Hurd comes from baseball background to become track star

Sophomore Cross Country runner Sean Hurd from Crofton is going to be competing in the Sun Belt Championships on Saturday Oct. 27, 2012. “I think everyone on team is ready,” said Hurd, “It’s going to be a lot tougher this year but we have all the pieces of the puzzle and I think we can fit them together by the time conference rolls around.”

Jonah Phillips

It was through another sport that sophomore Sean Hurd found his love of track and field.

One day several years ago, Hurd was doing a two-mile run with his fellow Christian County High School pitchers during a baseball conditioning session.

“I was beating everyone pretty bad when Coach (Ed) Davis saw me,” Hurd said.

Davis, the Colonels’ cross country and track coach, got Hurd to come try out for his team.  

“A lot of the runners were also on the baseball team, so they convinced me to come out and run,” Hurd said. “I went out and beat everyone on the team first race.”

Since taking on running full time his sophomore year of high school, Hurd knew he wanted to run in a Division I program. Hurd also knew he wanted to major in engineering.  

With his tuition paid in full to any Kentucky school through the Governor’s Scholar Program, Hurd’s list was trimmed to WKU, the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville.

After contacting coaches Erik Jenkins and Curtiss Long and going on a visit to WKU, Hurd said he knew Bowling Green was where he belonged.

“I knew it was where I wanted to be,” Hurd said. “The school seemed like an ideal fit, and I felt like this was the place that God wanted me to be and where I could be used by Him.”

Hurd, who won the 2010 3,200-meter high school state championship, joined the team as a preferred walk on.

He went out his freshman year with something to prove.

“I had to prove to everyone that thought my race at state was a fluke,” Hurd said.

Last year as a freshman, he competed in all six meets, posting his best 8,000-meter finish in the Old Timers Classic, placing 2nd with a time of 26:07.3. He would move on to place 16th at the Sun Belt Conference Championships, clocking in at 26:08.1.

Hurd’s sophomore season started strong but was later hampered by illness.

“I was on pace to set some new personal bests,” Hurd said.

He quickly came down with a case of strep throat and had to take antibiotics.

“They made me fatigued,” Hurd said. “Then I had an allergic reaction to the medicine and that hampered my training for another week or so.”

Through Hurd’s battles this year, women’s cross country senior Vasity Chemweno said she’s seen his determination come through.

“I think Sean is an ambitious teammate,” Chemweno said. “The times we’ve spent together or seeing him train, his face shows how focused and dedicated he is in helping his team achieve.”

Hurd can help lessen the sting of a rough sophomore year with a good finish this Saturday at Kereiakes Park for the Sun Belt Championships.

His goals for the event are to finish in the top 10 and garner all-Sun Belt honors and for the team to win another league title, he said.

“The team has been hampered by injuries all season long,” Hurd said. “Finally, everyone is coming together right when they are needed.”