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Eric Peterson, Published May 05 2012

MSUM's Robinson wins 110-meter hurdles after foot injury

MOORHEAD – Laquone Robinson glided over the high hurdles Saturday afternoon, cruising to victory in the men’s 110-meter finals.

While not his best time this outdoor season, the race was a success for the Minnesota State Moorhead junior, who is coming off a foot injury. Robinson crossed the finish line in 14.36 seconds to take first place at the Ron Masanz Classic track meet at Alex Nemzek Stadium.

“I liked his composure coming through,” said MSUM assistant coach Rahn Sheffield. “To come back and keep his form is really a big thing going into the championships.”

Sheffield is referring to the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference outdoor championships, which are scheduled for Friday and Saturday in Bismarck.

Robinson is the favorite in the 110 hurdles with the fourth-best time in NCAA Division II.

“He wants to have goals bigger than to win the conference meet,” said Dragons head track coach Keith Barnier. “You want to have the standard to put you at an elite level.”

Robinson first injured his foot two weekends ago, and again tweaked the injury last weekend at the conference multi-event championships.

That’s what made his performance Saturday significant, even though Robinson didn’t get near his season-best time of 14.04 seconds, which is an MSUM school record.

“Basically, I just tried to keep my form through the whole race,” Robinson said of the finals.

Robinson won the NSIC outdoor title in the 110 hurdles last year. This spring, Robinson is not only looking to defend that conference crown, he’s eyeing a

D-II national championship.

For Robinson to do that, he’ll likely need to break 14 seconds.

“It’s no secret that this guy is going to have to go 13 seconds to seal the deal,” Sheffield said. “Is he capable of it? Of course he is. It’s going to come down to the mental part and be able to execute under a high level of stress.”

Sheffield – who is in his first year as a Dragons assistant – has coached Olympic-level hurdlers in the past, including his sister, LaTanya Sheffield.

LaTanya at one time was the American record holder in the 400 hurdles and made the finals in that event at the 1988 Olympics in South Korea.

Robinson said having a coach like Sheffield has helped take his hurdling to another level. Robinson has more belief that he can be tops in Division II.

“My form has changed a lot and now I see that I can do it,” Robinson said. “Before it was like, ‘I don’t know if I’m going to be able to do this.’ ”

For Robinson to reach his full potential, Sheffield said executing the details will be crucial.

“The shorter the event, the more technical it becomes, especially with the hurdles. It’s really the most complicated event on the track,” Sheffield said. “Rhythm is so important. You have to have the right type of rhythm going in between the hurdles.”

Sprints

MSUM seniors Anna VanWechel and Aaron Lund each were given the John Tiemann Award for courage. … Valley City State junior Darien Moore won the men’s hammer throw with a toss of 204 feet, 1 inch. That set a meet record and is the top throw in NAIA this outdoor season. Former MSUM thrower Chris Nulle held the old Masanz record with a 193-6 toss in 2003.


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Eric Peterson at (701) 241-5513.

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