KAYSVILLE — When Amare Harlan received the baton for the anchor leg of the 4x200 relay race, the Fremont High sophomore had some distance between her and the first-place runner from Davis High.
Somewhere between 25-27 seconds later, Harlan crossed the finish line first and, as soon as she walked onto the track, she was immediately mobbed by her relay teammates.
It was the first finals event of the Region 1 track and field championships Tuesday, and the first of what appears to be a handful of first-place medals to come over the next couple years for Harlan.
Coming into this week’s Region 1 meet, Harlan owns the fastest 100 meter and 200 meter times in the region in this, her first of competing in high school track.
Harlan clocked 12.21 seconds in the 100 on April 17 at the Davis Invitational, ran the 200 in 25.07 seconds that same day and also runs in the 4x100 and 4x200 relay races for the Silverwolves.
“I definitely didn’t think I was going to be doing as great as I have been,” Harlan said, adding that she didn’t have any expectations for this year since it was her first year running high school track.
As of Tuesday morning, Harlan’s 200 meter time ranked third in the state and her 100 meter time was sixth. She may still contend for first place at the state meet in both events.
Statewide times faster than Harlan’s were all recorded with beneficial tailwinds (0.8 and 0.7 meters per second) while Harlan ran her times with tailwinds winds of 0.1 and 0.0 meters per second.
She’s had a lot of attention throughout the region as the sprinter to beat in both the 100 and 200, but said that’s not where she feels any pressure or nerves.
“I put pressure on myself a lot. Like, I feel that pressure of I want to be better and want to improve,” Harlan said. “I want to get better to improve for myself, not necessarily for other people.”
Though she says she doesn’t feel any pressure to run fast because the rest of the region’s been chasing her, she did say she gets nervous before races, the normal pre-race nerves many runners get.
“I just have to remind myself why I’m doing it. I’m doing it because it’s fun and I’m doing it because I want to be better for myself,” Harlan said.
Track and field is a lot of work. Sprinters do a combination of workouts designed to help with top-end speed, endurance and technique, all of which are required at this stage to keep chipping hundredths of seconds off a personal best time.
“She isn’t afraid of hard work and is always up for a challenge,” Fremont track coach Duren Montgomery wrote in an email.
Harlan says she’s happy to work hard at track because the feeling of getting a personal record or any feeling of success outweighs the fact that the last 50 meters of the 200 “hurt.”
“Getting that (personal record), it’s fun. I’d say it’s fun just to run and to be successful, so I’m motivated to want to improve off my past time,” she said.
Harlan plays soccer for Fremont and also plays club soccer, but said she’s interested in running track in college and wants to start training year-round for track and field.
When her high school track days are done, Harlan could be in the Utah record books for fastest 100 meter times. Right now, runners need a sub-12-second time to get in the record book.
But if offseason training helps out in any way, Harlan may very well be in the record book and if the stars align properly, could have a chance at challenging the state record of 11.68 set by Herriman’s Kaysha Love in 2016.