Halle Hazzard of St. Anthony's sprints to victory in the...

Halle Hazzard of St. Anthony's sprints to victory in the girls 200-meter dash during the Nassau-Suffolk CHSAA track and field league championships at St. Anthony's on Saturday, May 20, 2017.  Credit: James Escher

When you’re as talented as St. Anthony’s Halle Hazzard, every race, no matter how large or small, becomes one more opportunity to get better.

Hazzard, the reigning 100-meter state champion, took the 100 in 11.81 seconds and the 200 in 24.88, dominating the field at the CHSAA girls track championship at St. Anthony’s on Saturday, while showing the same determination down the stretch that has made her a star in Long Island track and field.

“I have to be careful, work on my form and get what needs to get done done,” Hazzard said.

The senior is going through a long season, making her way into the high school championship schedule now before moving on to compete for Grenada in the OECS Championships in early July against other Eastern Caribbean countries. It’ll be her second meet competing for the country, where her father was born and her brother now runs, she said.

“I’m mainly getting ready for that, which is why I’m not like killing myself on these races, taking it easy because I have a long season ahead of me,” Hazzard said.

Regardless of the schedule, Hazzard looked like she was finely tuned, creating more space between herself and the competition with every step in the 200. She kept her stare straight ahead, and pumped her arms in a rigid motion all the way through.

“My coach was really telling me to work on my form today, so that’s what I was trying to do there,” Hazzard said.

Ellen Byrnes loves the 400, so she went ahead and put her stamp on it. She won the individual 400 and the hurdle iteration before anchoring Sacred Heart’s winning 4 x 400 relay, which included Robin Brown, Tyla Hill and Erin Grueneberg.

Through it all, Byrnes had no problem keeping up.

“I just love running a lot,” Byrnes said. “It’s not that hard honestly.”

She took the hurdles in 1:02.72 over Kellenberg’s Kiersten Cote (1:05.74). In the regular 400, Byrnes ran 58.36 to beat St. Anthony’s Chinelo Nnakwe. The 4 x 400 team won in 4:10.69.

Kellenberg’s Gillian Blackwood won the 100 hurdles in 15.30, followed by St. Anthony’s Nicole Karabaich (16.24) and Kellenberg’s Reah Thomas-Hill (16.70). Kellenberg’s Megan Carelus also was in the final heat, and the team’s depth showed how it managed to win the girls team title with 102.5 points.

“They’re both amazing athletes,” Blackwood said. “They really push me. It’s never a competition. It’s always support, support, support.”

St. Anthony’s came in second with 66 points, followed by St. John the Baptist (52).