What Halle Bieber likes best about running the hurdles is the intensity.
“What drew me to the hurdles was the fact that you have obstacles to overcome throughout the way,” the Naperville North sophomore told the Will County Gazette in an email. “I think it makes the race a lot more challenging and interesting, especially with the 300-meter hurdles.”
Bieber has been making things challenging for her opponents for the last few seasons, racking up titles and placing high at tracks across the state. This outdoor track season, Bieber is the top returning place-winner in the 300m hurdles from last year's Class 3A state meet.
As a freshman, Bieber finished fourth at the state meet with a time of 44.57 seconds. She was the only non-senior among the top five finishers.
“Last year's state meet was an amazing experience,” Bieber said. “I was very excited and fortunate to have made it that far as a freshman. Of course, I was very nervous, as it was the first really big track meet I had ever been to. It was a whole new experience for me, and I think going has given me a new perspective on the sport and more confidence going into this year, and now the outdoor season.”
Bieber started the outdoor season with a win, claiming the 100m hurdles with a time of 16.24 at the DGS Mustang Invitational on April 8 in Downers Grove.
During the indoor season, she won three 55m hurdles races, including the DuPage Valley Conference title, and was second in the 60m hurdles race at the Illinois Top Times Championship on March 25 in Bloomington. She also was part of Naperville North's 4x200 relay team that got two wins and the 4x800 team that won at the Top Times Championship.
“I'm really pleased with how the indoor season went,” Bieber said. “Mainly this year we had a great 4x200 relay team, which we didn't really have last year, and it was really exciting, and created a great bond among us. I was also happy with how the hurdles went this indoor season. We did a lot of work on my form this past season, and I think it really helped me to take a little step further.”
In preparing for this season of track, Bieber said she picked up the pace of training, working on sprint endurance and focusing on form in the hurdles.
“Really, this year I'm just striving to do the best I can," she said. "If I can end this season healthy and give it my all, there's not much more I could ask for."