Mason Bechdolt didn’t end up taking the preferred routes to follow up his sophomore-year run to the 2013 state track meet. Instead the Delta hurdler had to battle through injury and tweak things to find his way onto the track for each competition this spring.
But on the eve of sectionals, he hopes he’s rounding into the form that made last year so special.
“I have been scaling back,” said Bechdolt, now a junior. ” But I’ve been scaling back so that way, I don’t have to scale back for sectionals. So that way I can go to state in both events and run my normal race.”
It was one of the first few meets of the year when Bechdolt bruised his right heel. He’d run an the 110 hurdles in 14.3 seconds at last season’s regional and reached state in that event and the 300 hurdles, but he found himself limited after the injury.
So Bechdolt, who will run the 100-meter dash and both hurdles events at today’s Central Sectional, was forced to change things up.
“We’ve cut down on events,” first-year Delta coach Travis Coles said. “Instead of running three or four different events, we’ve been dividing that up between, one meet he runs the hurdles, one meet he runs the 200. One he runs the low (hurdles), one he runs the 100, just to try to keep the training in there.”
He managed to run at least one event in all but one of the Eagles’ meets, trying not to put too much pressure on the heel. Coles noted Bechdolt showed the maturity to see the bigger picture, understanding what really matters is the run to state that starts today.
Still, Bechdolt won every hurdles race he ran, but he admitted the competition hasn’t been all that high-level. That won’t completely change with today’s event, but things are expected to truly ramp up he reaches regionals.
The push in hurdles will keep Bechdolt, who boasts a surplus of strength and speed, out of the 200, a race he’s usually run, as it is close to the 300, an event that takes an extra level of strength and stamina.
Coles said Bechdolt clocked a 14.5 at the Hoosier Heritage Conference meet, a time better than he did at that point last season though still short of his personal best.
But it also said something about how far he’s come from his injury, and Wednesday night, he told Coles he feels he’s back to where he needs to be, the level he was at a season ago.
“I am right at that level, or maybe even higher,” Bechdolt said. “I’m completely confident in my skills.”