Hannah Long doing well on the track is not surprising, but the Eureka standout recently outdid herself in the Class 4 state track and field meet.
In the annual meet at Dwight T. Reed Stadium in Jefferson City, Long competed in four events for the first time and won them all.
“I am very proud of my accomplishments at state this year,” said Long, who will be a senior this fall. “Winning four events this year meant a lot to me because I think it shows my strength and how I’ve grown as a runner.”
Long captured the Class 4 1,600-meter title with a state record time of 4 minutes and 46.21 seconds.
However, the record was subsequently broken by Ste. Genevieve’s Taylor Werner, who won the Class 3 title in 4:44.25.
On day one, Long added another title in the 800-meter run with a winning time of 2:10.78. Then, on her second day, she added two more titles.
Long won the 3,200-meter in 10:34.26, 12 seconds ahead of Francis Howell’s Kristen Adams.
She also ran the anchor leg of the 3,200 relay, making up a seven-second gap behind Lee’s Summit West anchor Annika Sisson to win the race in 9:11.20. Long’s split was 2:09.76, which was faster than her state winning time in the 800 the previous day.
While Long never predicted winning all four events, it was her goal to run in them at state.
“My coaches and I had been discussing the possibility of running those events for a while, and we ultimately decided I was strong enough and had enough experience to handle running all four at a high level,” Long said.
Setting the state record in the 1,600 was special for Long.
“The 1,600 record was always on my mind this year especially because I just missed getting it last year,” Long said. “Although 4:46 wasn’t a personal record, I was still very excited because the record meant a lot to me and it was a big focus for me this track season.”
Long was not despondent about losing her overall state record in the event.
“I was actually able to watch part of Taylor’s race after I finished my race and I thought it was pretty cool that we both ran some of the fastest 1,600s in Missouri history just minutes apart,” Long said.
Two hours after that race, it was time for the 800 race. Although her time was good in the 800 – and a personal best – it was not a school record, a 2:10.26 time set by Shannon Leinert.
In the 3,200 relay, Long ran with Eilish Overby, Andra Staicu and Faith Reynolds as Eureka defended its state title. Overby and Long were both on the winning relay team last year.
“As I watched the race unfold in front of me, I felt confident that each of my teammates ran great legs and had gotten me in great position. I had about a seven-second deficit to make up and I knew that Annika Sisson was capable of running a very fast time since she raced awesome in the 800 finals the day before,” Long said. “When I got the baton, I was nervous because I knew that I needed to run a personal record for us to win but also excited because I knew we had a shot at standing on the top of the podium.”
And that’s where the Wildcats ended – on top of the podium.
“My teammates and coach and I were all very excited because the 4×800 has been a huge focus of ours all year and to be able to repeat our win from last year was pretty special,” Long said.
Long then ran and won the 3,200 race and she did it easily.
“Now, I will just focus on training for the upcoming cross country season,” Long said. “I don’t know if I’ll do extra training but I definitely want to make sure I have a strong summer of training this year so that I can make my last high school cross country season a good one.