Girls Track: Hinsdale Central’s Hardies kicks back into action
Hinsdale Central's Jill Hardies explodes with speed in the last 300 meters of the 1600-meter run to pass expected winner Madeline Perez of Glenbard West. Perez finished second behind Hardies. | Patrick Gleason~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: May 27, 2012 8:22AM
Jill Hardies is one of the state’s best distance runners, with four individual state medals in track and cross country.
The Hinsdale Central senior was also one of the best-rested, heading into Saturday’s Sue Pariseau Invitational at Glenbard West.
“I didn’t know what I was going to do,” Hardies said. “I haven’t raced in five weeks.”
She showed no signs of rust, though, using a ferocious kick to chase down Glenbard West’s Madeline Perez and win the 1600 meters in 5:01.69.
“I just knew I wanted to sit back,” said Hardies, who was sidelined first by a foot injury and then by the flu. “I accidentally got ahead somehow in the first lap, so I just let (Perez) go. The last 300 meters, I was feeling pretty good so I just kicked it in.”
Winning at Glenbard West, traditionally one of the state’s strongest invites, was a nice way to return to action.
“I didn’t know when I was going to come back,” Hardies said. “There have been some good workouts. I haven’t been able to go as hard as I would have liked because I was hurt. I’m trying to build my fitness back up again.”
Host Glenbard West rode a strong showing in the distances and the relays to the team title with 80 points. Barrington (75), York (71), Hinsdale Central (70) and Naperville North (61) followed in the closely bunched field.