We all know about sophomore Hallie "Berrie" Grimes and how well she runs the quarter-mile. Wait...some of us don't know? Well, real quick, Grimes exploded onto the track scene as a freshman last spring. She was district and regional champion and finished fifth in Class 3A at states last year.
Not only is she back to challenge for a state title in the 400 meter, she is running 100 meter and 200 meter races with that characteristic Grimes abandon.
At her first major meet of the year, the Gator Quad Meet, Grimes won the 400 meter, the 100 meter, and even placed in the 200 meter.
Girls track coach Rock Ridgeway will have a tough time deciding which four events to enter Hallie in: She also runs the 4x400 meter relay and the 4x100 meter relay.
Her late-season participation on the relay teams will largely depend on how fast her teammates around her get and how competitive that relay team will be against other schools. Hallie's 100 meter and 200 meter times are already competitive in the individual fields.
She won the 100 meter in 12.62 seconds. That time would have earned her a spot at last year's state finals and she's running that time in February. A good cross reference for recent times is the Charles Johnson Invitational, where Hallie would have taken third place in a field of 16 bay-area teams. Considering she is a sophomore and just recently honed in on running the 100 meter, she is a very likely candidate to make states in 400 meter and 100 meter.
Even her 200 meter times are notable. She ran a 28.8 second race at the Gator Quads. Grimes points out that her fastest time from last year was 26.2 seconds and that was in May. A 28.8-second time in February positions her to be a state qualifier in possibly three events.
At the recent USF-Steinbrenner Invitational, one of the largest meets of the yeart, with over 50 schools in attendance, Grimes placed second out of a field of 57 competitors. She also tied for 12th place in the 200 meter out of a field of 59 athletes.
Land O'Lakes Patch caught up with Grimes after the meet.
Patch: Why is the 400 meter your favorite race?
Hallie: It leaves you a lot of time to catch up. It's the perfect distance; not too long, not too short.
Patch: What advantage do you think you have as a sophomore that has competed in a state final?
Hallie: It pushes me harder to try and get there again; to beat my time from last year's finals.
Patch: What's going through your head, coming down that last straightaway?
Hallie: Push as hard as I can, no matter how much it hurts and hope no one is in front of me.
Patch: There's so many things that could capture a high school sophomore's interest. What keeps you so committed to track?
Hallie: Track helps get my mind off of things. It helps me get some of the stress from school off. I guess it's a release, in a way.
Stay tuned to Land O'Lakes Patch to track this young athlete in her quest for a state title.