In the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, United States hurdler Lolo Jones was favored to win the 100 meter hurdles final.
Jones was in the lead with two hurdles left when she clipped the ninth hurdle (out of 10) and eventually finished in seventh.
More than 6,000 miles away in St. George, Elizabeth Durrant watched the race with her family.
The Durrants are big track and field fans, so watching the Olympics is a routine every two years.
Elizabeth didn’t know at the time that the memory of watching Jones stumble at the end of the race would stick with her and that she would think about it a lot in high school.
There’s a lot that sticks with Durrant, a junior hurdler at Dixie High.
When she first went to a practice, Flyers coach Lee Goodrich looked at Durrant and told her she was a hurdler.
Goodrich has known Durrant ever since she was a little kid. That’s because the assistant coach is Durrant’s father, Paul.
“Goodrich just kept an eye on me and made sure I stayed a hurdler. I feel like it worked out good. I like it,” Durrant said.
There’s another thing that sticks with Durrant: Lolo Jones.
“Every time I hit a hurdle, I remember the Olympics where Lolo Jones clipped a hurdle,” Durrant said.
It’s almost as if having a bad crash is a kind of rite of passage for a hurdler.
A couple years ago at a meet in Hurricane, Durrant remembers what she calls her worst fall in a hurdles race.
She specifically remembers clipping the eighth hurdle, falling down and rolling.
“The hurdle ran right after me,” she joked.
She’s watched the video, filmed by her mom, and remembers the collective gasp from the fans when she fell.
“But I’ll also remember standing on the podium at (the state meet) freshman and sophomore year,” she said.
This season she’s currently recovering from a torn right quadriceps and a hamstring injury on the same leg.
Both injuries have stuck around for awhile and both have been limiting, sort of.
As Goodrich watched on during Tuesday afternoon’s practice, Durrant, almost effortlessly, glided over the hurdles as if there was no injury.
Goodrich laughed and shrugged after earlier saying she hadn’t practiced as much lately.
Then he added what happened in her last meet in the 300-meter hurdles race while not 100 percent healed from her leg injuries.
“She missed qualifying for state by one-one hundredth of a second,” Goodrich said.
She placed second in the 300 meter hurdles at last season’s state meet with a time of 46.42 seconds and placed fifth in the 100 meter hurdles in 15.88 seconds.
Hurdling isn’t for everyone. Even some hurdlers get spooked right when they’re about to jump over.
“You have to have the mindset. If you don’t think that you can do it, then you’re going to hit the hurdle and crash and just get demolished,” Durrant said.
At this weekend’s meet, the Pine View Invite on Friday and Saturday at Pine View High, Goodrich expects the hurdles to be one of the most competitive events on both the girls and boys side, along with the 400 and 800-meter races.
Durrant isn’t the only hurdler at Dixie looking to get back on the podium at the state meet in May.
Her teammate, junior Starlee Woodbury, finished second in last year’s state meet in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 14.87 seconds and third in the 100-meter sprint in 12.61 seconds.
Woodbury also looks as if she’s gliding when jumping over the hurdles, at one point even jumping over a men’s high hurdle to impress some of her teammates.
Desert Hills’ Olivia Leavitt won the 100-meter hurdles at the state championships last season, but she has since graduated, along with a handful of other Thunder track and field seniors.
Still, Goodrich expects Desert Hills to be the best in Region 9.
“They’ve got depth none of the rest of us have. They’re way deep,” he said.