Mike Newman, Dyestat
"It has come to the point that when ever Glenbard West’s Katelynne Hart steps onto the track, something special happens. It happened again on a 65-degree evening on the Arcadia High School track in the suburbs of Los Angeles.
Hart is only a sophomore but does not race like her age. In crossing the finish line in winning the Girls Invitational 3200 Meter Run in the second fastest time ever for an Illinois Girls athlete (10:02.56). Only Kayla Beattie and the 9:56.96 that she ran at the 2011 Girls State Championships is faster. After Saturday’s race, Hart will have her sights on that time. She has more than two years to cut six more seconds off her new personal best.
It was no surprise that Hart took the lead as soon as the gun went off. Corie Smith of Buchanan High School (CA), another sophomore, was the only runner that stayed with the Illinois runner after the first two laps. Smith is not your average runner. She won the California D1 State Championships in the fall. Then again, Hart is not your average runner either.
Hart went through 1600-meters in a blazing 5:00.1 suddenly moving away from Smith gaining five seconds in the next 400-meters. Hart as a freshman would stick at running 78-79 laps in the middle of the race. It’s a year later. She has more confidence in her talent. She has more desire not to et anyone finish ahead of her.
Read more: Mike Newman - News - Hart runs Illinois All Time #2 time to win Girls 3200 at Arcadia Invitational
The most lethal kick of the weekend belonged to Glenbard West (IL) High sophomore Katelynne Hartin the girls 1-mile at New Balance on Sunday.
With Northern (PA) High sophomore Marlee Starliper commanding much of the race from the front over the first seven and a half laps, a secondary pack emerged with Hart and Greencastle (PA) High's Taryn Parks.
Hart initially had to navigate that struggle -- and probably added about meters to her race -- the race's first six and a half laps before realizing she needed to take charge in the last 200m. But she ultimately had no problem doing that, chasing down Starliper from down as much as 50 or 60 meters.
The former soccer player surged in the final 50 meters, touching home for a winning time and personal indoor record time of 4:45.47 to win her first indoor national title. West Virginia's Victoria Starcher did the same thing, overcoming a huge deficit to start to finish second in 4:46.32 while Shoreham-Wading River (NY) High's Katherine Lee was third in 4:46.61.
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OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE
GLENBARD WEST HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT-ATHLETE NAMED GATORADE ILLINOIS GIRLS CROSS COUNTRY RUNNER OF THE YEAR CHICAGO (January 29, 2018)
In its 33rd year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, today announced Katelynne Hart of Glenbard West High School as its 2017-18 Gatorade Illinois Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year. Hart is the first Gatorade Illinois Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year to be chosen from Glenbard West High School. The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the racecourse, distinguishes Hart as Illinois’ best high school girls cross country runner. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year award to be announced in January, Hart joins an elite alumni association of past state award-winners in 12 sports, including Lukas Verzbicas (2010-11, 2009-10 Carl Sandburg, Orland Park, Ill.), Megan Goethals (2009-10, Rochester, Rochester Hills, Mich.), Jordan Hasay (2008-09, Mission College Prep., San Luis Obispo, Calif.) and Chris Derrick (2007-08, Neuqua Valley, Naperville, Ill.).
The 5-foot-3 sophomore raced to the Class 3A individual state championship this past season with a time of 16:22. Hart was the only runner in the country to place in the top five at both national championship races, taking second at the Foot Locker Cross Country Championships in 17:22.5, and finishing fourth at the Nike Cross Nationals Final in 17:41.6, earning All-American honors at both events. She also broke the tape at the NXN Midwest Regional championships (17:28.6) and took second at the Foot Locker Midwest Regional championships. Hart has volunteered locally on behalf of the Mawi Learning leadership group. “Katelynne has been blessed with incredible God-given talent, but her success as a runner can be directly attributed to her amazing work ethic,” said Glenbard West coach Paul Hass. “She is extremely self-disciplined and she knows what it takes to achieve her best and to compete against the best.”
Hart has maintained a 4.77 GPA in the classroom. She will begin her junior year of high school this fall. The Gatorade Player of the Year program annually recognizes one winner in the District of Columbia and each of the 50 states that sanction high school football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, baseball, softball, and boys and girls track & field, and awards one National Player of the Year in each sport. The selection process is administered by the Gatorade Player of the Year Selection Committee, which work with top sport-specific experts and a media advisory board of accomplished, veteran prep sports journalists to determine the state winners in each sport. Hart joins Gatorade Illinois Girls Cross Country Runners of the Year Anna Sophia Keller (2016-17, St. Anthony High School), Judy Pendergast (2015-16, Naperville North High School), Maryjeanne Gilbert (2014-15, Peoria Notre Dame High School), Anna Sophia Keller (2013-14, St. Anthony High School), Courtney Ackerman (2012-13, New Trier High School), Amanda Fox (2011-12, Naperville Central High School), Kayla Beattie (2010-11, Woodstock High School), Lavinia Jurkiewicz (2009-10, Whitney M. Young Magnet High School), Lindsay Flanagan (2008-09, Lake Park High School), and Kristin Sutherland (2007-08, Carl Sandburg High School) as athletes who have won the cross country award since its inception in 2007.
As a Gatorade Player of the Year, Hart will be able to select a national or local youth sports organization to receive a grant as part of the Gatorade Play It Forward program. Every Gatorade Player of the Year state winner receives a $1,000 grant to donate and will have the opportunity to enter for an additional $10,000 spotlight grant by writing a brief essay explaining why their selected organization deserves additional support. 12 spotlight grants – one for each sport – will be announced throughout the year. To keep up to date on the latest happenings, become a fan of Gatorade Player of the Year on Facebook and follow the conversation on Twitter #GatoradePOY. For more on the Gatorade Player of the Year program, including nomination information, a complete list of past winners and the announcement of the Gatorade National Player of the Year, visit http://playeroftheyear.gatorade.com/.