2015 Journal Tribune Girls Outdoor Track & Field Athlete of the Year: Thornton Academy’s Alex Hart

SACO — If someone said a Thornton Academy athlete would be named the Journal Tribune Girls Track and Field Athlete of the Year this season, no one would have argued.

Most people would have thought that athlete would have been senior standout Tori Daigle, who came into the 2015 season as a defending state champion and the favorite to repeat in multiple events.

Now, Daigle could have easily been the choice after another stellar season, which included a state title in the triple jump, but one of her teammates ”“ freshman Alex Hart ”“ just beat her out for the honor.

Hart set the state record in the 400-meter dash with a time of 56.87 seconds as she won the gold, and she also captured the state crown in the 200 meters.

“Unbelievable,” said Thornton Academy coach Lisa Huntress of Hart’s performance at the state meet, which also included a second-place finish in the 100-meter dash and a fourth-place finish in the long jump.

Huntress is still amazed by Hart’s run at states, which helped the Trojans repeat as team champions.

“That race at the state meet was just unbelievable … the whole day was just amazing,” said Huntress.

One of the most impressive things about Hart is the fact that she didn’t run indoor track ”“ she was a standout on the Trojans’ basketball team ”“ and she was still able to excel on the track and in the field.

“The best part about Alex is she is kind of innocent to everything, there’s just an innocence about her. Being a newcomer, she participated with our summer program, but this is the first time she really got out there. It was kind of fun watching her develop,” said Huntress.

That development was quicker than most athletes and resulted in what most high school track athletes can only dream of.

“My gosh, I think she ran a little over a minute in the 400 when she participated in the summer track … if you think about that and the fact that she broke a state record in the 400, it’s mind-boggling,” said Huntress.

The TA head coach believes Hart has one thing that all great champions have: a killer instinct.

“She’s very competitive and I think you can see that on the basketball court, too,” said Huntress.

The presence of Daigle and the rest of the seniors on the team also helped turn Hart into a champion in her first season.

“I think it was probably the best thing for her. (The seniors) were a tremendous support for her,” said Huntress on Hart working with the upperclassmen.

Although every other coach in the state might not have the same opinion, Huntress is excited to see what Hart can do over the next three years.

“I just can’t wait. It’s going to be so fun watching her over the next few years and I can only imagine where these trails are going to lead her,” said Huntress.

— Sports Editor Pat McDonald can be reached at [email protected] or at 282-1535 ext. 322. Follow the Journal Tribune Sports Department on Twitter @JournalTsports.

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