Gatorade award goes to Glenbard West's Hart
Katelynne Hart of Glenbard West has been named the 2019-20 Gatorade Illinois Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year. She is the first Gatorade Illinois Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year to be chosen from Glenbard West High School.
The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field, distinguishes Hart as Illinois' best high school girls track & field athlete.
Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year award to be announced in June, Hart joins an elite alumni association of state award-winners in 12 sports, including Lolo Jones (1997-98, Roosevelt High School, Iowa), Allyson Felix (2002-03, Los Angeles Baptist High School, Calif.), Robert Griffin III (2006-07, Copperas Cove High School, Texas), Grant Fisher (2013-14 & 2014-15, Grand Blanc High School, Mich.) and Candace Hill (2014-15, Rockdale County High School, Ga.).
The 5-foot-4 senior ran the 5,000-meter race in 16:09.56 this past winter, which ranked as the nation's No. 1 indoor performance in 2020. She also clocked the country's No. 2 time (4:45.84) in the 1,600-meter run. The state's two-time returning Gatorade Girls Track and Field Athlete of the Year, Hart has also won three Gatorade Illinois Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year awards, making her the state's most decorated Gatorade award-winner as a runner. She broke the tape in the 800, 1,600 and 3,200 races at the Class 3A state championship meet in 2019 in addition to running the fastest outdoor mile (4:39.57) in state history.
Hart has volunteered locally on behalf of the Mawi Learning leadership group and her school's Medical and Global Giving club.
"What Katelynne Hart has accomplished the past four years, with the official times she posted, the course records and the state titles, is unprecedented for a distance athlete in the state of Illinois," said Glenbard West distance coach Paul Hass. "Nevertheless, Katelynne always embraced the concept of team; the notion that no one person is above the needs of the squad. Rather than limit herself to one or two events to strive for a state record, Katelynne ran multiple events at the state track meet to help garner as many team points possible." Hart has maintained a 4.78 GPA in the classroom. She has signed a National Letter of Intent to run on scholarship at the University of Michigan.