Hardt Fourth At National Junior Olympics

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Teenager Whitney Hardt stamped herself one of the most promising young 1,500-meter runners in America with a fourth-place finish at the National Junior Olympic Championships last week in Buffalo, N.Y.

Competing in the youth girls (13-14-years) division, Hardt turned in a personal record clocking of 4:50.3 to finish in a photo finish involving four girls.

In the 800-meter run, Hardt tied her PR of 2:23 and was 12th.

In Buffalo and throughout the earlier campaign, Hardt competed as a member of the Arizona Cheetahs track club.

Hardt's younger sister Kari, a member of the Phoenix Bobcats, was 12th in the 1,500 meter, turning a 5:15 clocking that was seconds off her PR.

Kari also participated on the Bobcats 4x800 relay team which placed 12th.

She was qualified to run on the Bobcats 4x400 foursome, but several of her teammates missed the event check-in and the team was disqualified.

Both girls earned berths into the national meet with top-three finishes at the Region 10 championships two weeks ago in Pueblo, Colo.

With the summer track season at an end and the onset of school on the horizon, both girls will soon turn out for local cross country teams.

As a freshman at Payson High, Whitney will run on the Lady Longhorn team coached by Chuck Hardt, her uncle.

Kari Hardt, who will be a seventh-grader at Rim Country Middle School, will participate on the Maverick cross country squad. That team will be coached by the girls' mother, Ellie.

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