Senior Breanna Peabody aiming to make history

When Brittni Hutton transferred from Western Michigan University and saw her new Oakland University teammate and roommate Breanna Peabody race for the first time, she knew there was something special about her.

“The first time I saw her race, I was at an indoor meet at Macomb and she took off,” Hutton said. “She just dominated. I was like, ‘Damn, that’s my roommate.’”


Aiming for history

Now a fifth-year senior, Peabody will try to become the first Oakland University woman hurdler to make it to the NCAA Preliminary Nationals.

“It’s my last year, so I really want to give it my all,” Peabody said. “I’ve been working hard in practices, trying to push myself. I’m just working my way to making it Pre-Nationals.”


Coming back strong

Peabody redshirted her 2011 indoor season and 2012 outdoor season after consulting with Oakland head coach Paul Rice to help reach her goal of making it to Pre-Nationals.

“Having a redshirt season to train without the pressure of competition, you can get a little more structured training in because you’re not trying to fit races in at the same time,” Rice said. “I think last year, especially for outdoor season, you saw it worked really well because she came back so strong during indoors this year and right now she’s as far along as she’s ever been.”

Peabody agreed, but found difficulties along the way.

“In the offseason I just tried to focus on what I needed to fix in hurdle form, working on techniques and just keeping my mind focused,” she said. “I went to most of the practices. We’re allowed to practice with the team, we just couldn’t travel with the team. That was kind of hard because I wanted to go to see them race, but I just kept my mental focus on individually.”


At the end

Peabody is off to a strong start to her final season, finishing fourth in her heat in the 400 meter hurdles and first in her heat in the 100 meter hurdles at the Raleigh Relays. She won the 400 meter hurdles in a dual meet at Detroit Mercy.

Hutton believes there is little holding her teammate back from reaching her goal.

“I think it’s very possible. I know she’s capable of doing it, she has to have the confidence, she has to keep heart, determination and confidence going for her,” she said.  “She has everything lined up. She just has to take it one day at a time and when it comes time to race, take that deep breath and go when the gun goes off.”

Peabody and the Oakland track team will compete next at the Sienna Heights Invite on April 13.