The ascension to become one of the best hurdles Fergus High School has ever seen didn't just happen overnight for Marissa James.
"When I do something I want to be the best at it," she said.
That attitude not only helped her achieve PR after PR over the last three years, but enabled her to push through even when she tore her hamstring freshman year.
"When I was finally able to do everything I just pushed harder than I thought I could. It got me to where I'm at now," she said.
And where she's at now is the top. Entering this past weekend's state track meet Marissa had the best time in the 100 meter hurdles by more than half a second.
"The competition that she has to work out with drives her a bit," said her coach Gary Cecrle.
Coach Gary Cecrle says Marissa rose to the top by improving her speed work. Instead of stutter stepping or sprinting from hurdle to hurdle, she focuses on being more fluid and having her momentum carry her through a race. Marissa says
"Makes me feel more confident about what I'm doing instead of twisting my body or just stomping my legs down."
Although she's challenged by her teammates and the rest of the competition, Marissa loves to make sure she does better than everyone else in her family.
"My sister said 'I can do this' and I was like 'well I can do this.' We're just a really competitive family. That pushed me to do better," she said.>