Dan PowellGRANITE CITY – Edwardsville track hurdler Daniel Powell, a former distance runner turned hurdler, enjoyed a good day at Friday’s Granite City Invitational meet at Memorial Stadium/Kevin Greene Field.

Powell finished seventh in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 16.42 seconds, and was fourth in the 300-meter hurdles, coming in at 41.15 seconds.

“Yeah, I was pretty happy with it,” Powell said in an interview following his heat in the 300-meter hurdles. “I was hoping to dip under 41 (seconds) today, clipped off the last hurdle, so overall, I was pretty happy with the race.”

Powell conversion from distance running to sprinting and hurdling began last year after an indoor meet at Champaign-Urbana.

“It was actually last year at our indoor meet at Illinois,” Powell said. “It was my first open 400, I went 53.2 (seconds). Right after the race, coach (Chad) Legatos and coach (Alec) Holler came up to me and told me they wanted me to come out to sprints the next week, so I agreed, and basically, that’s where my sprint career took off. And then, along with sprinting, coach Holler had me try hurdling, and ever since then, it’s just stuck.”

Powell has noticed a big difference between sprinting and distance running.

“Hurdling’s been a lot more technical, and trying to improve form,” Powell said. “But I’ve liked it a lot more than distance because distance is a ton of mileage, practices are usually twice as long. I think the biggest difference has just been adjusting to how little I need to practice for sprints versus distance.”

Powell has enjoyed success in the sprints and hurdling but has yet to reach his ultimate goal.

“I think I’ve done pretty well,” Powell said. “I haven’t reached my ultimate goals at all. I know I’ve still got a long way to go to make it to Charleston (for the IHSA Class 3A state meet) this spring, but I’m just hoping I can help the team out, score some points every meet. It’s kind of been my goal going into every meet, basically.”

Powell’s goals for himself and the Tigers the rest of the season are both simple and very ambitious.

“I’d like to, in the 300, I’d like to grab an All-State spot,” Powell said. “The 110s, that would be great to qualify for state, and if I could get to be there, I’d be really happy with that. And then as far as team expectations, I mean it’s a long shot for us to be on the team podium at state, but I think the way this team works at practice is unlike any in the past, so I think we’ll get there.”

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