GLEN CARBON - Father McGivney Catholic junior Kaitlyn Hatley has been remarkable in both girls' cross country and track since she was a freshman. This post-season, she stood out in area girls in the IHSA Class 1A regional, sectional, and finally the state meet.

Kaitlyn HatleyHatley started her parade with a first place in the Trenton Wesclin Regional 17:46.5 for three miles out of 100 girls who entered. She was second in the Benton Sectional, with a 17:08.20 clocking for 2.92 miles.

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Hatley was seventh at state in Peoria on a three-mile course with a time of 17:49.95 and earned All-State status for the third time. She has now been all-state in cross country, indoor track, and outdoor track. Kaitlyn also has been all-state in the 1,600 and 800 meters in track and field.

Kaitlyn is a Byron Carlson Petri and Kalb Female Athlete of the Month for the Griffins.

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Kaitlyn's coach Jim Helton said he is so proud of Hatley for her development since qualifying for state as a freshman. Kaitlyn is exceptionally intelligent and is an outstanding student at Father McGivney. She applies that intellect in her running with strategy for every race.

She said she loves running and the competitive side of cross country and track and field. Father McGivney Catholic does not yet have a track, so they train consistently on different trails, parks, and sometimes a track at another facility.

Hatley said she was pleased to capture first place in the regional and thought she ran a good race.

"I was so excited to win the regional and then go to sectional and state," she said. "I wanted to keep pushing and stay with it the day of the regional."

Overall, Hatley said she was "so proud of the team" for the effort in the post-season and throughout the season. She and Elena Rybak, the other star runner, only a sophomore, are best of friends. She said Elena always pushes her to improve and credited her workouts with her talented teammate and others on the squad as a big key to her success. See feature on Rybak on Saturday.

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