Far and wide across the state, Halle Hazzard is known in the girls track community as the best short sprinter. From the upper reaches of Buffalo to the warm confines of the Armory in Manhattan, Hazzard will take on all comers and, usually, beat them.
Her home is the CHSAA and, more specifically, St. Anthony’s High School, so it was fitting that — on a day where those two things converged — Hazzard would take center stage. The senior took both the 55-meter dash in 7.07 seconds and the 300 (40.51) at the league championships Sunday afternoon at St. Anthony’s.
“I had a lot to do today, so I just made sure to work on my form and apply what I’ve been doing in practice to my races,” she said.
The sprinter also anchored the winning 4 x 200 relay team. With teammates Samantha Stetz, Amy Tang, and Alyssa Yeaboah-Kodie, Hazzard and St. Anthony’s crossed the line in 1:46.87. The Friars also won the team championship with 87 points.
For her efforts, Hazzard was named track MVP of the girls meet, an appropriate tribute to a runner who has been at the forefront of the program for the last three seasons. Sunday marked her final three competitive races on her home track.
“It’s bitter sweet,” she said. “This is my home. This is my base. This is where I practice every day. So, to finish up [league competition] here was a great feeling.”
Hazzard entered the meet with the fastest 55 time in the state this season, a 6.94 run at the Molloy Stanner Games earlier this month. She was fourth fastest in the state in the 300, according to milesplit.com.
While Hazzard shined in the sprints, Sacred Heart freshman Maggie Maier dominated distance events. Maier won both the 3,000 (10:34.89) and the 1,500 (4:53.25). Maier cruised in the 3,000, crossing the line more than four seconds ahead of the field. In the 1,500, however, Maier faced constant pressure from St. Anthony’s Jennifer Furman, who finished in 4:55.90.
“I knew I had to have a great kick,” Maier said. “. . . I knew I had to get a little bit of a lead because [Furman] has a great kick and I am not as strong in that area. I just wanted a good start.”
In the field events, Stetz won the long jump with a leap of 17 feet, 1⁄4 inches and the triple jump (37-5). She was named field MVP of the girls meet.
The St. Anthony’s boys team won their eighth consecutive league championship, topping St. John the Baptist, 72-65.5. Matthew Payamps took two individual events, winning the 1,000 in 2:35.13 and 1,600 (4:32.40).
Payamps held off Chaminade’s Christopher Strzelinski in the 1,000, keeping him a half step behind the entire way. Strzelinski finished 0.56 behind.
“When he came up to me in the last lap, I knew I had to push,” Payamps said. “With 100 meters to go, I just gave it my all.”
Holy Trinity’s Christian Taylor won the long jump (22-4) and was named field MVP of the boys meet.