FORT WAYNE—If track experts in Ohio and Michigan had never heard of Bellmont's Alexis Harvey, they have now after her Saturday performance at the 39th annual Midwest Meet of Champions at Northrop High School.
Harvey placed first in two events and second in another in her three races at the meet which featured the many of the best recent graduating class athletes in the tri-state area and earned Harvey the "Star of the Stars" award for the meet.
Harvey had what her Bellmont coach Carl Risch called "a dominating win" in the 200 meter dash outdistancing second place finisher Naiomi Dulaney of Lawrence Central High School (Indianapolis) by over a half-second, :24.39 to :24.90.
It was Harvey's personal best effort of the season (previous best was :24.56) and the race easily topped her finish in the same race at the IHSAA State Finals two weeks earlier. Ohio runner Briana Johnson, who will be a teammate of Harvey's this coming fall at Indiana Tech, was third in :24.92 (the three were the only runners in a field of eight that broke the 25-second barrier).
"My goal going into the race was mainly to get a personal best time for the year. The weather was ideal for running without any wind but I was very nervous before the race. When I'm nervous though, that's a good thing for me and I just went out and hoped for the best and it turned out all good," Harvey noted.
Risch said that wind can play "an amazing difference" in times and Harvey added "that when there is wind, I have to learn to run through it." Earlier this year in the NHC meet at New Haven, Harvey was clocked in the 100 meter dash at :11.91, the fastest time in the state this year but Risch said she might have had a slight edge with a tailwind that day.
Harvey said prior to the start of the 200 race that the "Michigan and Ohio runners tried to intimidate us by glaring at us and trying to stare us down. That just made us a little more determined to win."
Risch exclaimed that "Alexis just went out and put on a show for everyone. It was very exciting to watch and was simply thrilling for me as her high school coach to see her perform so well. That race was over when she came out of the turn and turned on the burners in the backstretch."