Hillary Bor admits that even if you like something a lot, you still have to work to be good at it.
The Iowa State junior standout in both track and field and cross country is excelling in the steeplechase, a 3,000 meter run featuring four barriers of three feet and a water hazard. The race’s 28 unforgiving hurdles and seven water jumps has not deterred Bor. The Eldoret, Kenya, native has turned in the top NCAA time this season with a mark of 8:38.05.
“Even before I ran it, I felt like I would do very well,” Bor said. “The more I worked at it the better I felt. You just have to push.”
Bor is a two-time All-American in the steeplechase, finishing fourth and second as a freshman and sophomore, respectively. His efforts in the classroom mirror those he makes on the track. The Cyclone is an accounting major who notched Academic All-Big 12 first-team honors in track and field and cross country in 2009.
“I’ve liked accounting for a long time,” Bor said. “I’ve always known I wanted to be in accounting. I don’t know why. I feel just like that about the steeple.”
Bor’s mindset is fixed appropriately on trying to be the best at whatever he is doing. That doesn’t mean he didn’t feel jitters as a freshman competing at Iowa State and in the Big 12 Conference.
“My freshman year, I didn’t really know what to expect or what was going on,” Bor said. “I did well and couldn’t really believe it. It gave me confidence that I could compete at this level.”
One thing missing from Bor’s mantle was a Big 12 first-place trophy. He was edged in the mile run at the 2009 Big 12 Indoor Championships and in the steeplechase at the conference outdoor meet that same year. Bor’s fortunes changed this winter when he took the indoor mile conference crown in February.
“I won at the Big 12 meet and that was what I had wanted a lot,” Bor said.
The improved training regimen Bor employs is paying dividends.
“I changed a few things in my training,” Bor said. “In a workout now, I’m trying to push myself further. I told our coaches I want to be doing hard work all the time.”
Bor needs to be doing what it takes to improve further in the steeplechase. His No. 1-ranked time certainly has many chasing after the ISU runner.
“It’s a lot of pressure,” Bor said. “I knew I had a good time. Last year I had the best time going into the NCAA meet and people were expecting me to do great things. But I finished second last year. That kind of keeps the pressure on and I’m training a lot this year.”
With the Iowa Stater leading the pack in his staple event nationally, it’s no question he will continue pushing for excellence.