Gateway: Sports

He won the 110-meter hurdle state title in Class 3A last spring. But Gig Harbor’s Hering isn’t done yet

Gig Harbor’s Jurrian Hering (643) leads the 3A boys 110-meter hurdles final with Wilson’s David Njeri and Lincoln’s Marcus Williams Jr. in pursuit at the 4A/3A/2A track and field state championships at Mount Tahoma High School in Tacoma on Friday, May 25, 2018.
Gig Harbor’s Jurrian Hering (643) leads the 3A boys 110-meter hurdles final with Wilson’s David Njeri and Lincoln’s Marcus Williams Jr. in pursuit at the 4A/3A/2A track and field state championships at Mount Tahoma High School in Tacoma on Friday, May 25, 2018. lsmith@theolympian.com

Last year was a good year for Jurrian Hering.

In the spring, the Gig Harbor High School track standout won the 110-meter hurdles state title, clocking in at a personal record 14.21 seconds. And in November, he made his college decision, choosing to run track at the University of Idaho.

He’s had little time to rest. After playing football, he took a short break and then got back to work, running outside on the school’s track, even in the cold winter months in preparation for his last year of high school track. That meant two pairs of sweats, two sweatshirts, gloves, beanies, the whole nine yards.

“My form is a key thing that I think will get me to the next level,” Hering said. “I’ve been focusing on how I run. I’m changing how I look when I’m sprinting.”

In addition the hurdles title, Hering took third in the 100 meters (10.80 seconds) and 12th in the 200 meters (22.86) at last year’s state meet.

“I was very pleased with state last year,” Hering said. “But I would’ve liked to make the finals in the 200 meters.”

This year, he’ll hope to make the cut in the 200 meters and is looking to win the title in the 100 meters. But while Hering has plenty of natural ability, he’s rebuilding his running technique from the ground up in order to take the next step in the sprint events.

“I think I’ll have a better shot to win the 100 this year,” Hering said. “Making these changes, I think it makes me faster.”

Specifically, Hering has worked on the angle of his hips when he’s at top speed.

“Before, my hips were angled downward,” he said. “I couldn’t get a long stride. So I’m focusing on rotating my pelvis up.”

Sounds simple enough. But it’s not that easy.

“It’s very challenging,” Hering said. “I’ve ran the old way since I’ve learned how to run as a kid. I’m changing a lot of years of a pattern.”

Hering, who was also rated as a three-star cornerback prospect in football, ultimately settled on running track in college. Making that decision was a weight off his shoulders, he said.

“That was a huge relief,” he said. “Going to Idaho about a month before I made my decision, I didn’t have the slightest clue which sport I was going to play. It’s a huge relief.”

While Hering looks to improve in the 100 and 200 meters, the 110-meter hurdles remains his bread and butter. While the 14.21 at last year’s state meet was a personal record, Hering wants to top it.

“I personally believe I’m a 13.9 guy right now,” he said. “I believe I can break that PR and go further. I have to do every little thing right to reach that time. With the 14.21, everything clicked. I have to do all the little things right. Small differences, the angles of my shins when I’m accelerating, foot placement going into hurdles, things like that.”

Hering saw room for improvement after watching the film of his state title.

“It was my best race up to that point, but there were a lot of glaring things I didn’t get quite right,” Hering said. “It was far from perfect.”

The Gig Harbor boys won the Class 3A state team title last year. But there’s plenty of graduated production to replace from that group, so repeating will be a challenge.

“It’s obviously something we all want to do,” Hering said. “We’re trying to win state titles. I feel this group has the ability to do it. It won’t be a blowout like it was last year. We need to come back, do everything right, show up, be consistent. The sky is the limit for us.”

Jon Manley covers high school sports for The Peninsula Gateway and The News Tribune. A McClatchy President’s Award winner, Manley has covered the Gig Harbor sports scene since 2013. Born and raised in Tacoma.


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