Buchholz's times just keep dropping lower and lower
For her senior season of track and field, Washington hurdler Kaitlin Buchholz wanted to do her best.
As it turns out, she did her best numerous times. She had numerous season- or personal-best times this season in the 100-meter hurdles and the 400-meter hurdles, capped by an amazing performance at last Thursday’s Class 3A state qualifying meet.
“Senior year hits you, and you really try your best,” Buchholz said. “You know it’s your last time with it.”
Buchholz ran a personal-best time of 1:10.57 to finish fourth in the 400-meter hurdles at the Timm Lamb Pen City Relays in Fort Madison on April 9, and then a week later at the Panther Relays in Mt. Pleasant, she ran an even better time of 1:10.30 to take second place.
Buchholz ran a season-best time of 17.24 seconds to take second place in the 100-meter hurdles at WACO’s Ekstrand Relays on April 25, and then she ran an even better time of 17.14 seconds to place third in the event at the Southeast Conference meet at Case Field.
“It seemed like for a while it was every time out she was getting a PR in the 400 hurdles,” Washington head coach Stefanie Tschantz said.
The best night of Buchholz’s track and field career came at the Class 3A state qualifying meet in Mt. Pleasant last Thursday. She won the 400-meter hurdles to automatically qualify for the state meet, and her time of 1:08.65 was nearly two seconds better than her previous personal best. She led off for the Demons’ shuttle hurdle relay, which ran a season-best time of 1:09.76 to finish third and qualify for state. And she ran a personal-best time of 16.76 seconds in the 100-meter hurdles, which was just one one-hundredth of a second off of the school record.
“She had a season best in the 100 hurdles, the shuttle had a season best, and in the 400 hurdles she crushed her time by two full seconds,” Tschantz said. “It was a perfect night for her. She’s a senior, and she’s worked hard all four years. Everything’s coming together at the right time.”
Buchholz, the daughter of Erik and Christy Buchholz, will be competing at the state track meet for the third time this weekend. She qualified for state in the 400-meter hurdles as a sophomore, and she has been a member of the shuttle hurdle relay that has run at state the past two seasons. Her goal for the state meet is the same as it has been all season.
“I want to obviously do my best,” Buchholz said. “With the shuttle, we obviously want to get to Saturday and run again. I want to hopefully find it in my heart to do my best in the 400 hurdles and hopefully it turns out that I can place.”
Whatever the outcome, Tschantz knows she will get a supreme effort from her senior hurdler.
“She’s very determined,” Tschantz said. “She wants that medal. I know she’s going to leave everything out there on the track for us this weekend. That’s why I wouldn’t be surprised by anything she does up there.”