Harding Athletic Highlights 4/25-4/29

Jason Embry
Last Track Meet Before HVAC Finals
This last Thursday, Harding Academy competed at Lipscomb Academy. This was our last meet before the HVAC Conference Meet. 
Field event Highlights: 
Sarah Hackett '22 Jumped a season best 4'6" to place 5th in the girls high jump. 
Sam Bowers '22 jumped 16'6" to place 2nd in the boys long jump
Quincy Topping '22 threw the shot put for the first time (in a meet) and WON THE EVENT, with a throw of 33'11". 
Running event highlights:
There were plenty of personal bests to be had. 
Hudson Drake '22 ran a personal best in the boy's 400-meter dash and broke the 70-second mark with a time of 69.77-seconds. Both Hudson and Judge Murphy '23 ran personal bests in the boys 800, as both broke the 3:00-minute barrier, with runs of 2:57 and 2:54, respectively. 
Hilary Fremont '24 set a huge personal best in the girl's 800, with a run of 2:47, while Mina Sanford '24 also ran a personal best of 3:02. 
In the girl's 200-meter dash, all three entries ran personal bests. Carter Floyd '22 ran 30.30, Leah Fremont '22 ran 31.70, and Darcy Dove '22 ran 30.32-seconds. 
In the boy's 200-meter dash, Sam Bowers '22 placed 2nd with a personal best of 24.82-seconds, while Matthew Hillenmeyer '23 broke 30-seconds for the first time by running 29.81-seconds. 
All 3 girl's hurdlers set personal bests in the 100 hurdles. Charlotte Mikos '22 placed 3rd overall and was just off the heels of 2nd as she broke 18-seconds for the first time. Breaking 18-seconds is a huge accomplishment and Charlotte still has a lot of improvement left to go. Meanwhile, Stella Frisbee '24 ran 20.50 and Annie Thurman '24 ran 20.47. 
In the boy's 100-meter dash, Matthew Hillenmeyer '23 ran a season-best 14.58, with Devin Patton '22 right behind in 14.60. Sam Bowers also ran a personal best time of 12.41-seconds (exact placement unknown). 
In the girl's 100-meter dash, Leah Fremont '22 ran a season-best time of 14.93-seconds, while Sarah Hackett '22 broke 14-seconds for the first time, with a sprint of 13.96-seconds.  Savannah Fitzgerald '24 also set a personal best in the 100-meters with a time of 19.52-seconds (first time breaking 20-seconds). 
The girl's 4x200-meter relay team ran a season-best 1:59.98-seconds, while the girl's 4x200-meter relay "B" team also beat the previous season-best with a time of 2:08.66. The boy's 4x200-meter relay team also ran a season-best time of 1:57.15-seconds. The girl's 4x100-meter relay team ran the fastest time since I have been coaching at HA, with a time of 58.12-seconds. This team would have been under 58-seconds with a better 1st hand-off. 
Last but not least, Quincy Topping '22 ran a huge personal best in the boy's mile. In running 5:10.06, Quincy placed 2nd. It should be noted that Quincy has been hampered by a hip flexor injury nearly all season, so he has run 1-mile straight maybe 5-times all season, this includes practice. Still yet, Quincy knew he could run well if his leg held up and gutted out a tough, but really fast mile. 
Athletes of the meet:
As stated early in the season, the "athlete of the meet" isn't always the athlete who places highest; that was the case during this meet. 
The athletes of the meet were - WITHOUT QUESTION - Semipe Adejumobi '22 and Alain-Bryce Jones '23. Alaina-Bryce had been feeling ill all day and wasn't any better by meet time. However, she played it by feel and took the meet one event at a time. She ended up competing well in the shot put and then deciding - ON HER OWN - to assist her teammates in the girl's 4x100-meter relay team. 
Semipe Adejumobi was also not feeling great and was then experiencing some lower leg pain after warming up. However, she also decided on her own to try to tough it out and run on both the 4x100 and 4x200-meter relay teams. Not only did Semipe run well, but she helped her relay team run 2 of the best times of the season. 
Though I hated to see some of our athletes not feeling well, I was very happy with how the team supported each other and/or fought through stomach aches and muscular pains. It should also be noted that Alaina-Bryce is one of only a few people I have ever met that can maintain her infectious smile even when she isn't feeling well. 
Finally,I feel like I mention her in every meet recap, but I have to once again give props to Charlotte Mikos '22. She is indeed the heart of the girl's team. We had Mina Sanford and Hilary Fremont running the 800-meters. The 800-meters is a grueling race for a middle school athlete, so I encouraged all the athletes to gather around the track and cheer Mina and Hilary on. 
Charlotte then "rallied the troops" - on her own watch - and made sure her teammates were supporting Mina and Hilary. 
It is hard to quantify how much of an impact teammate support can have on an athlete, but both Mina and Hilary had huge personal bests. That should tell you something. 

The Harding track athletes participated in a meet on Thursday, April 14 at USN's River Campus. Since the meet was called off half-way through, the recap will be shorter than it otherwise would have been. It should also be noted that for portions of the meet, there was a moderate to blustery head wind to contend with. So, fast times were rare, but only really because of this headwind getting in the way of fast running. 

Track Takes Part In Short Meet at USN Due To Weather
Sam Bowers '22 has been trying to split time between Baseball and track, so he has had very little track practice time compared to many/most of his competitors. Nonetheless, Sam won the long jump with a distance of 17'8". We have had boys athletes jump over 17' before, but this is the longest jump we have had since I have been at HA (not sure what the official school record is). 
With additional practice time, Sam could easily jump over 18'. Sam also managed to win the boy's discus event with a throw of 105'10.5". Sam jumped 5' in the high jump, which was good enough for 3rd place and he also placed 2nd in the boy's 100-meter dash, with a time of 12.91-seconds. 
So, if you are keeping count, that is 2 first place finishes, a 2nd, and a 3rd. 
And, I think we had Sam in one other event that was cancelled, so he might have been able to add to this impressive list. 
As stated previously, I try to spread the wealth when it comes to praise and support of our athletes. In doing so, an athlete can finish first or last and still have had an amazing performance (from my perspective). I  try not to focus only on fast times, long distances, or high placements. 
However, it's tough to deny the obvious. Sam had an amazing meet, but what made it more amazing is that nearly all his performances were "raw" in that his technique was off and/or he was competing in an event for the first time (e.g., the 100-meter dash) and wasn't quite sure what he was doing. Yet, Sam still performed at a high level and was within striking distance of winning ALL of his events. 
So, with some extra practice time, the sky's the limit for what Sam can accomplish in track and field. Unfortunately, we only have 2-weeks left in the season. 
In other news, Maddie Yeatman '22 won and set a personal best in the discus, with a throw of 68'10".
Leah Fremont '22 set a personal best in the long jump with a distance of 12'11". Leah will go over 13' in one or both of her next two meets. 
Charlotte Mikos '22 and Sarah Hackett '22 tied season bests in the high jump and finished tied with each other for 2nd place with a height of 4'4", while Maddie Yeatman also tied a season best with a jump of 4'2". 
Finally, Annie Thurman '24 (21.11-seconds) and Stella Frisbee '24 (21.74) both recorded season bests in the 100-hurdles. 
Many of our athletes did not get a chance to compete due to the early cancellation, but I want to make sure to thank and recognize them for being available for the team. Assuming the weather cooperates, they will all get one more crack at competition before the HVAC meet at Lipscomb Academy. 

Inspiring The Mind  •  Nurturing The Spirit