New American record set for indoor hurdles

By on January 23, 2012.

Mid-distance hurdlers had a rare opportunity in the New Mexico meet last weekend to be the first to race the indoor 400-meter hurdles on American soil.

Diane Stewart, senior hurdler, set the new American record in the indoor 400-meter hurdles.

“We had some real solid performances,” said women’s head coach Patrick Shane. “The most exciting event was the 400-meter hurdles.”

Angela Shields, freshman sprinter and hurdler, finished behind Stewart for a close second. The American record title will remain with Stewart until professionals have the opportunity to break it in a few weeks on the same track.

Corey Murdock, sprint, hurdle and jump coach and four-time All-American in the 400-meter hurdles, helped train and prepare Stewart and many other hurdlers who competed in this event.

“It caught fire,” said Murdock speaking of this newly sponsored race. “I saw it and got excited by it.”

This race originally started and became popular in Europe. However, for the first time in the United States, New Mexico held an indoor meet sponsoring this event.

“It hasn’t been 20 years since they started women’s steeple chase and pole vault,” Murdock said.

As seen this weekend, many new events, especially for women, are becoming more popular in the world of sports. The Cougars are definitely stepping up and tackling new opportunities.

“I’m always wanting higher,” said high jumper Diana Blauer. “That’s how you win, make the height that everyone else can’t.”