Even with all of her success, Andover track star Courtney Comeau admits clearing a hurdle in the most pressure-packed situations can still be a daunting task.
“What makes hurdles so tough is that it’s not just about running and jumping,” said the Golden Warrior junior. “Hurdles is in your head, and sometimes you will get that mental block. I had one last year before nationals. I just had to ask myself, ‘Why am I scared? I know how to hurdle.’ Once you get past that, you can succeed. You have to have that confidence.”
The way Comeau and the rest of the Andover High girls hurdling crew have performed, confidence is certainly growing around the Collins Field House.
This winter, Comeau has continued to establish herself as one of the premier hurdlers in Massachusetts, while sophomore teammates Jillian Gamache and Hannah Chapman have each emerged as top contenders in the state, with all three qualifying for New Balance Nationals Indoor Nationals in March.
The trio hit their highest note yet on Saturday at the Division 1 state meet, when each ran a career-best time and Comeau (second) and Gamache (fifth) each scored points with top-five finishes, the only team to place two runners in the top 8.
“Our goal going into Saturday was to all set a PR,” said Gamache. “And we all ran better than we even thought. We have a lot of fun practicing together, and we also push each other. I wouldn’t be anywhere near as good if I wasn’t running against them every day, and their advice and encouragement helps me so much.”
Comeau, of course, was born to complete in the hurdles.
“I was basically born onto the track,” joked Comeau, the daughter of longtime Andover coach and former Golden Warrior great Peter Comeau.