By Doug Drowley
Special to The Seattle Times
Seattle Prep’s Hardy Back on Track
Don’t get him wrong.
Given the chance, Joe Hardy would do it differently. That doesn’t change the facts, nor the positives the Seattle Prep senior now understands came from the experiences of his junior spring.
“Essentially last year, I violated team policy,” Hardy said.
That violation cost him a chance to defend the 3,200 meters state title he won as a sophomore. It cost Hardy a chance to compete at all at the state meet last spring.
But his mistake also made Hardy take a closer look.
“It really is what I’ve learned,” Hardy said. “I really realized that I loved to run. I loved the competition. It’s made me more mature. Not just as a runner, but as a person.”
The new version of Joe Hardy that emerged still is a work in progress.
Yes, he’s secured his collegiate scholarship and will run cross country and track at the University of Wisconsin beginning in the fall. Yes, he currently holds the fastest time in the state at 3,200 meters this spring at 8 minutes, 55.25 seconds.
But Hardy still is not where he wants to be completely.
“He’s getting tougher all the time,” Seattle Prep coach Deino Scott said. “Sometimes when you are that incredibly talented, people just expect you to go out and be the guy. Sometimes that can clash with your own expectations. And sometimes he can get caught up in the moment.”
One such moment came at the state cross country finals last fall.
Hardy entered the 3A state final looking to defend the title he won as a junior. Instead, North Central junior Tanner Anderson slipped past Hardy to finish in 14:44.83, just in front of Hardy’s runner-up time of 14:45.16.
It’s a race Hardy expected to win.
“That definitely affected me, though I wasn’t upset with my race,” Hardy said. “But I came into this (track) season and didn’t have a very good grasp on running track versus cross country. I didn’t race with a lot of confidence.”
As the post-season is drawing nearer, Hardy says that is changing. He’s getting the competition mentality back after missing his chances a year ago.
“Deep down inside, he knows he can compete with anybody,” Scott said. “When he gets that, gets totally into the competition, I wouldn’t want to be on the track with him.”
Hardy has shown how capable he is on the track this year. He competed and finished in among the top 8 in his events at Arcadia, Calif. – one of the premier meets on the West Coast – earlier this spring. At the Brooks Indoor, again against some of the best high school distance runners in the country, earlier in the year he finished second.
“He was looking around at the Dempsey (Center at UW), just taking it all in,” Scott said.
Hardy had to ask to be reinstated after last year.
“I had to show them I could be counted on to be trusted,” Hardy said. “I had to essentially get back my credibility.”
Scott says Hardy has done just that.
“We talk at our school about giving people second chances,” Scott said. “There are kids that are just bad eggs, and there are kids that make mistakes just being kids. Joe made a mistake. In a school setting, you have consequences.”
Those consequences cost Hardy some chances. But the mistake didn’t cost him everything. And as his senior season winds toward its conclusion, Hardy knows he is fortunate.
“When I reflect on it, it is kind of crazy how quickly it all went by,” Hardy said. “But I also reflect on how much is different in my life. I’m a teenager. Everybody expects you to have experiences like that. I wouldn’t necessarily go back and make the same mistake – there were a lot of consequences to it. But I’m also happy it happened at a time where it didn’t change 100 percent the path I was going down. It didn’t take away my life.”
Shoreline steps up for 35th year
More than 1,000 athletes from 78 schools descended on Shoreline Stadium in Seattle on Saturday for the 35th running of the Shoreline Invitational. The meet originally ran from 1974 to 1982.
When Shoreline High School closed, the meet shut down. It began again in 1989
from 1983-88. In 1989, the meet started up again as the Thunderbird Invitational. The name was changed back to Shoreline Invitational in 1994, with both
Shoreline high schools (Shorecrest and Shorewood) supporting the meet.
We will try to update this space with results late on Saturday.
– If Federal Way’s Tyson Penn keeps this up, he’ll challenge the state record of 7-feet-1 in the high jump set back in 1980 by Brent Harken. Penn, a sophomore, leads the state this spring having already leaped 6-10½.
– The Bellevue 4×100 relay team came within one hundredth of a second of the state meet record in the event a year ago at 41.63 seconds. The Wolverines lead the state again this spring, already having gone 42.24 seconds before the post-season even has gotten started.
Invitationals of Note
The sum total of Invitational meets in the state are far too numerous to mention and discuss, but there are a few we wanted to be sure folks are aware of prior to league and district meets that start the week of May 6.
May 3 – Shelton Invitational (Shelton). 74 teams. It’s the 54th year for Shelton, another iconic meet. Teams from every classification compete here, as well.
May 3 – Lake Washington Invitational (LWHS, Kirkland). 65 teams. Another long-running meet, shares this weekend with Shelton to bring 140 total schools into competition.
Who’s going where?
<BYU – Ellie Heiden, Kamiakin
Cal Poly – Devon Grove, Lake Washington
UCSD – Aubrey Ward-El, Skyview
Citadel – Elizabeth Webster, Bishop Blanchet
Connecticut College – Grace Sheeran, Bellevue
Gonzaga – Jack Pearce, Mountlake Terrace
Harvard – Floriane Kameni, Bellevue
Hawaii (Manoa) – Karen Bulger, Olympia
Kansas – Dorie Dalzell, Skyline; Olivia Vincent, Holy Names
Loyola Marymount – Chris Fredlund, Squalicum
Mississippi – Brooke Feldmeier, Tumwater
Montana – Jenna Dukovcic, Mark Morris
North Carolina – Logan Carroll, Gig Harbor
Notre Dame – Alex Daugherty, Skyline
Oklahoma – Hannah Cunliffe, Federal Way
Oregon State – Nicole Goecke, Prairie
Portland – Logan Orndorf, Cedarcrest
Princeton – Wolfgang Beck, Gig Harbor; Lane Russell, Tumwater
San Francisco – Quentin Purtzer, Bellarmine Prep
Seattle – Jason Cowan, Kennedy Catholic
Seattle Pacific – Sophie Carroll, Central Kitsap
Stanford – Isaiah Brandt-Sims, Wenatchee
Washington U. (St. Louis) – Audrey Western, University
Washington – Megan Beauchene, Kamiakin; Rose Christen, Central Kitsap; Hannah Derby, Bellarmine Prep; Lyndsay Leatherman, Arlington; Denham Patricelli, Tahoma
WSU – Jonathan Green, Ephrata; Zachary Smith, Olympic
Weber State – Emily Morgan, Columbia River
William & Mary – Jaren Sinsheimer, Bellarmine Prep
William Jewell – Elizabeth Stevenson, Port Angeles
Wisconsin – Joe Hardy, Seattle Prep; Kai Wilmot, North Central
Know an athlete committed to college for track and field? Email Doug Drowley at email@example.com.