Caleb Hardy knows now that he wasn’t making the right decisions.
But it’s taken those mistakes for the Mountain View High senior to realize his potential.
Hardy won the boys 400 meters and was a part of the Mavericks’ first-place 4x100 and 4x200 relay teams at the 5A District Three track and field meet Friday at Mountain View.
He added a second-place finish in the 200, and he’ll have a realistic shot at winning all four events at next week’s state meet at Dona Larsen Park.
Hardy’s future didn’t look nearly as bright a few years ago.
He was dismissed from the Mavericks’ football team as a sophomore, and he wasn’t applying himself in the classroom. He was hanging with the wrong crowd.
“I was surrounding myself with kids that weren’t the best influences. We would just go out and be hooligans,” Hardy said. “ We got into a little bit of trouble, and now I am just trying to grow from it.”
Track has given Hardy a reason to change.
“Track keeps me focused on my grades and out of trouble,” Hardy said. “I just stay away from the kids that don’t want to be great. I want to surround myself with kids that have potential and want to go places.”
Hardy won the 400 Friday in a state-leading 48.30 seconds despite easing up during the final 50 meters. If he goes all out next week, he could break the overall state meet record of 47.97 set by Eagle’s James Heckendorn in 2013.
His progress on the track and in the classroom this season led to a Division I scholarship at Colorado State, and another reason to stay on track.
“I told him, ‘If you want to put in the effort and you stay out of trouble and do the right things, sky’s the limit,’” Mountain View coach Tracy Harris said. “That kid could be a 45-, 46-second quarter miler.”
While Hardy already has two gold medals from last year’s state meet in the 4x200 and 4x400, he’s eager to redeem himself in the 400.
He was disqualified from last year’s 400 final because of a false start.
“I think about that false start all the time,” Hardy said. “Even if I have to wait a second, I’m not going to go. Nope. That’s the last thing I’m going to do is (false start).”
▪ Capital senior Britt Ipsen won the boys 110 hurdles (14.86), long jump 23-0), triple jump (44-02) and high jump (6-4).
▪ Mountain View freshman Lexy Halladay swept the girls 3,200 (10:38.92), 1,600 (4:57.54) and 800 (2:15.06) and still had the strength to anchor the final event of the night. Halladay held off a strong charge from Eagle to win the 4x400 relay.
▪ The finish to the girls 100 was too close to call, so a rare tie was awarded to Mountain View freshman Asha Byrd and Rocky Mountain sophomore Dena Shaffstall-Lassos. Both crossed the line in 12.45. Byrd later won the 200 outright in a 25.27.
▪ Rocky Mountain junior Carter Kuehl won the boys 100 and 200, clocking the state’s fastest time in the 200 this season at 21.66.
▪ Eagle senior Alec Kuzmack, who has signed to play football at Washington State, dominated the throws. He won the shot put with a distance of 54-3 and the discus at 155-07.
▪ Defending state champion Rocky Mountain won the boys team title with 142 points, while the Mountain View girls finished first with 184.