BCLUW’s Garber finishes second in 110 high hurdles in Drake Relays
DES MOINES — All season long, BCLUW senior hurdler Jack Garber has been begging for high-level competition in the 110-meter high hurdles.
He finally got what he asked for on the second day of the 110th running of the Drake Relays on Friday morning, and it brought out the best in him.
Garber, a Class 1A competitor and an Iowa State University commit, finished as the silver medalist among the best high school hurdlers in the state with a time of 14.2 seconds in the finals, second only to Linn-Mar’s Trent Davis, who broke the Drake Relays record with a 13.99.
Garber’s time would have been good enough to win in 71 of the 76 years the 110 and 120 high hurdles have been run at Drake, and his time of 14.2 is now tied for the 10th-fastest automatic timed 110 high hurdles in the history of the state.
Even with all those accomplishments coming from one meet, Garber said he can’t help but be slightly disappointed that he didn’t come away as a Drake Relays champion.
“It was frustrating because I was out there and I had it, but then I started hitting them,” he said. “But it’s a 14.2, I’ve got to be happy with that.”
Garber got off to a great start in the race and through the first five hurdles he had a clear lead. It wasn’t so much as he slowed down as Davis picked up his pace, however, and Garber said how well he was running his hurdles might have been part of why he started to clip a few.
“I felt like I was flying, I hit one with my buttt, which means I was going real, real close to them flying over the hurdles,” he said. “When I hit one with my butt it through me off because I’ve never had that happen before, not in a race like that.”
Garber found himself in the finals for a second-straight season after winning his heat in the preliminary races with a 14.41, his personal best until about two hours later in the day and the second-fastest qualifying time behind Davis’ 14.39.
“That gave me a ton of confidence coming out and running a 14.4. You run a 14.4 in a finals, that will win it most years,” Garber said. “That gave me a lot of confidence going into the finals to run a 14.2, but there’s nothing you can do if a kid’s running a 13.9.
“Props to Trent Davis, that’s insane. Breaking the Drake Relays record, that’s mind blowing.”
Being his second time competing in the Relays in as many years and his fourth time running on the big stage of the Blue Oval, Garber said he knew what to expect from the timing and the atmosphere but that did nothing to calm his nerves.
“I was the most nervous I think I’ve ever been coming into a race. I have a lot of people telling me they expect a lot of things out of me,” he said. “Obviously there was insane competition if someone broke the record, it was just frustrating that it had to be this race.
“I could tell my heart was going, it’s been going for a week. I haven’t been able to sleep or anything, but obviously competition does insane things for you. It pushes you to new levels.”
Before the season, Garber said one of his main goals was to run under a 14.3, and now that he’s blown that goal out of the water on a race he knows he didn’t run clean, he doesn’t think running under 14 seconds is out of the question.
“If you had asked me that this morning, I probably would have laughed at you. But running a 14.2 and hitting five of the hurdles, that lets me know just what I can do,” Garber said. “I wish I could have that race and do it again, but now I have to wait until state.”
Garber won’t have to wait long to run on the Blue Oval again with the state meet scheduled to start on May 16, less than three weeks away.
“Oh man, I’ve been so focused on this moment and really stressed out about it, now I can just focus on me because if I run a 14.2 or faster, it shouldn’t even be close,” Garber said of his state preparation. “I need to focus on myself now, get healthy because I’m battling a foot injury, stay healthy and not let up.
“I want that meet record more than ever now.”
Before focusing on that, however, Garber still has one more event to run in with the BCLUW boys shuttle hurdle team competing in the prelims at the start of day three this morning at 8:15 a.m.