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Challenged throughout the final lap in the 1,600, Hart broke a 33-year-old record in also defending that title at Eastern Illinois University.
Hart’s 4:47.86 time and Evanston senior Enyaeva Michelin’s second-place 4:48.18 both beat the 4:49.34 large-school IHSA finals record by Crete-Monee’s Shelly McBride in 1985. The all-time IHSA finals 1,600 record is 4:43.65 by Woodstock’s Kayla Beattie in the 2A 2011 finals.
“I would say in Illinois, for sure, it’s definitely one of the most satisfying wins I’ve had, Hart said. “It was so close and I was super excited that I could come out with the win, but I definitely think we pushed each other, which helped both of us run fast times.”
Hinsdale Central’s 3,200 relay also won state for the second time in three years. Juniors Kayla Byrne and Bella Pisani and seniors Grace McCabe and Reilly Revord ran a school-record 9:03.41 to dominate by 12.53 seconds.
Hart’s times in the 1,600 and 3,200 (10:12.96) beat her 2017 winning times of 4:51.54 and 10:32.33.
On Saturday, the North Carolina-bound Michelin earlier won the 800 (2:08.44) by 1.70 seconds. In the 1,600, Michelin remained within a stride of Hart late, but Hart closed well and gradually widened the gap the final 100 meters.
Hot and humid conditions hindered Hart from again breaking 10:00 in the 3,200, but she still won by 12.05 seconds.
“It feels amazing (winning both),” Hart said. “The 3,200 definitely was a good race. I thought about the record leading up to the race (9:56.96 from 2011) but after the first mile I just kind of decided to back off. Conditions weren’t ideal. I knew (the 1,600) was going to be tough. Going into that race, I was definitely pretty nervous. I just tried to stay calm the first few laps and really let it go at the end. It was a really good feeling at the end.”