Growth spurt gains Larson 110 hurdles final

Austin Larson, left, clears the final hurdles in the 110-meter highs on Friday in Des Moines. His preliminary run earned him a spot in the final Saturday in Class 1A. (Kristi Nixon photo)

DES MOINES - Growing three inches in height over the course of the last year helped West Fork's Austin Larson go from an also-ran to a contender for the 110-meter high hurdles in Class 1A.

The Warhawk junior ran a PR of 15.30 seconds to finish third in the final heat of the preliminaries on Friday, May 19, but with the sixth fastest time and earned a spot in Saturday's Class 1A final.

"I got out pretty good," Larson said of his preliminary. "I was third to the first hurdle, and then I had a really clean run going through.

"I knew that (heat winner, Lake Mills') Grant (Fjelstad) and I would push each other, but that one kid on lane 7 (Wapsie Valley Riley Little, the heat runner-up) really surprised me coming through, but overall a really good run, really clean and I'm glad I made it to the finals."

Close to the last few weeks of the season, Larson started to make strides and also started to win races with impressive times.

What Larson attributed that to was the fact he became taller and also adding more running in the fall.

"Coming out of last year, I was running 17.8s," Larson said. "And I got down to 16.8 and I didn't make it last year, I was upset and worked on it over the summer and made it through.

"I came out the first meet (this year), ran 16.90 and then cut time like crazy. I think growing taller really helped and doing cross country, which built my legs up and helped me cut down on time."

Larson runs in the final Saturday starting at 1:15 p.m at Drake Stadium in Des Moines.