles, and she said the realization of knowing she had just won a state championship finally sunk in.

“I thought about it a couple times. I was nervous though. Really nervous.  (But) I practice every day for a couple hours, I’ve gone to a lot of camps to get better throughout the winter and stuff, that’s helped a lot.”  

But her nerves never once seemed to hinder her focus.

“I just had to do what I had to do to get up there. I had to have one of the best races I’ve had in a long time.”

Highbarger was able to finish her high school career track career on top of the podium, but not without a little help from her current coaches and family – and her future teammates and coaches at Wichita State.

“(I have to thank) my coach, my hurdle coach and my dad,” she said. “I got a lot of help from people at WSU, such as the athletes and the coach here.”

What’s more for Highbarger is the fact that she won her state championship on the very field (Cessna Stadium) that she is going to spend a lot of time at the next few years, something that she said she doesn’t take lightly.

“Getting to run here is awesome. Knowing that I have a future here is even cooler,” Highbarger said. “I’m going to WSU and doing track. It’s going to be hard. I’m not used to (that level yet). But it will be good, going there and going from winning a championship to being on the lower level will (be a transition).”