By Christina Anderson
Big 12 Campus Correspondent
For Le’Tristan Pledger, track is something that runs in the family.
Starting at the age of seven, Pledger's mother introduced her to a sport she knew quite well as a child.
“They had their own track team as a family,” Pledger said. “She brought it down to my generation. All of my cousins and I, we started running at a very young age.”
Pledger competed in events with her mother and aunt by her side, not just as family but as her coaches. She participated in multiple events such as the heptathlon and the 400m.
Now a redshirt junior, Pledger is still a multiple event athlete but she’s left the 400m behind.
“You can’t get me to run a 400m now,” Pledger said laughing. “It’s not even a question.”
So, the 400m obviously isn’t Pledgers favorite event.
What is her favorite event? Hurdles.
“Hurdles is something that I really just love,” Pledger said without hesitation.
She’s really good at hurdles too, gold medal good.
Pledger qualified for the U-23 NACAC in the summer of 2014, marking the fourth time she has competed for Team USA.
Pledger took home the gold, running a time of 13.04 in the 100m hurdles.
“I was really happy to be on the podium, hear the national anthem, and know that I am actually taking home the gold,” Pledger said.
Pledger didn’t let winning a gold medal go to her head, though. She continued to train day-in and day-out working on her technique so she can keep getting better.
“Hurdling is such a technical race,” Pledger said. “The moment you mess up, it’s over.”
Hard work paid off.
During the 2015 indoor season, Pledger competed in the long jump, 55m, 55m hurdles and 60m hurdles.
Pledger placed fourth in the 60m hurdles at the NCAA Indoor Championships, earning first team All-American honors, the fifth All-American honor of her decorated career.
“Overall, I’m pretty satisfied with my placement,” Pledger said.
Pledger also broke the school and facility 55m hurdles records at the Masked Rider Open, and then broke them again at the Red Raider Open, with a 7.55.
With perhaps the best indoor season of her career behind her, Pledger switches her focus to the outdoor season, where she earned All-American honors in the long jump in 2013, and the 100m hurdles in 2014.
Though she hasn’t set an exact time goal for this season, she has set personal goals for herself. Pledger hopes to keep dropping her time and perform better than she has in seasons past.
“Anyone can sprint,” Pledger said. “You just need to get the technical aspects down if you want to go far.”
Pledger proves hard work and great technique can take a runner far - even to the gold medal podium.