For Nick Hartle, it’s time to take one for the team.
Hartle has plenty of individual goals for this track and field season, but he’s putting those hopes on the back burner as he looks to lead Centennial’s boys to a team title.
“Although I would love to win individual events, I think a team title would be so much more rewarding,” said Hartle, a junior. “Our seniors have worked so hard, and I feel they deserve that ring.”
Last year, Hartle ran four events at state, placing third in the 3,200-meter run and fifth in the 1,600 and running on two relay teams. Centennial’s 1,600 relay team finished fifth and its 3,200 team first, setting a state record time of 7 minutes, 53.94 seconds.
But it was McQueen that took home the team title with 65 points. Centennial finished fourth with 45.
Since last spring, Hartle has turned it up several notches. In July, he completed the distance triple at the USATF Junior Olympics in Sacramento, Calif., winning the 3,000, the 1,500 and the 800 in the intermediate boys division.
Hartle led the Bulldogs’ cross country team to the Class 4A team title and claimed the individual crown in the fall.
In December, Hartle went to Portland, Ore., for Nike Cross Nationals, having qualified as one of five individuals at the Southwest Regional meet in Phoenix.
“The growth I see (in Hartle) from last year to this year so far is the confidence in his ability to compete on a national level,” Centennial coach Roy Sessions said. ”His wins at the Junior Olympics in the 800, 1,500 and 3,000 with national-caliber times has shown him how hard work pays off.”
No one knows Hartle’s potential better than Sessions.
“I have been Nick’s coach since the first day he started running; we have a very special relationship, and if that’s what would make him ‘my guy,’ then he is,” Sessions said. “The main things he brings to the table are his leadership and work ethic. Those are the two things I think helped him in leading the cross country team to the title, and it appears he is bringing that same attitude to the track.”
Hartle plans to concentrate on the 800 and the 1,600, and he has some lofty goals in mind, including going after a record that has stood for 30 years and a sub-4:10 time in the 1,600.
“Nick is really focused on a few records that have stood for a while and would like to really go after them, but his No. 1 goal is to help lead this team to a state title and a top-10 ranking nationally,” Sessions said. “If that means sacrificing some individual awards, he has stated he would be willing to do just that.”
One of those records is the Southern Zone (now region) record for the 1,600 of 4:15.9, set by by Eldorado’s Andre Woods in 1981. At state the next year, Woods established the current state record of 4:13.8.In-depth high school sports coverage
ATHLETES TO WATCH
Basic: Kevin Bayes, Blaze Galardy
Centennial: Nick Hartle, Dominic Lopez, Jayson Matlock
Chaparral: Jose Alcaraz, Carlos Olague
Cimarron-Memorial: Dominic Jones
Del Sol: Colin Smith
Desert Oasis: Tanner Fulmer
Faith Lutheran: Jack Leavitt
Foothill: Miles Killebrew
Green Valley: Allen Maddox
Las Vegas: Menz Gray
Liberty: Nate Creiger, Jordan Kapeli
Pahrump Valley: Nick Stearns
Palo Verde: Brandon Wright
Silverado: Ladale Jackson
Sunrise Mountain: Fahraad Zinnamon
Valley: Bryon Peeples
Western: Cameron Ringgold
Arbor View: Courtney Robinson
Bishop Gorman: Gabby Bailey
Bonanza: Bree Hammel
Canyon Springs: Tierra Griffin, Jamila Pullum
Centennial: Karli Johonnot, Natalie Schwebel, Takara Shaw
Cheyenne: Jenae Brown, Brittany Jackson
Del Sol: Jasmine Hawkins
Durango: Tiarra Beville
Faith Lutheran: Krystal Onyema, Rene Vogel
Green Valley: Courtney Thomas
Las Vegas: Breanna Melton
Legacy: Avione Allgood, Darriel Banks
Liberty: Joslyn Evans, Adwoa Fosu
Pahrump Valley: Taylor McJunkin
Palo Verde: Cayce Bryan, Katie Gorczyca, Kelsi Koch, Sarah Leiserowitz
Rancho: Ashley Gordon
Silverado: Diamondique Wright
Valley: Anne Underwood, Krystal Wharton
Western: Paradise Sanders