Katelynne Hart put on one of the all-time great performances in the 3200
Saturday is widely known as carnival day at the Arcadia Invitational. The morning session consists mainly of "open" level competition which on the surface appears to be like a typical track and field meet in terms of solid marks. By the time the late afternoon commences there seems to be a shift in attitude. The high sun and warm temps that permeated throughout the day begins to wane. Then it's the high powered invitational session that everyone packs the stadium for.
The setting of the 51st edition of the meet is about as picturesque as you can imagine with the San Gabriel Mountains as a backdrop. The city of Los Angeles is just a mere 15 miles away. It would be easy for one to divert their attention away from athletics.
Katelynne Hart steals the show from the boys-
As it had been in the past, Illinois sent a small but usually powerful contingent out to California to duel against some of the nation's elite. The hype all week was bestowed upon the Invitational Boys 3200m. Since this is a story about our state kids it would be prudent to lead off with Glenbard West super sophomore Katelynne Hart.
Hart did not waste much time in accomplishing her mission. In true front running style, Hart moved to the front with a 71-72 second first 400m. As she dialed each turn it appeared as though a lifetime achievement at this great invite was going to occur. If Hart decided to step off the track at the 1600m mark (5:00) and went home, the crowd still would have been in awe. But instead she continued to gap the field and drop 76's each circuit.
The crowd applause was strong with 800m to go and it was a little uncertain if Hart could break the magical 10:00 barrier. She would need a 68-second last rotation on bell lap to accomplish the feat. Unfortunately, there was no one in sight to lend a hand. Regardless, the ultimate prize was a big victory in 10:02.56 as well as the #1 time in the country regardless of the conversion or situation. Hart's time just makes the top 20 all-time performers of all time. It is the second fastest run for an Illinois girl and #4 in meet annals.
We all know that the great Claudia Lane was not in attendance even though she is from near by Malibu Beach. With that being said, Hart has to be in the conversation of the very elite girls distance runners.