In her first trip to the GHSA Girls Track and Field State Championship in Albany, Cartersville's Caroline Haupt continued to demonstrate her improvement and consistency as she finished sixth in the Class AAA 100-meter hurdles Saturday at Hugh Mills Stadium.
The Lady Hurricanes' junior ran a 15.40-second race in the finals, just three-hundreths off her personal record. Haupt's three-point total put Cartersville in a three-way tie with Chestatee and Franklin County for 23rd.
On Thursday, Haupt sprinted out to a time of 15.50 for fourth place in her heat.
"Anytime you start getting consistent around a certain time, you're gonna make a move in there somewhere," Cartersville coach Rusty Grimmett said. "One day when everything's right, you're gonna run a 15.15. ... She's getting to where she can do that. That's the thing I'm most proud of her about -- that [she is becoming consistent]."
While Haupt advanced past the preliminary stage of the 100 hurdles, she did not make it to the finals of her other event, the 300 hurdles, as she finished fifth in her heat with a 47.28.
The Lady Canes' other state qualifier, Lindsay Anderson, also placed fifth in her respective event. Anderson fell one place shy of the finals when she completed the 800-meter run in 2 minutes, 31.51 seconds.
"She did a great job at region. At region she was five seconds under her PR for the year," Grimmett said of Anderson's Region 7-AAA winning 2:25.85. "You get down there in that situation, it's always a little hotter down there and they run [the race] in the middle of the day."
The Cartersville coach did not make excuses but added, "She did as well as she could but just came up a little short."
Asked if Anderson's participation in two sports during the spring -- she also plays soccer -- leaves little in the tank, Grimmett thought the increased endurance helps either way. The training, he pointed out, is where the real difference occurs.
"I don't know if that wears on you as much. I think that's good for you," he continued. "But is it the right kind of conditioning for track and field? It's not."
However, Grimmett added of the Lincoln Memorial (Tenn.) University-bound Anderson, "She's good enough to do that [play two sports] and she's got a soccer scholarship."
As for Haupt, Cartersville's coach feels the young track athlete is coming into her own and has learned valuable lessons this season.
"She ran well before spring break and went to spring break and didn't take care of business and got out of shape," Grimmett said. "I think she learned her lesson -- 10 days off is too much, you got to do something. I'm proud of her for [coming back from] that."
"You finish top eight at state, that's something to be proud of," he added. "I think she's becoming more of a student of her event and will continue to get better."