Moline hurdles over mental blocks

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Chuck Myers/MCT | The Daily Wildcat Georganne Moline of the USA takes the stretch run of a semifinal for the women's 400m hurdles at Olympic Stadium, during the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London, England, Aug. 6, 2012. Moline finished second in the semifinal and qualified for the final. This past season, Moline ran her personal best of 53.14 seconds and placed fifth overall at the U.S. Nationals.

Arizona track and field alumna, Georganne Moline, became a 2012 Olympian in the 400-meter hurdles during her junior in college. After a successful colligate career, Moline continued to run professionally for Nike. 

It took four years of persistence and hard work to finally beat her 2013 personal record time of 53.72 seconds. In her fastest 400-meter hurdle race of all time at the 2017 U.S.A. Nationals, Moline ran an impressive 53.14 seconds.

Moline has always been a champion winning the state champion in the 100-meter hurdles and 300-meter hurdles in her junior and senior year at Thunderbird High School in Phoenix, Ariz.  Following her high school success, she decided to run for Arizona track and field coach Fred Harvey. Even after Moline’s colligate career ended, Harvey continues to coach her as she trains in Tucson. 

“I just knew he [Harvey] truly believed in me, no matter what. He was going to help get me to where I wanted to go,” Moline said.

She spent her first two years of college battling injuries and not taking her role as an athlete seriously. After a talk with Harvey about changing to a healthier diet in order to heal her body, Moline made major lifestyle changes.

“I went to bed early. I got eight to nine hours of sleep every single day,” Moline said. “I ate the exact same thing for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I was just so on top of everything.”

Moline spent the following season undefeated, up until the 2012 NCAA Championships. Due to her knee injury, she never used starting blocks. However, at the NCAA Championships runners were required to use starting blocks, including Moline, who ended up falling due to the blocks. 

Looking back now, Moline sees the fall as a blessing. She thought her season was over after that meet, but Harvey pushed her and told her it was time to prepare for the Olympic Trials.

Moline thought that there was no way she was prepared enough for the Olympics, but she went into the finals thinking she had nothing to lose.

Placing second, Moline ended up making the 2012 USA Olympic Team. Moline went on to compete in her first Olympic Games in London, England where she placed fifth overall.

During her senior year at the UA in 2013, Moline continued to train and ran another personal best of 53.72 seconds. After her time as a Wildcat, Moline decided to continue running professionally and signed a sponsorship deal with Nike.

Moline was unable to beat her personal best of 53.72 for four years making it the hardest years of her life mentally. Even though she was consistently ranked within the top seven in the world, she wanted to quit her passion of running. Moline decided to quit two years ago for only a week before changing her mind.

“It was a mental battle for me for years,” Moline said. “I know that it was the reason why I wasn’t capable of getting a personal record.”

The pressure became too much for her until she realized that all the pressure she felt was pressure she put on herself. 

“I didn’t want to let coach Harvey down, my mom, my sponsors. It was really a hard time for me,” she said.

Moline had convinced herself that she really didn’t love track anymore, but her support system consisting of her mom, Harvey and family helped make her realize that she does love it after all.

“I’m never going to let anyone down. People that really love me and love me for who I am, I could never let them down,” Moline said. 

This past season, Moline had the race of her life. Not only was it the USA Nationals, but it was also the trials to make the World Championship team. She had very strong races in the first two rounds of qualifying and described it as if she was “running on clouds”.

“If you go out there, you’re going to win. And if you don’t win, they’re going to have to run record fast to beat you. I’m telling you you’re ready,” Harvey said to Moline before the finals. 

And that was exactly what happened.

Moline ran her personal best of 53.14 seconds and placed fifth overall. That was the fastest women’s 400-meter hurdle race of all time and was the best race of Moline’s life, not just physically, but also mentally.

Looking ahead to the 2018 outdoor track season, Moline wants to have the No. 1 time in the world all year long. He goal is to start the season strong, break 53 seconds and win the USA National title. For the indoor season, Moline wants to make the USA National team in the 400-meter and compete at the World Indoor Championships.

Moline realized that running is her passion and won’t let her mind get in the way of what she is best at. The pressure is off and the UA alum is ready to hit the track once again. 



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