St. Anthony’s Halle Hazzard has experienced it all, from coming in second at the state championships to realizing the ultimate reward of being crowned champion.
The senior won her first state title last spring, added two more this winter, and is looking to draw on both types of experience to close her senior year with three consecutive track seasons with a sprinting title.
“I want to hit my best stride now because I’m almost done and we have two or three more months so this is the best time to hit my best stride and see what I’ve got,” Hazzard said.
It took years to get to the point of being a state champion. There were some close calls, like during the 55-meter dash her junior year against Rush-Henrietta’s Lanae-Tava Thomas. She came in second then, but it’s all been part of the process that has led to so much success afterward.
“It’s really relieving because it’s just proof of my hard work paying off and me believing that I can do it and getting it done,” Hazzard said.
Her coach, Olivier St. Aude, said he’s known since Hazzard’s sophomore year that he had a top talent on his hands. Now he’s helping her focus not only on improving her 100 time (11.76 at the state championships), but also getting her to the top in the 200, which she lost to Thomas by 0.19. He likes what he sees so far.
“We’re on the right page; we’re in the right direction,” St. Aude said. “There are no highs and lows with her. She’s very even keeled with the race plan.”
Hazzard, who is heading to the University of Virginia in the fall to continue running, most recently came in second in the 60-meter dash at the New Balance Indoor Nationals in 7.36 seconds. Through it all she’s taken away a couple keys from all the miles and workouts she’s racked up with a plan to put them to good use these next few months.
“I’ve definitely become more focused because if you’re not focused then you’re not going to get anything done,” Hazzard said. “I’ve learned to believe in myself more because if you don’t believe in what you’re doing then you can’t accomplish anything.”
Now she has one more goal to hit in her final season — cap the rollercoaster with a good feeling.
“I just wanted to finish out my four years in a good way, in a positive ending,” Hazzard said.