Toast of the Coast: Harts thinking best is ahead

Harts' sights set on gold heading into final season

For The Sun NewsMay 24, 2010 

Priscilla Harts' quest to be the best was altered.

Now, she's going to do everything to make sure it doesn't happen again.

Harts, a Myrtle Beach junior and The Sun News' Toast of the Coast Girls Track Athlete of the Year, will find out in the coming weeks if the injury in her lower right leg is a stress fracture or something else. Either way, she contends that 2011 will be her best season yet.

Considering she finished second in the S.C. Class AAA state championships in the 100 meters and third in the 200 meters - that lower leg injury forced her out of the 400 -- those are goals that few others can realistically set.

"I say my season was 'OK' this year. But it could have been better," Harts said. "I have next year, and I think I can win state in the 100, 200 and 400. It would mean a lot. I've wanted [those] since I was a freshman. I probably would cry if I won all three."

Of course, for that to happen, Harts would also likely need to dominate the local scene like she's been doing for some time.

This year, she swept the sprints at Horry County Track and Field Championships, taking first place in the 100, 200 and 400. She tacked on another gold medal when she won the triple jump.

Harts did the same at the Region VII-AAA Championships, including wins in the 200 and 400 by more than a full second each.

Indeed, the bar for 2011 is awfully high.

However, Harts' toughest competition won't be around next year. J.L. Mann's Briana Nelson, who has repeatedly edged her in the sprints at state, will be at the University of Texas.

Nelson's departure - and the fact that perennial top team J.L. Mann is moving to Class AAAA - makes Harts the heir apparent to the crown in those events, and she's convinced she's earned the right to be called "state champion."

"If I don't win all three and come back with two, I'll still be proud of myself because I've worked hard," Harts said. "Even if I come in second in state next year, I'll still be proud of what I did."

Priscilla Harts

Girls Track and Field Athlete of the Year

School | Myrtle Beach

Class | Junior

Events | Sprints, triple jump

Notable | Second in 200 meters with time of 24.72 seconds and third in 100 meters with time of 12.66 seconds at Class AAA state met; Won 100, 200, 400 and triple jump at both Horry County Championships and Region VII-AAA meet; seeded second in 400 meters in AAA state meet but did not run due to injury

The team

Benjamin Jenerette

School | North Myrtle Beach

Class | Eighth grade

Events | Long distance

Notable | Seventh in 1,600 meters with time of 5:36.58 at Class AAA state meet; Horry County champ in 1,600 and 3,200 meters and Region VII-AAA champ in 800, 1,600 and 3,200; Member of Region VII-AAA champion 3,200-meter relay team

Brenicke Johnson

School | Loris

Class | Sophomore

Events | Sprints

Notable | Second in 100 meters with time of 12.44 seconds and member of fifth-place 400-meter relay team (51.53 seconds) at Class AA state meet

Juvante Sarvis

School | Conway

Class | Senior

Events | Sprints/long jump

Notable | Fourth in 100 meters with time of 12.55 seconds and eighth in long jump with jump of 15 feet, 11 inches at Class AAAA state meet; Horry County champ in long jump; set school record in long jump with jump 16 feet, 61/2 inches in AAAA state qualifier

Qwontajah Thompson

School | Myrtle Beach

Class | Junior

Events | Sprints/middle distance

Notable | Third in 800 meters with school-record time of 2:19.62, fourth in 100 meters with time of 12.80 seconds and sixth in 200 meters with time of 26.04 seconds at Class AAA state meet

Nikola Sejkorova

School | St. James

Class | Senior

Events | Pole vault

Notable | Region VII-AAA champ in pole vault with vault of 8 feet and second at Horry County Championships

Kayla Padgett

School | West Brunswick (N.C.)

Class | Junior

Events | Discus/shot put

Notable | Second in discus with toss of 129 feet, 6 inches and 10th in shot put with toss of 33 feet, 10 inches at N.C. Class 3A state meet in first year of track and field

Marisa Maher

School | North Myrtle Beach

Class | Sophomore

Events | Hurdles

Notable | Region VII-AAA champ in 400-meter hurdles with time of 1:11.81 seconds; member of Region VII-AAA champion 1,600-meter relay team; Horry County champ in 400-meter hurdles

Dalisha Alston

School | Waccamaw

Class | Senior

Events | Triple jump/long jump

Notable | Fourth in triple jump with jump of 35 feet, 1/2 inch and fifth in long jump with jump of 16 feet, 2 inches at Class AA state meet; Region VII-AA champ in long jump and triple jump

Breanna Gause

School | West Brunswick (N.C.)

Class | Senior

Events | Triple jump/long jump

Notable | Brunswick County and Waccamaw Conference champion in long jump (season best 16 feet, 63/4 inches) and triple jump (season best 35 feet, 71/2 inches); Member of Brunswick County and Waccamaw Conference champion 400-meter relay team (52.18 seconds)

Cristina Wright

School | Carolina Forest

Class | Freshman

Events | High jump

Notable | Region VI-AAAA champ in high jump with jump of 4 feet, 10 inches; second at Horry County Championships

McKenzie East

School | Carolina Forest

Class | Senior

Events | Long distance

Notable | Region VII-AAAA champ in 3,200 meters with time of 12:38.41; Member of Region VII-AAAA and Horry County champion 3,200 meter relay team

Monica Smalls

School | St. James

Class | Sophomore

Events | Hurdles

Notable | Region VII-AAA champ in 100-meter hurdles with time of 17.78 seconds; Horry County champ in 100-meter hurdles; Season best time of 16.67 seconds in 100 hurdles

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