After earning two state championships March 4, St. Anthony’s sprinter Halle Hazzard wasn’t finished striving for greatness. Especially not with All-American glory up for grabs.
Hazzard began her final New Balance Indoor Nationals appearance at the Armory in Manhattan on Sunday by securing fifth place in the girls 60-meter dash championship semifinals in 7.44 seconds. She kicked things up a notch in the finals, earning second place in the nation in 7.36 and All-American honors.
“This was a pretty great day,” Hazzard said. “I’m happy with the results.”
“She got out very well in the finals,” St. Anthony’s coach Oliver St. Aude said. “We’ve been working on different aspects of her run, but the last 20 meters of her run were just awesome. She really just powered through.”
One last shot on the national stage awaited Hazzard in the 200-meter championship. She had a strong start but began to fade down the stretch and placed seventh in 24.13 seconds. Hazzard said fatigue may have taken its toll.
St. Aude praised Hazzard for her relentless dedication.
“We knew going into the season that she wanted to top what she did last year,’’ St. Aude said, “and she dedicated herself to getting the job done. She knew it would take a lot of dedication to get back into the finals of the 60.”
For Hazzard, being an All-American doesn’t cease the strive for greatness. “It was great to receive this title,” she said, “but now I have to focus on the upcoming spring season, as well as work on living up to it.”
Fresh off a state championship in the triple jump, Amityville’s Emmanuel Oguntoye totaled 48 feet, 4 inches, placing fifth and earning All-American honors for a top-six finish.
West Babylon’s team of Brittany Korsah, Nadja Ashley, Dana Beggins and Paige Keefer finished first in its section and fifth overall in 3:49.86 in the girls 4x400-meter relay championship. They surpassed their 3:52.63 time at the county championships Feb. 11.
“I thought this was as close to perfect as it could get for us,” West Babylon coach Phil Armato said. “I gave the team a goal to go sub-3:50. I thought that would make our chances pretty good, and that’s what they did.”
“We led each other out more on our handoffs,” Keefer said. “Usually we just grab it and don’t pay attention. But we really focused on that and saving time.”
Reigning state champions Damayha Coeur, Malik Johnson, Lucas Mathieu and Demoni Gilkes earned national recognition for Elmont in the boys 4x400-meter relay championship with a sixth-place finish in 3:20.47.