KK Hart proved that she could race long and hard under pressure on her own
Elite athletes tend to hold on to their perfectionist ways longer than non-elite athletes. Katelynne Hart is one such athlete whose standards are very high. After a lengthy time away from training and prepping for the indoor season, Glenbard West girls head coach Kelly Hass revealed that her superstar senior pupil would make her debut in Beantown at the David Hemery Valentine's Invitational hosted by Boston University. Initially, Hart was to race the 3k but later switched to the 5k, a distance that she had never run on the track indoors or outside.
In the field of play were a set of rabbits to assist the great Jenny Simpson in getting the "A" standard should she compete in the event at the Olympic Trials. In addition, there were several other standout professionals and collegians, one named 2018 NCAA Division 1 Cross Country champion Dani Jones from the University of Colorado.
As the race unfolded, Hart rushed with the pace of the race on the first circuit. She must have quickly realized that there were 25 total laps and the rabbit's goal was to push the pace. It could have been a disaster.
Simpson would pull away from the field enroute to a big win in 14:58.67- bringing the energetic crowd to its feet. Meanwhile, Hart methodically dropped a fleet of 38-second 200m circuits in the early going. Along the way, she hit the key markers in: 1600m (5:06.57), 3200m (10:16.25). The latter split would have been good for US #4 (3200 or 2m converted) if allowed to stand. Hart hit the 4k in 12:52.87 which put on state record pace and would destroy Maryjeanne Gilbert of Peoria Notre Dame 16:28.74.
It would be a string of 39-second splits over the final mile, showing some fatigue but Hart came home for the US#1/#4 all-time 16:09.56.
Hart won her win her fourth straight Illinois state cross country championship, qualify and finish in her fourth straight Nike Cross Nationals and score a fourth-place finish at Foot Locker Nationals, her third top fop effort overall. She was on MileSplit's all-decade third team.
Watch the masterful race here and view all 25 laps below including the highlighted 400m splits.
9 hart, katelynne Unattached 16:09.56 36.845 (36.845) 1:15.179 (38.334) 1:53.342 (38.163) 2:32.604 (39.262) 3:11.602 (38.998) 3:49.835 (38.233) 4:28.138 (38.303) 5:06.574 (38.436) 5:45.273 (38.699) 6:24.000 (38.727) 7:02.815 (38.815) 7:41.388 (38.573) 8:20.177 (38.789) 8:58.804 (38.627) 9:37.815 (39.011) 10:16.253 (38.438) 10:55.010 (38.757) 11:33.690 (38.680) 12:13.544 (39.854) 12:52.872 (39.328) 13:32.359 (39.487) 14:11.937 (39.578) 14:51.570 (39.633) 15:30.687 (39.117) 16:09.557 (38.870)