Catching up with Elliot O'Hare
May 14, 2009
Hurdler Elliot O'Hare has been one of the leaders for Texas over his four-year career. A seven-time All-Big 12 performer, O'Hare has scored in six of his seven Big 12 competitions with the lone exception coming during the indoor season of his freshman year. He also has scored in three different events, the hurdles, triple jump and 4x100-meter relay. After scoring in four consecutive meets in the triple jump at the beginning of his career, O'Hare shifted his focus to the hurdles, where he's scored in the past three conference meets.
This weekend, O'Hare will be looking to help Texas win its sixth Big 12 Championship since he's been on campus. He took timeout to speak with TexasSports.com about his approach to competing, the coaching staff and his time at Texas. On training going into the conference in: Training is going really well. It's all coming to a close. I'm a senior now. I'm really looking forward to conference. It looks like it can be really good for us. If everything goes right, we can possibly win again. We've got to finish strong in hurdles, we've got to finish strong in the four by one and we can go on to win this thing.
On his approach: I take it one race, one jump, one event at a time because you can't worry about something else. Your main focus needs to be about what you can accomplish. I like to focus on beating the guys around me. Bubba (Thornton) always says "the more people you beat the greater your chance of getting to the finals." So, you just have to focus on one thing at a time and just beat as many people at you can.
On what he likes about the hurdles: I like it because it is easy for me. I'm really tall and people always struggle. It is one of the most technical sports out there because it is not easy to run and then jump over a forty-two inch hurdle. It takes skill. You have to learn how to barely come off and then run up, and there is a lot of stuff. It is a lot of fun and it is really good competition because everyone is always really close in that race.
On having competed in the triple jump earlier in his career: Triple jump was fun because I am long, so it was easy for me. I never jumped as far as I wanted to while I was here but I did jump far. I felt really good about what I did. It's cool because I got to use my limbs to their extreme. You stretch one leg, jump off again, stretch another leg, and then stretch your arms back and then stretch into the pit. Unfortunately, I had to quit because of my knee but it was a lot of fun.
On running relays: Relays are fun because you always like watching relays. It is something that everyone looks forward to watching. It's really fun. It's a team-bonding thing. You feed off of everybody else's vibe so the more vibe you get the better you do so it is a fun race.
On being a senior leader: I consider myself a leader on the team. I've been through it all. I can tell everyone what to look forward to. I've seen grades, how to feel at home, I feel like anyone can come talk to me about anything. It feels good to be out there and have people who can trust you. If you don't have that as a team, then it falls apart. We don't just want one or four going to a championship, we want a team and that takes leadership to get us there.
On potentially winning the outdoor conference title: Another one would be awesome. It would be like MJ. I would have five rings but I'd have a medallion from my freshmen year when we won indoor and outdoor which would be six all together. It would just feel good to go out on a win. It would be really awesome to win another one.
On head coach Bubba Thornton and assistant coach Mario Sategna: They definitely have been leaders. Bubba always finds nice analogies. They may not make sense at the time but you get them eventually. When you think back on them you are like, 'That really makes sense, I understand that now.' He's been through it all and Mario has been through it all. They have always been there for me. They get on you when you need to be get on. They are always there if you need some help. They get you where you need to be. It's been a really awesome experience and I'd really like to thank them for it, for this opportunity to run here.