Lonoke’s Gracie Hyde finished sixth in the 800 meters at the Meet of Champions at Russellville on Saturday.
Hyde, the junior who won the Class 4A cross country title in November and the 800 and 1,600 at the Class 4A outdoor meet, ran 2:22.19. She had run 2:19.65 in the state meet. Her personal best is 2:18.1.
“My plan was to go out fast, and that turned out to be a lot of people’s plan,” she said Monday. “I got boxed in, and it didn’t work out very well for me.”
Lainey Quandt of Bentonville won, running 2:16.06. Angela Saitta of Haas Hall Academy was second in 2:16.21, followed by Julianne Dillon of Springdale Har-Ber, 2:17.91; Lauren Turner of Cabot, 2:19.30; Rebecca Boushelle of Fayetteville (the 2016 champion), 2:20.01; and Hyde.
“It would have been a very hard stretch for her to get first,” Lonoke coach Angela Watson said. “She was in third until about the last 250 meters or so.”
Hyde, competing for Brookland last year, had finished eighth in the Meet of Champs 800 in 2:27.67.
“I’m definitely better than I was last year,” she said. “Going in, I was definitely wanting to win it. I’m a little bit disappointed, but the Meet of Champs wasn’t my biggest meet. I’ve got to bounce back from it. Maybe I’ll get a little bit of redemption.”
Hyde will compete Wednesday and Thursday in the Arkansas High School Heptathlon at Cabot. The heptathlon includes the 100-meter hurdles, long jump, discus and 200 on the first day of competition and the high jump, shot put and 800 on the second day.
“She’ll do well in the 800, and she does pretty well in the 100 hurdles,” Watson said. “She’s high jumped before and cleared 4-8. Her weakness will be the throwing events. We’ve been working on them, and she’s gotten better.”
Hyde said she had planned all year to try the heptathlon.
“I think I have a good shot at being in the top five,” she said. “I would love to win it, obviously. A couple of times this year I did the high jump, and I have done the 300 hurdles several times. I do steeplechase a lot.”
She said with her best event — the 800 — being the final event of the two-day competition, she would stick to her strategy.
“My plan is to keep them as close as I can and blow them out in the 800,” she said.