Sometimes, all an athlete needs is the right coach. Evan Gerish offers just the right guidance for any young trackster looking to get into hurdling.
When Gerish first moved to Colorado from Michigan, he noticed a vacuum of hurdling coaching. He began experimenting with individualized coaching but found it too time-consuming. Thus Hurdle Tech was born.
Every Sunday, Gerish hosts a group of as many as 25 kids at Peak to Peak Charter School that hail from all around the Denver metro, Colorado Springs and Fort Collins areas to teach them the right techniques to shave down their times. Some come to him as true novices, while others have just come back from attending the state track and field meet.
Together, they take a full-team approach in helping their peers grow in the sport.
“They study each other as they go down and we have a total open door, making fun of everybody concept,” Gerish said. “’Look at her as she goes down. See how her elbows are wide and she’s not doing this? Remember? We need to be doing this.’ … But it’s all in good, positive peer coaching. They all get better because of it.”
From the local scene, Gerish currently works with kids from Peak to Peak, Holy Family, Broomfield, Legacy and Erie. Peak to Peak’s Kourtney Rathke began working with Hurdle Tech last year and won the silver in the 100-meter competition at the Class 3A state meet in May.
One of his athletes, Peak to Peak’s Aidan Graziano, even won a state title in 2021.
Standley Lake’s Ian McCurdy first began working out with Hurdle Tech as a junior, when a ref suggested the program to the young athlete after recognizing his potential. With Gerish’s guidance, he was able to shave three seconds off his 110-meter time and five seconds off of his 300.
McCurdy, fresh off of an appearance at the state meet, looks forward to an even better senior season.
“It was a lot of technical work, but we only train every Sunday, so I had to talk to him and figure out workouts to do over the weekdays because (growth) doesn’t just come from every Sunday,” he said. “I trained probably five days a week on top of that. I think he has changed hurdling totally for me. I don’t think I’d be where I am without him.”
Throughout the past few years, Gerish has taken pride in the difference he’s been able to make on young, budding track talent in the area. Nothing has compared to the looks on the athletes’ faces when they make a breakthrough or reach a time that was once thought unfathomable.
He’s been able to change the hurdling landscape in Colorado, and not just behind the scenes.
“(The athletes) didn’t know each other getting here,” Gerish said. “A couple of them go to the same school, but it’s really cool to see them interact with each other at meets, because they all come here and they know each other. They’re friends at this practice and then they go to different schools and sometimes, they warm up together but they’re for sure cheering each other on and bringing that positive hurdle community to the game.”