Girls Track: Lyons Township’s Haugen has ‘fun’ in heptathlon
Lyons Township's Emma Haugen (right), qualified for the USA Junior Championships in the heptathlon ths summer. | Jon Langham~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: September 10, 2012 12:44PM
LA GRANGE — For someone who never slinged a javelin or heaved a shot put until a few months ago, Lyons Township sophomore Emma Haugen didn’t have high expectations for her second trip to the USA Junior Championships.
Haugen not only competed in her usual events such as the high jump and hurdles, but this time the La Grange resident qualified for the Junior Championships in the heptathlon, the seven-sport, two-day event for females.
Haugen won the Class 3A state championship in May in the high jump, but was willing to attempt the heptathlon for the first time with her track club, the Hinsdale-based Zephyrs.
“It was really fun,” Haugen said. “I think I’ll do it again. I was getting tired, but it wasn’t that bad.”
For Haugen, concerns about the weather was a factor after last year’s heat wave while competing in the Junior Championships in Wichita, Kan.
But the weather reports for this year’s heptathlon in Baltimore were much more favorable for Haugen.
“It was not as hot as last year,” Haugen said.
In the Intermediate Girls division, Haugen finished 11th (3,301 points) out of 12 competitors. The heptathlon was held July 23-24 at Morgan State University.
Haugen finished fourth in high jump (5 feet, 3 inches), 10th in 100-meter hurdles (16.81), 11th in long jump (14-1 1/4), javelin (66-9) and 800 (2:58.75) and 12th in shot put (20-4 1/2) and 200 (28.27).
The heptathlon might have affected Haugen in her other individual events. She finished 17th in her best event, high jump (5-1), and was 23rd in triple jump, 28th in 100 hurdles and 46th in long jump.
The IHSA does not hold he heptathlon at its state meets, but Haugen is intrigued about possibly competing in the event at the college level.
Haugen is a former volleyball player, but prefers track and field. Her toughest event is the 800, but Haugen plans on working on her extended running by joining the cross country team when preseason practice opens this week.
“The reason I’m joining cross country is that they have something for sprinters,” Haugen said. “It will probably help. There is always winter running that starts after Thanksgiving about three times a week.”