Glenbard West runs to Silver crown

 
By Kevin McGavin
Daily Herald Correspondent

Katelynne Hart was as strong as ever Friday evening in Elmhurst.

The Glenbard West junior, owner of seven combined state championships in cross country and track, powered two relays to victory and ran the fastest indoor 1,600-meter time in the history of the West Suburban Conference Silver Division at York.

Two years removed from capturing the Class 3A girls track and field championship, the Hilltoppers served notice they will be in trophy contention this spring as well.

Hart, the two-time reigning state champion in both the 3,200 and 1,600 runs, skipped the former and lowered her record in the latter by more than four seconds in cruising to the title in 4:44.42.

Hart has never been defeated in an individual race during her two-plus years at Glenbard West.

"I don't know if I have seen a kid do what (Hart) has done," Hinsdale Central coach Pat Richards said after the Hilltoppers' standout paced Glenbard West to a 128-105 victory over defending indoor champion Lyons Twp.

Oak Park-River Forest was third with 77 points, followed by reigning outdoor champion Downers Grove North (68.5 points), Hinsdale Central (62), York (29.5) and Proviso West (26).

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Hart began her evening by running a 2:11.4 split in guiding the Hilltoppers' 3,000 relay to a triumph in 9:24.63 and catapulted past Hinsdale Central's Gillian Filer, a Nebraska recruit, on the anchor leg in the 1,600 relay.

"Winning at the end was great," Hart said after crossing the finish line in the final event in 4:07.94. "Everyone (on the team) was there cheering and really together. I thought that was really exciting to see. It kept the momentum going to finish up great."

Glenbard West sprinter Aaliyah Collier led off the relay and also became a three-event champion after a clean sweep of 300 and 400 dashes in respective times of 42.37 and 60.31 seconds.

"I was only part of it," Collier said of her contributions to the Hilltoppers' championship. "That's the good thing. I am still recovering from everything (after missing her sophomore season last spring)."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"(Collier) is such a spark in every way," Glenbard West coach Kelly Hass said. "The kids on this team love her. She is just the total team player."

Huda Hussaini was also a revelation for Glenbard West as the senior was a double-sprint champion at 55 and 200 meters.

"I have worked really hard this season on my starts," said Hussaini, who was clocked in 7.54 and 26.43 to deny Downers North senior Kim Brent in both races. "I am in shock at how my journey has come."

Hilltoppers University of Illinois-bound senior Katie Hohe won the 3,200 run in 11:11.13.

"It's an honor to run for Glenbard West," said Hohe, all-state in the 1,600 last spring.

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