BROOKVILLE, Pa. (EYT/D9) — Mylee Harmon has a love-hate relationship with the 400-meter run.
The first 300 meters of that race: love. The final 100 meters?
“That’s where the hate comes in,” said the Redbank Valley freshman.
Love returns in spades though after she crosses the finish line. One, because the race is over. And two, because she usually wins.
She did again Friday at the District 9 Class 2A Track and Field Championships at Brookville High School with a school-record time of 58.73 seconds.
All season, Harmon has longed to break one minute in the event. She came painfully close at the Redbank Invitational last week when she broke her own record in the 400 with a time of 1:00.03.
This time around, nothing was going to keep her from measuring her time in seconds, not minutes.
At the end of the race, she wasn’t sure if she had finished in under a minute. But North Clarion’s Gia Babington assured her that she had.
“You were running really fast,” Babington said, smiling.
She was correct.
Harmon later ran her second sub-minute 400 in the anchor leg of the 1,600-meter relay to help Redbank Valley finish second in the event and clinch the Bulldog girls’ first district team title.
Harmon, who also won the high jump earlier in the day at 5-feet and capped off her day with a third D9 title in the 200-meter dash with a school-record time of 25.92, said if she had to pick just one event to participate in during a meet, it would be the 400.
That’s not a popular choice. Many runners call the 400 the toughest race on the track.
“Winning the high jump was great,” Harmon said. “But (winning the 400) was even better. It’s a really big accomplishment for me. Breaking one minute was my goal from the start of the season, so it feels good getting it.”
Harmon, who also holds the school record in the high jump at 5-4, was hampered in that event by rain.
She had to adjust both physically and mentally.
“Well, physically, I got an umbrella while I waited,” Harmon deadpanned. “That’s how I adjusted there. Mentally, I knew it was going to be a little difficult. I mean, I prepared all week for 90 degree weather, but it ended up raining.”
Harmon, who had an exceptional freshman year on the basketball court for the Bulldogs, has turned in one of the most historic seasons for a freshman in school history.
She’s not done yet.
“I kind of shocked myself,” Harmon said of her success this season. “In the beginning of the year, I just wanted to qualify for districts. I didn’t realize how far I was going to make it. Winning the district and going to states wasn’t my goal until later in the year.”
Now she has a shot at multiple state titles.
So does Union/A-C Valley’s Baylee Blauser, who was another big winner on the girls side Friday, also with wins in three events: the 100-meter dash, long jump and triple jump. Read about her exploits here.
Harmon’s teammate, sophomore Claire Henry, won the pole vault for the second consecutive season, clearing 9-6.
She just missed getting over the bar at 10-0.
“I lost my adrenaline today and I need to work on that,” Henry said. “But it’s exciting. Winning the districts is exciting. I was actually pretty nervous today. I don’t think it gets any easier.”
Henry didn’t clear a height at the PIAA Track and Field Championships last season — something she is determined to not repeat this time around.
“I think I’ll be more prepared,” Henry said. “I knew last year it was going to be a big deal there, but I was a little overwhelmed. I won’t be this time.”
The Karns City 400-meter relay team of Ashley Fox, Natalie Hess, McKenna Martin and Rossi McMillen turned in an upset of sorts, edging Johnsonburg and Brookville for the district title.
Brookville’s team of Julie Monnoyer, Morgan Monnoyer, Emily Martz and Natalie Haney were seeded first and had bested Karns City each time they ran head-to-head this season.
Not on Friday.
After McMillen crossed the finish line in first place, she let out a scream. Fox sprinted to her and gave her a tight embrace.
“I was a little scared,” McMillen said. “The last time we ran against Brookville at the Redbank Invite, the last leg the Brookville girl caught me at the end.”
Karns City certainly put the work in.
The quartet got together on Sunday mornings and after softball games to practice. Whenever they had a spare moment, they were working on exchanges and other ways to shave precious tenths of seconds off their time.
Friday they finished with their best time ever at 51.65 seconds.
“We’ve been working for states all season,” Fox said.
“It’s been a little rough,” smiled Hess, “but it was worth it.”
Redbank Valley won the Class 2A team title and St. Marys claimed the 3A team crown.
Complete results can be found here.