Katelynne Hart Returns To Business Class In Peoria

It was all smiles for the iconic Katelynne Hart who broke her own meet record 

Peoria IL-

There was a feeling in the air Saturday morning at Detweiller Park as the throngs of cross country fans and athletes poured into the place that's known as the holy grail for harriers. Even more so it was an opportunity to show great we are as a state. 

Katelynne Hart (Sr., Glenbard West) returned from a two-week IDLE break on a mission. She like many other elite runners needed to take care of some off the course business. Last weekend it was a college visit that consumed her time. However,  we all knew after witnessing some super times nationally... and locally that Hart would be itching to get her name into our consciousness.

As the opening portion of the race unfolded, it appeared as though Hart was under complete control and with it, several runners decided to take a chance and dare to follow along. Lianna Surtz (So., Aurora Rosary) and Ava Parekh (So., Chicago Latin) shadowed together for approximately 1000 meters. Perhaps when they realized that Hart was not going to slow down, easing up on the accelerator was the necessary choice.

The first mile was in an estimated 5:12-13 for Hart which was not the fastest ever time recorded at Detweiller to open the race. But it may have been the easiest gliding looking run prior to entering the next phase of the race. As Hart entered the "Bermuda Triangle" she began to assert herself and go for hers leaving the young prodigies in training to fend for themselves. Hart hit the halfway mark in around 7:51.

The fastest ever recorded time at two miles is 10:26 by the legendary Judy Pendergast of Naperville North at the 2015 state meet. Hart would come desperately close with her 10:32. Once again she looked smooth and like a machine with just a half-mile remaining in 13:15.

What is perhaps the most underrated and rarely discussed is the final straightaway of the course. The final 300m is akin to running through a landmine. The top runners are trying to thwart extreme fatigue while staying in a tunnel vision mindset. But there are streams of lapped runners in the way. Hart had to negotiate her way through them- a complete obstruction of the finish line. She did not have a clear path to pay dirt. The final time while weaving and bobbing through this maze was an agonizing 16:00.7. Hart was visibly upset upon seeing her team on the finish clock. But the thrill of victory had to take precedence as well. While we all have witnessed the fastest all-time Detweiller mark outside of the state meet, the best is yet to come.

1Katelynne Hart12Glenbard West High School16:00.701
2Lianna Surtz10Rosary High School16:44.702
3Ava Parekh10Chicago Latin High School16:53.903
4Samantha Poglitsch11Wheaton Warrenville South High School16:59.104
5Alice Abbott11St. Charles East High School17:06.705
6Aly Negovetich10Grant High School17:22.606
7Ashley Heidenrich12Waubonsie Valley High School17:25.607
8Maddie Coles10Claremont High (SS)17:26.808
9Amelia Mclain12Benton High School17:27.100
10Brenna Cohoon12Downers Grove South High School17:30.909

Downers Grove South is on a different vibe this season. Head Coach Doug Plunkett has built a tremendous distance program over the years and there is nothing like the present tense. He knows this could be his best ever team and after missing out on some opportunities over the past several seasons, there is nothing going to go unnoticed. The Mustangs did not compete in last weekend's FTTF Invite. Why? Maybe because is an invite from a national perspective that isn't visible to the Nike Cross Nationals committee or consciousness. Richard Spring weekend is always the toughest and deepest of the season. And having a very good California team in Claremont in the field was a no brainer to attend. 

Downers South got to work right away as Brenna Cohoon (Sr.) led the charge. She and her mates worked flawlessly together throughout the meet. Through the second mile, all the Mustang scorers were under 12:00. The end result was a 95 point masterpiece.  Cohoon 10th- 17:30, Erin Reidy 12th- 17:35, Sophia Mcnerney 15th- 17:36, Kennedy Warden 30th- 18:07, Alex Spang 33rd- 18:14.
1Downers Grove South High School959+11+14+29+32 (41+84)0:43 1-5 Split | 17:48 Avg
2Glenbard West High School1911+22+30+49+89 (95+222)3:06 1-5 Split | 17:57 Avg
3Claremont High (SS)2128+12+20+62+110 (134+144)1:54 1-5 Split | 18:13 Avg
4Hinsdale Central High School22623+35+40+45+83 (117)1:05 1-5 Split | 18:26 Avg
5York High School25527+47+56+59+66 (94)0:42 1-5 Split | 18:35 Avg