Rachel Rockwell ’16 Breaks 100-Meter Hurdles Record

Rachel Rockwell ’16 broke a 26-year old record in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 15.1 seconds.

Rachel Rockwell ’16 broke the 100-meter hurdles record with a time of 15.1 seconds at a track meet on May 14.  The previous record was set in 1990 by Catherine Saint Louis ’92, who was inducted into Williston’s Athletic Hall of Fame on Friday as a member of the 1991 Girls Cross-Country team.

“When I saw my time,” Rockwell said, “I looked at my mom right away and told her, ‘I ran a 15.1. I think I broke the school record!’

“I gave her a giant hug, and I was so happy she was here to see it on my senior day.  She drove all the way from Ohio to see the meet.”

Rockwell set her sights on breaking the 100-meter hurdles record her freshman year. “I knew with a couple of years of hard training, I could shave a second off my time,” she said. “My hurdles coach, Mrs. McCullagh, has really pushed me to become better and really focus on the little things, like helping me bring my trail leg through faster.”

Rachel acknowledged that many people helped her achieve this milestone in addition to her coach. “My parents have always been huge supporters of me in all sports that I do, and I couldn’t be where I am in my life today without them,” she said. “My mom ran hurdles in high school, and my dad coached track after so I picked it up from them.”

“Outside of track, I lift three-to-four days a week,” she added, “and Blayne, our strength coach, really pushes me to get better because the stronger you are the better you preform.  And most importantly, my teammates have inspired me because they make me better everyday. I love going to practice knowing I’ll be having fun no matter what.”

St. Louis '91, left, encouraged Rockwell '16 to break her 26-year old record in the 100-meter hurdles.
Saint Louis ’92, left, encouraged Rockwell to break her record at the Hall of Fame ceremony.

What made this record-breaking moment particularly special was the fact that Saint Louis encouraged Rockwell to break her 26-year mark of 15.2 seconds. “She told me to, ‘Go get it, I know you can!'” Rockwell recalled after introducing herself to Saint Louis at Friday’s Hall of Fame ceremony. “It was such a cool moment.”

Rockwell approached Saint Louis at the all-school dinner on Saturday evening to tell her about her record-setting performance earlier that afternoon. “She was overjoyed for me and gave me a huge hug!” Rockwell said. “It was all so crazy that I met her and broke her record all in the same weekend. It was all so surreal.”

“Rachel has been a phenomenal captain and leader on the team over the course of the season,” said Head Track Coach Chris Pelliccia. “On Saturday, Rachel looked especially smooth going over the hurdles.  As she has all season, she left the field behind her, but even before checking the clock, she knew she set a fast time. She had been chasing 15.2 all season long, and she was ecstatic to finally beat that mark on Saturday!”

Congratulations, Rachel!

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