To say Tori Shriver's early times in the hurdle races were modest would have been a rather gargantuan understatement.
"My freshman year, I ran the 100 hurdles in 20.4 seconds," she said. "My personal best that year was 18.9. My sophomore year wasn’t much better. I ran the 300 hurdles in 54.8."
It’s safe to say Shriver could probably coast to such times now.
That’s because the Hudson senior recently concluded her career as one of the best hurdlers in the state.
Shriver participated in both the 100- and 300-meter hurdles at the Division I state track and field meet, which concluded Saturday at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus.
She finished 14th in the 100 hurdles with a time of 15.26 seconds in the 100 hurdles and 16th in the 300 hurdles with a clocking of 46.37 seconds Friday.
"Being there (at the state meet) was something I dreamed of," Shriver said. "I never thought it was possible.
"I ran my second best times in both events. I placed two places higher than I was seeded in both events."
Shriver's time of 45.69 seconds in the 300 hurdles during the regional competition is a school record. The previous mark of 45.7 seconds was set by Ashley Reker in 1997.
The regional meet, which took place at Austintown-Fitch High School, was quite an adventure for Shriver.
She took the fourth and final spot in the 300 hurdles to advance to the state competition. Prior to the 300 hurdles, Shriver placed fifth in the 100 hurdles with a clocking of 15.17 seconds.
Fortunately for Shriver, she wound up advancing to the state meet in the 100 hurdles due to a new rule.
The top four 100 hurdlers in each region, along with two at-large performers, were invited to Columbus.
"I was a little discouraged that I didn't break the 15-second mark," Shriver said of her 100 hurdles' race in Austintown. "I was told that I was .08 away from fourth, so I was devastated.
"But I knew I still had a chance at an at-large bid."
Since Shriver was originally on the outside looking in, she was a bit distracted.
As a result, the teenager couldn't stop checking the internet.
"My family and I went on Baums Page and we kept refreshing the page," Shriver said. "One of the regions didn't have live results, which was really frustrating. The tension was building for about 25 to 30 minutes."
Fortunately, Shriver learned she earned an invitation to Columbus. At that point, she had to get her mind back in its rightful place.
"We had a little bit of a celebration and then I had to calm myself down and zone in on the 300 hurdles," Shriver said. "I was super confident. I ended up qualifying for states and I broke the school record to do it. That was the icing on the cake."
Shriver has come a long way in the last four years. She also has improved by leaps and bounds since she first started working on her craft back in March.
"She works extremely hard, is motivated and is goal-driven," Lady Explorers' first-year head coach Jeff Hildebrand said. "She was able to develop over time. She grew and matured as an athlete. Her skill and work ethic came together at the right time."
Shriver's skill and work ethic got an assist from her confidence. The senior was determined to visit the state capital ever since the 2018 season began.
"During the spring, I told my dad, 'I'm going to states,'" Shriver said. "He told me that's not how the sport works. I knew I had the potential for great things."
Shriver turned out to be quite the soothsayer, thanks to her determination and talents.
"I always believed in myself," Shriver said. "Honestly, if you put the work in and keep working, you will get the results you like to see."
Shriver got more good news during her stay in Columbus.
She learned she had been accepted at Miami University in Oxford.
"I'm going to do both hurdle events," Shriver said. "I just talked to my coach (Saturday). (The University of) Mount Union (Alliance) has a really good track program.
"I took a gamble. I chose Miami even though I might not have been able to run. I decided to give it a try and live with my decision."
Shriver is certainly looking forward to competing on the collegiate level. But she will certainly miss a place where everything came together during her senior year.
"On the bus ride home, we were talking about how we were never going to ride the bus together again," Shriver said. "I'm super close with (senior) Emily (Akin). We plan to go on vacation together this summer.
"My parents graduated from Hudson and my brother graduated from Hudson. I wanted to leave a mark and I have a record on the record board. I leave with a lot of memories. I will definitely be reminiscing."
Reporter Frank Aceto can be reached at 330-541-9444, firstname.lastname@example.org or @FrankAceto_RPC.