Girls Runner of The Year
1st Katelynne Hart (Jr., Glen Ellyn [Glenbard West]) (8 first place votes)
Who else would be here? Let's be honest, "KK" Hart has been one of the most dominant high school distance runners ever in Illinois. She has only lost against Illinois talent two times in her career, but both times were her freshman year.
This year Hart was the most dominant she has ever been, winning every race she competed in. She won races like the Lake Park Harvey Braus Invite, West Suburban Conference (Silver Division) meet, and the Niles West Sectional with an interesting race strategy. At those meets, she would start out fast coming through the first mile with a 5:10 then shut it down for the final two miles and coast to a win. She did seem to go harder at the Peoria Richard Spring Invite with she ran a 16:14.7- which was her best time on the Detweiller course at the time-the Naperville Twilight Invite, the Lake Park Regional, and State.
At Regionals she ran a 16:08.20, her second fastest time of the season only behind her phenomenal state performance. She solidified what everyone knew she could do and only further intensified the excitement for the Illinois State meet. She coasted through her sectional, preparing to give everyone a show at State where she becomes the second Illinois girl ever to break the 16:00 barrier. The phenom ran a 15:59.82 with Katrina Schlenker of Batavia and Alex Morris of Naperville North pushing her, as they were about six seconds behind the superstar until the very end of the race. Hart has had an amazing running career and she is only a junior in high school. But don't be surprised if next year is a bit tougher because with the way Schlenker is looking, she might give Hart a run for her money. For now, congrats to Hart as she is the 2018 Milesplit IL Girls Runner of The Year!