Halle Hazzard is finally comfortable — and that’s a dangerous thought for anyone trying to catch her. Even as the St. Anthony’s sprinter fine-tuned her form this season, she was turning in stellar, state-leading performances. Now, as the track cooks, so does she. She says the form is finally all there and the winning has continued.
Hazzard won the 100 and 200 meters under the hot sun at the the 89th CHSAA Intersectional championships at Ichan Stadium on Randall’s Island Saturday afternoon.
“It felt easier to run,” Hazzard, who was voted track MVP of the meet, said. “I didn’t have to put in as much effort. I was just gliding.”
Hazzard clocked a 24.54 second finish in the 200, her victory never in doubt. Half an hour later, Hazzard easily won the 100, positing an 11.82.
Hazzard had to deal with a nearly two hour heat delay that pushed the 200 finals back an hour and 10 minutes off it’s scheduled start time. The meet had been running ahead of schedule before the delay. Even long after her double, Hazzard wasn’t sure if the delay was positive or not.
“It was an unexpected break,” Hazzard said. “It was really hot, so we were just sitting in the heat longer. But, I did get to rest my legs a little bit longer.”
Hazzard’s teammate, Olivia Seifert, had to battle the heat en route to her discus victory, throwing 119 feet, seven inches.
“It’s tough because when it’s really hot, you sweat a lot,” Seifert said. “When your hands are sweaty, it’s kind of hard to hold the implement. I tried to keep my hands really dry, it came out slippery a couple times, but I was able to fix that . . . I didn’t actually touch the discus until I got in the circle because I didn’t want to get it sweaty.”
St. Anthony’s won the girls team title, scoring 49.5 points. Samantha Stetz, who was voted field MVP of the meet, won the triple jump (38-2) and the long jump (17-10 1⁄2). Alyssa Yeboah-Kodie won the 100 meter hurdles in 14.60 seconds.
Sacred Heart’s Ellen Byrnes also took home two gold medals. She won the 400 hurdles in 1:03.71 and the 800 in 2:15.83
In the 400 hurdles, Byrnes bested Kellenberg’s Gabby Schreib, who topped Byrnes at the CHSAA League championships last weekend at St. Anthony’s.
In the 800, Byrnes kept her cool as Buffalo Nardin Academy’s Gabrielle Orie took the race out hard, leaving the rest of the field in her apparent dust. But, Byrnes said she knew that Orie was catchable and, with 300 meters left, the sophomore began to kick toward the leader.
“The first lap, I was going to stay pretty steady,” Byrnes said. “I was running next to (Kellenberg’s) Deirdre Lewin. She’s an amazing competitor and was going to go out at a strong pace. I was going to stay with her. When I saw (Orie) getting a little bit ahead, I decided I had to move.”
Byrnes caught Orie with 150 meters left and sprinted ahead of her with 80 meters remaining, expending every last bit of energy to safely secure the double.
“She definitely put up a fight,” Byrnes said of Orie. “She was very strong.”
On the boys side, St. Anthony’s Ryan Kutch won the 3,200 in 9:36.47. Kutch ran just steps behind Xavier’s Giancarlo Cipri for the first mile, passing him at the 1,600 mark. Kutch quickly built an insurmountable lead and ran the vast majority of the second mile without a competitor in sight.
St. Anthony’s 4 x 800 relay team, composed of Christopher Langer, Ryan Dearie, Kutch, and Freddie Buckholtz won in 7:56.52, erasing a huge early-relay deficit.
“Normally, I would go out hard in the first lap of an 800,” Buckholtz, who ran a 1:54.35 anchor leg said. “But, I tried to keep it as even as I could. I think I went out in 57 (seconds), which was fine. I wasn’t really looking at the time. I just did it by effort. I eased into it.”
St. Anthony’s won the team championship with 31 points. It is their sixth title in the last seven years.
St John the Baptist’s Patrick Kain won the 3,000 meter steeplechase in 9:43.40.