Hatley advances to declare in two events

BELLEVILLE – When Father McGivney’s coach James Helton removed the green jersey from Class 1A sectional Belleville Althoff, he received a message from the team’s only representative, rookie Kaitlyn Hatley.

“The coach told me they were the quick jerseys,” Hatley said with a smile, “and I went fast today.”

Hatley did indeed.

Hatley won the 800-meter race and finished second in the 1,600-meter race to qualify in both events for the Class 1A State meet on June 10 at O’Brien Stadium on the University campus. Eastern Illinois in Charleston. She is the first student-athlete in the history of the program to qualify for the State Girls’ competition.


“It feels good,” Hatley said. “It really makes all the hard work worth it. It’s really great to do that.

Ranked second in the 800 meters behind Althoff’s Eris Nelson, Hatley got off to a slow start. She was third in the 16-runner peloton after the first 400 meters.

Abigail Meyer of Christ Our Rock Lutheran led, finishing her first 400 in 1: 08.75. Nelson was second in 1: 11.05 with Hatley just behind her in 1: 12.74.

“I knew I was going to try to stay close to Eris (Nelson) from Althoff. We finally got to the cut line and there was already a girl inside. I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to do it, ”Hatley said.

Meyer couldn’t keep his pace and eventually finished fifth.

Nelson and Hatley, meanwhile, were neck and neck in the last 400 before the FMCHS rookie got her moving.

“I started to get closer to them in the second round. At the 200 mark, I heard the coach say, “You have to do it. Get your kick out. ‘ I told myself that I needed it and I really wanted it. I had a lot of energy to overcome it. So I first approached the girl, and I knew I wanted that and kicked her again. I finished strong, ”said Hatley.

Hatley finished with a PR of 2: 27.46. Nelson was second in 2: 29.28, followed by Kailey Vickey of Marquette Catholic in 2: 30.61.

Helton credited Hatley with putting on a smart race.

“The most efficient race is an even split and you are rarely going to do that. You don’t need to go out in the first 200 meters. She was reserved enough to hold back, ”Helton said.

Nelson avenged the loss in the 1,600-meter race by winning in 5: 24.87. Hatley was second in 5: 35.74 for a second PR of the day.

Hatley’s time eclipsed the qualifying standard of 5: 36.90, set by the IHSA using five-year averages.

It was a happy ending to a day that started with a lot of nerves, according to Hatley.

“I didn’t feel sure of myself so it feels really good to do well,” Hatley said.

“As a first year being able to mentally hold on to everything and run well at the end of it is amazing. She works so hard, ”Hatley said. “She came in today with the goal of winning and it’s a pleasure to train.”

Hatley dedicated his two races to family friend David Dempsey, who died last Thursday at the age of 49.

“He was a really great person,” Hatley said.

With 18 points in his two events, Hatley finished ninth for Father McGivney in the team standings.

Nashville won the tag team title with 145 points, followed by Althoff with 134 points, Marquette with 47 points, Dupo with 42 points and Okawville with 37 points.

Hatley’s season will continue next week at the state competition, where she will make history for the Griffins program on the big blue track at Eastern Illinois University.

“I am so happy,” Hatley said. “I put so much work into this season.

About Ethel Partin

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