[Laura Duffy for Shaw Media]
Glenbard West junior Aaliyah Collier (400 in 59.41), Glenbard East senior Emma Ludwig (5-3 in high jump) and the Hilltoppers’ 3,200 relay of senior Katie Hohe, junior Haley Yeager and freshmen Delaney Engel and Audrey Allman (9:21.99) and 1,600 relay of Collier, junior Ava Powell, sophomore Kate Morrison and Allman (4:02.61) also were sectional champions.
With 11 qualifiers led by Hart, the two-time defending 3,200 and 1,600 state champion, the Hilltoppers hope to contend for their second state title in three seasons.
WW South earned six berths, Wheaton North five and Glenbard East and Willowbrook one apiece. Top-two sectional finishers and entries achieving state-qualifying marks at the sectional advanced.
Hart never has run the 800 at state. The only previous time Hart attempted the distance triple was at Glenbard West's Pariseau Invitational two years ago.
“It was a little rough but it was good,” Hart recalled with a laugh.
“[Thursday] definitely was challenging but it was a really exciting opportunity. I think it’s always been on my mind. It’s a new challenge that I thought I was ready to take on.”