Iowa track and field hurdler Myreanna Bebe’s improved mentality yields 60-meter hurdle record

The junior has bounced back from a turbulent sophomore season with a stronger mindset of peace and confidence.


Jerod Ringwald

Iowa’s Myreanna Bebe poses for a photo with former Iowa track and field head coach Larry Wieczorek while celebrating with a trophy for winning the team competition during the Larry Wieczorek Invitational at the Iowa Indoor Track Facility in Iowa City on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2023.

Colin Votzmeyer, Sports Reporter

Iowa track and field hurdler Myreanna Bebe has had her fair share of struggles throughout her career.

Despite multiple promising performances last season, the junior came up short at both the indoor and outdoor conference meets. During the season, she said she had a bad mental state as she tried to balance the requirements of her life after the passing of her father the year before.

“I think I was probably my biggest enemy just because I tried to put a lot of control in my own hands,” Bebe said. “I tried to control everything that I did, and I just killed it for myself. I wasn’t in a good place mentally.”

To strengthen her mentality, the Orlando, Florida, native said she has held herself accountable by telling herself “I’m not okay, and it’s okay to not be okay.” She added it is still her responsibility to want to improve and get out of those rough patches because “it doesn’t define you.”

“You can be sad, and you can be hurt, but you don’t have to be stuck in it,” Bebe said. “I wake up every morning just knowing that it’s going to be hard some days. It’s not going to be easy, and I’m going to miss who I lost, but I’m going to have to keep putting my best foot forward to get to where I need to be.”

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With the 2022-23 indoor season now underway, Bebe said she has prioritized herself and hopes this year will reward her for the struggles she has endured. She said she will remain “still” in the meantime.

“I’ve built my faith up and trusted in God that everything will go according to his plan,” Bebe said, “so, every time I’m going into a race, I don’t care about stats. I don’t care about what I ran last week. I don’t care about what happened yesterday. I’m just going there with confidence, knowing that it’s his will, and I will get everything that I deserve in due time.”

At the Larry Wieczorek Invitational Jan. 20-21, Bebe ran a personal-record 7.50 in the women’s Hawkeye Pro Classic 60-meter dash prelims. The time tied for ninth all-time in the event for Iowa.

Bebe then ran to a fourth-place finish in the women’s Hawkeye Pro Classic 60-meter hurdle prelim with a time of 8.28. Although unsatisfied, she said she did not feel defeated and instead remained calm.

In the final, she ran an 8.11 — another personal best that broke Karessa Farley’s 14-year-old Iowa all-time record for the event by a tenth of a second.

RELATED: Iowa women’s track and field junior Myreanna Bebe breaks Iowa 60-meter hurdle record at Larry Wieczorek Invitational

Bebe said her mentality of peace is at an all-time high, propelling her to run the 8.11 that put her atop the event’s all-time leaderboard.

“I think that’s really what it is for me, remaining still no matter what’s going on, no matter if I had a bad practice or no matter if prelims went wrong, just knowing that I can do anything,” Bebe said. “I think confidence has been my biggest key, going into that race knowing that anything can happen, but I am meant to be here, and I can do whatever I put my mind to.”

Iowa director of track and field Joey Woody said Bebe’s mental improvement showed when she remained unfazed heading into the Hawkeye Pro Classic final, serving as an example for the rest of the team.

“She just stayed focused on herself,” Woody said. “I think that’s been the biggest thing I’ve been really talking to them all about is just to focus on themselves. You can’t control what everybody else does. If you just focus on yourself and execute the things we’re working on in practice, you’re going to see big performances.”

Woody said Bebe is pushing to succeed come her turn for redemption at the Big Ten and NCAA championships.

“She’s just more mature on how she takes care of herself and how she’s dialed in and focused coming into training,” Woody said. “I think it’s been great because we’ve got such a great training group, and that group is really close and very supportive of one another. I think that’s helped Myreanna just like she’s helped all the other girls in that group. I think that’s been a really big positive as well.”

Nonetheless, Bebe said she hasn’t set any goals for the rest of the year.

“I think that if I wake up every day giving my best and putting in that work, I can do anything,” she said. “I’d say right now it’s just limitless. That’s how I look at the season, just going with the flow and having fun, that’s my key thing. I’m just having fun, and all the blessings and everything that I want will come to me.”

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