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Talia Highbarger is a standout hurdler on the Circle High track and field team.

Talia Highbarger is a standout hurdler on the Circle High track and field team. Travis Heying/ The Wichita Eagle | Buy this photo

Getting to know Circle’s Talia Highbarger

Published April 17 at 12:03 p.m. | Last updated April 17 at 12:04 p.m.

Talia Highbarger

Circle track and field

A three-sport senior athlete at Circle, Highbarger has her sights on winning the Class 4A 100 hurdles at the state track meet in May. Highbarger, who finished third in 4A in 2013, set the Circle record in the 100 hurdles, finishing in 15.02 seconds.

You have been a three-sport athlete all four years, also playing basketball and volleyball. How busy are you?

“Sports is basically what I do with all my free time. I had basketball every day, and then during the summer, I had volleyball Tuesday, Thursday, basketball on Monday, Wednesday, Friday. I didn’t really have a break for the past four years.”

That sounds exhausting. Have you enjoyed it?

“I’ve liked all the relationships I’ve built with my teammates. In volleyball I had a different set of friends and then a different set in basketball and then in track.”

Did you ever consider specializing?

“No, I’ve always done them, so I might as well keep doing them instead of giving up. Basketball made me more prepared for the track season because I was already in shape and I had that going for me. But basketball, all I did was sprints. In track, I do long distance and the 400. I think I go a lot harder in track than I did in basketball.”

You are back at the KU Relays, last going as a sophomore. How will you approach your race differently?

“It was kind of scary the first time I went. I was young. It’s a lot different because you warm up and then they take you (to the start) like an hour before you run, so you have a lot of down time before you run, between your warmup and your race.”

Have you ever fallen in a hurdles race?

“I haven’t in a race, but one time I was at a hurdle camp at (Wichita State) and we were getting ready to go run. I was talking about how I’d never fallen before in hurdling.

“I had gone over two hurdles and I completely wiped out. My shoe ripped. And it all happened in front of the coaches. It was pretty bad.”