By SARAH CULTON
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Every week in the spring semester, members of the Western Michigan University track team spend between 20 and 30 hours on the track.
“I actually had a job that I had to quit because of the track meets and the time commitment here,” said hurdler Artia Gunn, a fourth-year public relations major. “It’s hard to fit in anything other than school and sleep.”
Some practices are grueling, with some being as long as four hours, Gunn said. She finds practices where the team runs 4x400s (four 400 meter runs in a row) particularly difficult, as her specialty is 100 meter hurdles.
Gunn has been running track and hurdles since the seventh grade.
“I remember when I was young, I would run in the streets and be faster than all the boys,” Gunn said. “That might be why I fell in love with running. Track was just continuing that.”
Gunn has done well in her chosen sport, with a personal best of 14.32 seconds in the 100 meter hurdles. A truly great time in hurdles would be around 13 seconds, Gunn said.
Despite her passion for track, and in particular hurdles, Gunn said that there are days when she wants to stop and give up. On those days, she relies on the encouragement of her teammates and focuses on her love of the sport.
“For me, it was never a choice,” Gunn said on her decision to run track. “It was just something that I knew I had to do.”