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updated: 5/28/2014 10:08 PM

Harvest's Harbaugh excited for state opportunity

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By Mike Miazga
Daily Herald Correspondent

Harvest Christian Academy senior Zach Harbaugh is in a somewhat unfamiliar position.

And he couldn't be happier.

Harbaugh is part of the Lions' 3,200 relay team that will compete in Thursday's Class 1A state finals at Eastern Illinois University's O'Brien Stadium in Charleston.

"I'm a 400 runner," he said. "I've run it all year. I only ran the 4-by-8 about two weeks before sectionals. It's worked out very well. The four of us work very well together. We come from a very small school so we've known each other pretty well before this. We're very excited to see what we can do at the state level."

Harbaugh runs the second leg of the 3,200 relay. Other Harvest relay members include senior Jacob Schott and juniors Jake Adams and Dorian Frederick.

Harbaugh said he didn't have to adjust too radically to running the 800.

"I play soccer, so as far as training, I was fine," he said. "The last couple weeks I've tried to develop a little cardio. My fitness is doing very well. I'm extremely thankful for the training I've received from our coaches. I've adapted from the 400 to the 800 because of that."

Harvest ran 8:26.01 to qualify. The top Class 1A sectional time in the state belongs to Bureau Valley at 8:12.48.

Lions' sophomore Brett Cramer also qualified for state in the high jump. He qualified with a sectional mark of 5-8.

"I've done a lot more training this year," he said. "My coaches have helped me throughout the season and so have my parents. I've had a lot more motivation this year. Hard work pays off. I've been practicing consistently getting my technique down."

Cramer, who also qualified for state in cross country this past fall, has an exact mark in mind that he'd like to clear in Charleston.

"I want to be able to jump six feet," he said. "It's possible. I've done it a couple times in practice. I want to nail it at a competitive meet like state."

St. Edward's 800 relay team also will compete in Charleston. The Green Wave ran 1:33.72 at the sectional level. Knoxville had the fastest sectional time in the state (1:30.49). The Green Wave relay team consists of Eduardo Carachure, Albert Lopez, Michael Kelly and Devontae Elam.

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