Skip to main content

Idaho Enterprise

Oaklie Hebdon Signs with ISU Track

Hebdon celebrating ISU signing with Coaches Buttars, Crozier, Bastian, and Kimberling

Signing her name on the dotted line with family, friends, coaches and teammates looking on, Oaklie Hebdon committed to run track for Idaho State University on January 21, 2024.  As a multisport athlete, Hebdon has seen great success as a Malad Dragon, but her greatest achievements have always been found on the track.

Hebdon began running track in middle school as a seventh grader where she surprisingly wasn’t an immediate success.  Remembering her first ever track meet, Hebdon shared, “I lost my first hurdle race but for some reason I decided to keep going.  My mom was encouraging me to keep running, but thought maybe there was a different event I could do better in.  But I just kept racing hurdles and slowly my times improved.”  Throughout that first track season, Hebdon learned the value of hard work and persistence as she eventually earned third place in the 2019 middle school district track meet.

Midly committed to continue with track, Hebdon intended to participate in her final year of middle school track in 2020, but was disappointed to learn that there would be no track season due to covid.  Going out for track in the spring of 2021 as a freshman wasn’t something Hebdon was all too interested in doing, but still found herself running for the Dragons once again, a decision that would end up changing everything for her.  

With her innate drive to compete, Hebdon couldn’t help but push herself to become better, even in an event she didn’t love.  Slowly she began to shave off time in her 300 meter hurdles, enough that she qualified for the state track meet.  It was there, going up against the best racers in the state, that a spark ignited and she became a dedicated racer of the event.  There was something about not only competing at an elite level that drove Hebdon, but earning 8th place at her first ever state race that helped her realize what a contender she could be.

There was no question of going out for track in her sophomore year.  Race after race, Hebdon found herself coming across the finish line in first place.  Once again she found herself competing at the state track meet in 2022 after winning first place in the district meet by nearly a full second. At the state meet, Hebdon not only competed, but dominated as she easily won both the preliminary and final races.

It was at this point that the Utah Valley University track coach reached out to Hebdon, showing interest in having her run for them after graduating.  Competing after high school had never really been a consideration, but after becoming a state champion she began to realize she had a gift that could serve her beyond her high school career. 

Hebdon’s junior season of track did not disappoint as she won six of the nine races she competed in, with third place as lowest standing.  Hebdon recorded a personal best time at the 5th District meet of 45.16, taking off nearly 3 seconds from her best the previous season and qualifying her for the state races for the third year in a row where she became the back-to-back 300 m hurdle champion.

With several colleges interested in Hebdon competing for them, she had the difficult decision of narrowing down which one program she would commit to.  Whittling down the prospects, Idaho State University began to check all of the boxes that were a priority to Hebdon.  She shared, “I had a lot of things that were important to me as I tried to decide where to go.  Even though I was committing to their track program, my education was why I was going to college, so I had to be sure they had the right scholastic program for me as well.  I wanted it to be close to my family still and an affordable option.  ISU just checked all the boxes of a good education, a great track program, good coaches, and still close to home.”

Hebdon has committed to run the 400 m hurdles, as a member of the relay teams and to try out as a heptathlete.  When asked what she is most looking forward to becoming a Bengal track athlete, she answered, “I’m really excited to be a part of their team.  They have a lot of great coaches and resources and I’m excited to see how that will help me improve.”  With a smile she continued, “Honestly, I don’t have great form, I’m just fast, but getting my form down will help me cut time.”

Looking back over the years that have brought her to this point, Hebdon commented, “I’m super grateful for all of my coaches throughout the years.  All of them- coaches from track, cross country and basketball- have done so much to help me to get where I am today.  I’m grateful for my teammates that have made sports fun and have helped push me to be a better competitor.  And I’m so grateful for my family and all the support they have given me, even if my mom did try to talk me out of hurdles that first year.”

Welcome to Malad
Upcoming Events Near You

No Events in the next 21 days.