Q&A with Trevor Gerland
Sophomore punter-turned-hurdler Trevor Gerland has officially made the transition from the football field to track and field. The second-year Longhorn made his presence felt on the track this past Saturday, (April 21) at the Texas Twilight in Austin where he ran a lifetime best and regionally qualified for the first time in his career at Texas. He ran 14.10 in the 110-meter hurdles as the top college short hurdler in the group on Saturday.
After getting over the shock of his achievement, Gerland sat down with TexasSports.com to reflect on his regional qualifying performance, the switch from football to track, and his plans for the remainder of the season.
What went through your mind after you realized that you had met the NCAA regional mark in the 110-meter hurdles? It was kind of surreal. Coming back my first meet and doing a lot better than I did last year, where I ran 14.4-mid turning 14.10, was really good. Not only did I cut some time but also qualifying for regionals, still hasn't really set in. It was kind of neat. It felt like a really good race but I still have some technical problems which only leaves room for growth.
Training and participating in one sport is plenty for a student-athlete to shoulder, what motivates you to compete in two sports? The competition. I'm competitive by nature and just absolutely love competing. It's in my blood. All I've known growing up is football in the fall and track in the spring, and it's been with me forever. Why not continue while I'm here at Texas.
The next meet for the men's team is the Penn Relays. Have you ever been and what do you have planned for this trip? It is my second trip to compete at the Penn Relays. I went last year and competing in the long jump and did really well in the B bracket . We were going to run the shuttle hurdle relay but then some problems happened where we couldn't, and we didn't get into the individual hurdle races. This year, I'm looking forward to going there and doing pretty well and hopefully improving my time and my technique as well. Hopefully (fellow short hurdler) Elliot (O'Hare) can do a lot better too because he's an excellent runner, and it only helps us get better with the competition.
Looking back on the entire indoor season and the first part of the outdoor season, what has been the most important thing you have learned? Just seeing how critical points are from the indoor conference track meet. Just knowing how it's not all one person, thinking 'I could have won it for one point', or just collectively knowing that as a team, you can't have a bad race at conference. I never realized how critical points were because we've been spoiled for the past year. Last year, we did very well, and didn't have to worry about needing this point, or just half a point. As far as that goes, that's been the most critical thing I've seen.
Looking past the Penn Relays this weekend and towards the Big 12 Conference and NCAA Midwest Region Championships, what is your goal and what are you focused on in terms of competing? I'm looking forward to seeing how well I'll do and the team will do. How well Elliot will do and how well we represent Texas in the hurdling aspect. Every year is developmental and it's exciting to see where you are at the beginning of the year as compared to the end, as the years go on.
What has been the biggest difference in training from last year to this year? Last year I was getting used to the high hurdles. It took me an entire season, indoor and outdoor, to get used to high hurdles. Now training with them and being used to them in pressure situations, they just seem the same height as high school hurdles. You think four inches wouldn't be that big of a difference but it makes a huge difference. It's about learning your form and just working on it. We do hurdle endurance drills where you set up the hurdles for 100-meters because indoor your race is five hurdles and outdoor it's 10. It's a lot different from indoor to outdoor but it helps you build finesse and technique, get your steps and timing, and just getting the natural rhythm you need to be a good hurdler.