San Marcos’ girls track & field team has the Channel League team title already under its belt and is coming off a victory at the Santa Barbara County Championships. The Royals are loaded with talent, but the emergence of Devon Block-Funkhouser as one of the top hurdlers in the area this spring has been a big part of San Marcos’ success.
The compact junior has made a positive impact for the Royals in many ways, not limited to consistently gaining points in both the 100 and 300 hurdles. She’s also asked to compete on the 4×400 relay team.
For Royals head coach Marilyn Hantgin, Block-Funkhouser helps the team succeed even when not racing. Her leadership qualities have blossomed along with her athletic ability.
“Devon is the perfect teammate. She is the first person to compliment someone on a performance and she will do anything to help her teammates win a meet,” Hantgin said. “Devon is very competitive. She is extremely dedicated to her school work and her athletic career. I couldn’t be happier for all her success this season. I am impressed with her consistency. And her improvements have been remarkable.”
She’s already reached her preseason goals regarding times and says its now all about seeing how much she can improve.
“I’m kind of surprised. It’s been really cool. It really hasn’t sunk in that much though because I still kind of think I’m not as good,” Block-Funkhouser said. “It’s really cool and really fun to get PRs and feel like I’m actually improving, and that all my hard work is paying off.”
She proved at the Arcadia Invitational that she can perform in big situations. Block-Funkhouser won her heat in the open 300 hurdles and finished fourth overall with a personal best of 44.79. Block-Funkhouser was the fastest competitor from the Southern Section in the field.
“That was really scary. There were so many people from out of state and out of the country. It was really intimidating but it was really fun.”
Focusing on technique has enabled her to quickly improve and succeed in an event where she’s undersized. She’s currently working at improving on sprinting at the beginning of her races and making lower jumps over hurdles.
Most recently, Block-Funkhouser was runner-up at the County Championships in both the 100 and 300 hurdles. The Royals have the Channel League Championships at the end of this week followed by CIF Prelims the following week.
Find past High School Runners of the Month HERE
The High School Runner of the Month award recognizes local prep runners that exemplify the term “Student-Athlete” by demonstrating leadership, passion and excellence in high school athletics.
Thanks to Santa Barbara Running Company for making this award possible and for supporting local athletes.