Warner hurdles the competition

The track star has been lighting up arenas and stadiums since before he was an Eagle

By Elohino Theodore, Sports Writer


Photo Illustration by Aaron Malmoe

Since high school, Steven Warner has had a tremendous work ethic; this work ethic has contributed to his success.

A proud alumnus of Kentwood High School, Warner juggled both football and track as a high school student. “I basically started running track seriously [during] my freshman [and] sophomore year[s] in high school,” Warner said. “Before that, I was more [into] football. I was playing football since I was [around] seven,” Warner said.

Warner leaned more toward track and field because of the feeling of independence. “I’d leave one practice and go home and my dad was giving me more stuff to do for football. [For] track, I kind of was like venturing off on my own and getting to learn everything,” Warner said.

Warner has a passion for hurdling; he has stuck with it throughout high school and college. “I love hurdling, so that’s kind of the other thing too. I wake up and that’s one of the things I’m thinking about is how I can get my body right for practice,” Warner said.

In 2009, Warner won the WIAA 4A State Championships with a time of 14.23 seconds. He also reached state in the 300 meter hurdles during his sophomore and junior years of high school. As a freshman in college, Warner placed fifth in the 55 meter hurdles at the Big Sky Indoor Championships with a time of 7.65. He also placed fifth in the 110 meter hurdles at the Big Sky Outdoor Championships with a season-best time of 14.60.

Warner ended up being selected for the winter and spring Big Sky All-Academic teams as a freshman. During his second year in college, Warner hit his best time of 8.40 twice at the UW Invitational and the Bronco Open for the 60 meter hurdles. He also placed fourth in the 60 meter hurdles at the Big Sky Indoor Championships with a time of 8.35.

After suffering a hamstring injury during most of his junior season, Warner won the 60 meter hurdles at the Big Sky Indoor Championships with a school record time of 8.07.

He placed third in the Big Sky Outdoor Championships for the 110 meter hurdles with a time of 14.37. He was selected to the spring Big Sky All-Academic team.

Now currently in his fourth year, Warner is still achieving success. On March 30 at the Al Manuel Invitational, he ran a time of 14.04, earning himself second place. This is now is the sixth fastest time in 110 hurdles in school history. “His strength, his technique, his drive, his competitiveness will lend to probably breaking the school record,” head men’s track coach Stan Kerr said.

The school record that Warner is trying to break was a record set by Michael Dwyer 1998. Dwyer ran a time of 14.28 in the 110 meter hurdles. Warner is currently second in school history for the 110 meter hurdles with a time of 14.29 for the Outdoor Championships.

According to Kerr, Warner is hard-working and aware of his diet. Kerr’s view of success for a track athlete requires the ability to have good time management and to be aware of getting the right amounts of sleep and nutrition. The ultimate goal for Kerr is to get Warner to Eugene, Ore., for the NCAA Outdoor Championship.

Sprints and hurdle captain Brad Wall sees Warner as a motivated athlete ready to take on any challenge.
“He’s a competitive guy. He’s always one of those guys that want to be up there at the top of the conference,” Wall said.

According to Warner, the key to success is to focus on the fundamentals of hurdling and staying healthy. Being an exercise science major, Warner gets useful information that helps him become a better athlete. Warner’s passion for track is very strong and there is no doubt that he enjoys being out there competing.

“It’s an individual sport with a team component. I love my teammates. I love being around other people who are performing at a high level,” Warner said.

To Warner, track is a lot like life and very crucial things happen. “[.1] of a second can be the difference between your season being over and you succeeding at the highest level.”