Golden West Beckons Whitney

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Because Whitney Hardt is considered among the top-8 long distance runners in the nation, she's received an invitation to compete in the Golden West Track and Field Classic.

The meet, which annually draws the country's most accomplished athletes in all track events, is June 7 and 8 in Sacramento, Calif.

Hardt will enter the prestigious competition fresh off a third-place finish in the Great Southwest Invitational May 25 on the campus of the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque.

Competing in the 1,500 meters, Hardt turned in a clocking of 4:47 that was just two seconds off the winning pace set by a Utah runner. In second place was an athlete representing the state of Nevada.

The Utah running star is the same athlete who bested Hardt at the Arcadia, California Invitational held last month.

In addition to her bronze-medal finish at the Great Southwest, Hardt was a member of the Arizona All-Star 4x800 relay team that finished third.

The Utah state relay team was first and a foursome representing Oklahoma was second.

The request Hardt received to travel to the Golden West competition represents another in a long list of invitations she's recently received.

Probably the most renowned of those was the offer to train Aug. 5 to 12 at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif.

She will travel to the training facility as an "elite" invitee, which means all of her expenses will be paid.

Only a sophomore at PHS, Hardt has run her way to school and regional records in the 800 (2:16), 1,600 (4:54.44) and 3,200 meters (10:51). The 4:54.44 clocking is the nation's fifth fastest this track season.

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