Track and field: Glenbard West's Hart the early leader nationally
The girls outdoor track season started out with a bang for Glenbard West's Katelynne Hart.
Running in the women's 3,200-meter invitational race at the Arcadia Invitational on April 6 in California, the decorated junior repeated as event champion with a time of 9 minutes, 59.57 seconds.
The early leader nationally, Hart recorded Arcadia's fourth-fastest women's 3,200 time in the event; in 2018 she ran it in 10:02.56.
Glenbard West girls cross country and track distance coach Paul Hass was at Arcadia. He said Hart's race and time was "a great gauge" for the outdoor season.
"I think she and I would tell you that wasn't her best race," Hass said. Hart's outdoor personal record in the event is 9:52.02 at the 2018 Sue Pariseau Invitational at Glenbard West.
Part of the reason was three strides into the race, starting right next to the infield on the left side of Lane 1, Hart got bumped by another runner and sent into the infield for a couple steps.
Hass said that caused Hart to be "a little panicked" and take her race out faster than planned. She still finished more than 12 seconds ahead of the runner-up, who crossed the line in 10:12.18.
Those things happen.
"She and I both believe she could run in the low 9:50s if she takes it out a little more conservatively," Hass said.
This indoor season Hart recorded personal bests in the 800-, 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs, the last event a converted 2-mile time of 9:54.95 at the New Balance Nationals.
"She's ahead of where she was last year," Hass said.
Also at Arcadia, defending girls Class 3A triple jump champion Riley Ammenhauser of Neuqua Valley finished third in that event at 40 feet, 3½ inches, and placed 10th in long jump at 17-11¼. Downers Grove North's Jack Roberts finished 29th in the men's 3,200-meter invitational at 9:26.07.
Fast down the stretch:
Lake Park senior Adam Wiatr mainly ran the 200-meter dash, hurdles and relays in 2018. This year he's emerged among the fastest short sprinters in DuPage County if not statewide.
Wiatr finished third in both the Class 3A 60-meter dash and 200 at the Illinois Top Times indoor meet. At the Wheaton North Best 4 outdoor meet Saturday he placed second to Wheaton Warrenville South all-state sprinter Cedric Rowzee.
Rowzee ran a personal-best 10.45 seconds but Wiatr's time of 10.60 also would have led all local sprinters in 2018 -- as would Glenbard West's Tyquan Cox, in third place at 10.66.
What changed for Wiatr?
"I didn't try enough, you know? I didn't want to win," he said at Wheaton North.
Translated, Wiatr hit the weights, watched what he put in his body and trained smarter.
"Over the summer (of 2018) I was like, if I actually tried and I put my full effort into this sport I'd actually be pretty decent at it," said Wiatr, whose Top Times 200 time of 22.70 seconds smoked his best 2018 race, 22.98.
"Once preseason came in September I started doing all my lifts and all my weights," he said. "That four-month grind of just nonstop eating right every day really put me in a good spot for the indoor season when it started, and I kept doing that and just following through and just created a rhythm for my training each week so I could get better and better times.
"I mainly attribute my success to the change in my lifestyle and how I've been training on a weekly basis."
Also at Wheaton North, Naperville Central junior Aniketh Rayuda earned one of the "Top Gun" T-shirts Redhawks coach Steve Wiesbrook awards those who meet or exceed state-qualifying standards in their events.
Rayuda reached the Class 3A standard of 13 feet, 8 inches in pole vault, an 8-inch improvement over his best 2018 outdoor mark. As of last Saturday Rayuda, Thomas Shilgalis and Shilgalis' 3,200 relay partners Thomas Codo, Patrick Julian and Seth Klein-Collins had earned the shirts.
Naperville Central is into motivating factors. Rayuda said Redhawks vault coach Steven Stack's saying, "Put money in the bank," has drawn interest.
"You're able to really get out what you put in. So always keep on working," Rayuda said. "Spring break, don't ever stop. Keep on putting money in the bank and eventually you can take it out at the end of the year and just show what you have."