EDWARDSVILLE – Edwardsville's Darryl Harlan had a very good day during Tuesday's Southwestern Conference boys track and field meet in Edwardsville; he took fourth place in the 400 meters with a personal record of 49.94 seconds in the event, then turned in a 49.9 opening leg of the 4x400 relay as the Tigers finished third in the event as they went on to win the team title.

“It felt great to come out and compete hard against very good teams,” Harlan, who recently announced he will be running at Illinois-Chicago next year, said. “I knew it was our conference meet and our goal was to come out and win and do the best we can; that's what we did today.

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“Running against the best runners is always my favorite because it always pushes you to your fullest potential and always make you try your hardest – not saying you don't try your hardest in other races – but you really get to see where you are and how strong you are as a runner because you get to run against better athletes. It just really proves to myself today the type of runner I can be on a daily basis.”

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Harlan's plan for next week's sectional at Moline is to try to drop another second off his time. “My plan is to drop another second in the open 400 and go 48 (seconds),” Harlan said, “and to do my best in the 4x4 and try to come back with another solid 48; just consistency is key pretty much to go into sectionals and compete as hard as I can and make it to state.”

Harlan has been running with the track Tigers since he arrived at EHS in the fall of 2013. “I've been running with coach (Chad) Lakatos, coach (Alec) Holler and different coaches like coach (Carry) Bailey and coach (Matt) Martin – each of them have played a key role in developing me as an athlete and I thank them.”

While some may not see track and field as a team sport, there are team elements to being a part of the sport. “I know track – it might not seem like a team sport – but being out here with a group of guys, being like five on a court like in basketball, you're really competing hard and just pretty much cheering on your teammates,” Harlan said. “Running track is a very competitive sport, so you really test your body to its full ability; I'm a person who's ready to take on the best challenge and test myself to the most that I can.”

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