Friday, April 12, 2013

Sprinter, hurdler thrives in first season

Junior Taryn Dee taking conference by storm after being sidelined with knee injury first two seasons at Pacific Lutheran

By Brandon Adam, Sports Writer
   
Sprinter and hurdler Taryn Dee, a junior, has established herself as one of Pacific Lutheran’s standout spring athletes this season. She won the 400-meter hurdles twice and runs on the 4x100 PLU relay team that won at the J.D. Shotwell Invitational last weekend.
   
“I’m really happy where I am,” Dee said.
   

As a multi-event runner, Dee participates in the 100- and 400-meter hurdles as well as the 4x100 and 4x400 meter relays.
   
Dee’s success in track wasn’t so linear. In fact, Dee was unable to compete for her first two years at PLU, though she has played on the soccer team for three years.
   
She ran track in high school, but a knee injury sustained in those years prevented her from participating in college.
   
PLU’s track and field head coach, Heather Krier, had been urging Dee to try out for track for a while.
   
“She [Krier] sent me so many emails,” Dee said. “I got so many letters in high school telling me to come out and do track for PLU.”
   
After three knee surgeries, Dee has finally come out for the 2013 season to compete.
   
Since her recovery, Dee has shown no real signs of hindrance, excelling in both practice and meets.
   
By placing first in the 400-meter hurdles at the Payton Scoring meet, Dee beat the top-ranked 400-meter hurdler, Whitworth’s Emily Moore, and set a meet record with a time of 1:07.29.
   
“I was really nervous, and then I came out and beat her [Moore],” Dee said. “So that was awesome for me.”
   
Dee said she hopes to improve her times and performance throughout the season. Her goal is to cut her time down from 1:07 to 1:04.
   
“I would like to eventually win conference, keep winning and getting better and focusing on who I am as a hurdler or a runner,” Dee said.
   
Dee will run at the John Knight Twilight meet today. Dee and the rest of the PLU track and field team host the NWC Multi-Event Championships on Monday and Tuesday.