(Photo by David Jenkins, Staff)
ORAN -- She has no track, no hurdles and virtually no equipment to train with. It's just her and a small block of houses in which Haley Glastetter and the rest of the Oran track team uses as their training facility.
"We just run around those houses," Glastetter said while pointing towards School Dr. and Kaine Ave. situated to the north of Oran High School.
How she was able to claim Oran's first and only state championship in school history in the 100-meter hurdles without essential tools, such as hurdles, baffles both Glastetter and Oran track coach Fernando Higuera.
"How she did it? I'm not sure," said Higuera, who completed his second year as the Oran track coach. "She's an amazing athlete and she's really fit. I guess it's just natural."
Glastetter was never taught the in's and out's of hurdle jumping. She vaguely remembers entering a hurdle event as a freshman, knowing only to jump over the hurdles and run as fast as she can.
She ended up winning first place.
"I think I just entered at a Chaffee meet," Glastetter said. "People talk about how I have good form in them, but no one has ever taught me. I just basically, jump them."
"I just wanted to try out the hurdles," she added. "I realized in my first couple of meets that I was pretty good at them. I just started doing them."
Glastetter has not completely been shut out from practicing with the hurdles, however. The Eagles track team tried to utilize the track at Chaffee High School at least once a week during the season. However, Glastetter remembers only a few times where she actually made the trip and practiced with the hurdles.
"I went there two or three times this year," she said. "I did practice the hurdles but, I would only jump over them a little bit."
Higuera would help Glastetter as much as he could but, realized it was more natural talent that put Glastetter above the rest.
"I tried my best to teach her with what we had to work with here," said Higuera. "Chaffee was really nice and let us train at their track.
"She's really fast and I know that the whole Glastetter family is filled with a lot of athletes. Her brother, her sister, everybody, are just really good athletes."
Glastetter's older siblings, brother Hunter and sister Kelsie, were also members of the Oran track team. Kelsie, who qualified for state in the 100-meter dash, was a regular in the 100 and 200-meter dash as well as the long jump while Hunter participated in the jumps.
"When I was younger, my older sister and my older brother did track so I figured I would do track too," Glastetter said.
Glastetter has been running track for Oran High School since her freshman year. It was her first year of organized track.
She qualified for the Class 1 state finals in all four of her regular events, which include the 100-meter hurdles, 100-meter dash, 200-meter dash and the 400. She ended up finishing third in both the 200 and 400 while finishing fourth in the 100-meter dash. Glastetter did not advance to the finals in the 100-meter hurdles.
She also qualified for the 200 and 400 her sophomore season and claimed a third place in the 400. Again, Glastetter did not get out in the 100 hurdles.
This season was a complete turnaround for Glastetter and the hurdles.
Despite a sluggish beginning in her junior season with the 100 hurdles, she was able to turn it around late.
Glastetter qualified for state in two events, the 100 hurdles and the 200-meter dash. She finished fifth in the 200 and ended her junior year the best way an athlete can.
She brought home the first ever state championship in any sport to Oran.
"At first I couldn't believe that it had happened," she said. "I was just so amazed. It just felt like my dream came true because I've always wanted to win a state title."
"I was kind of surprised," Higuera added. "This year did not start out very well for her and she wasn't running very well before the meet. Somehow, she turned it on at the right time.
"She steps it up when it's required. She knows what she needs to do when it's time to get things done. That's really hard to find."