Hardt On Track At Asu's Grand Canyon Games

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The recently completed Grand Canyon State games, contested on the campus of Arizona State University in Tempe, served as a showcase for the track and field talents of several Rim country youngsters.

A pair of the most impressive medal winnings came from 13-year-old Whitney Hardt in the long-distance runs.

Competing in the Youth Girls' class against several athletes who are more than a year older, Hardt finished third in a photo finish of the 1,500 meters.

The top trio of medalists, Payson High School assistant coach Ellie Hardt said, were within one meter of one another at the finish line. Ellie Hardt, a former Lady Longhorn track star herself, is also Whitney's mother.

Whitney's time of 5:05.94 was about nine seconds faster than what she ran at the USA Track and Field National Meet in Seattle last year.

In the 3,000-meter run, Whitney again finished third, touring the course in 12:12.

Whitney's younger sister, Kari participated in the midget girls (11-12 years) long distance runs and copped a bronze medal in the 1,500.

Both girls have qualified and plan to participate in the USA Region 10 Track and Field Championships, July 14 and 15 in Provo, Utah.

Also from Payson, Jeremy Hoff -- a member of the Longhorn boys' track team last season -- won the young men's (17-18 years) shot-put with a toss of 50 feet, 9 inches.

In the Youth Girls' class, Jenny Cohen finished fifth in the 400 meters.

Among the Intermediate Boys (13-14), Waylon Pettet was seventh in both the 100 and 200 meters.

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