Following a heartbreaking loss in the state championship basketball game, Emmy Sargeant could’ve been excused if she needed time off to grieve a little longer before setting foot on the Hartland track.
But Sargeant felt like she needed to be at the first practice following that loss, and not just because she’d already missed a week during the Eagles’ run to the Breslin Center.
“It was definitely therapeutic,” she said. “Obviously, it’s a big bummer that we made it all the way to the state championship and it didn’t go our way. It just made me want to do even better in track season, just to make up for how we didn’t get what we wanted.
“It was good, something to move on to another goal. I made a goal to myself to do as good in this as I did in basketball. It was definitely great I got back right away.”
Sargeant certainly went out on a high note, securing her legacy as one of the top athletes ever in the Hartland program and earning Livingston County Athlete of the Year for girls track and field.
She pulled off an incredibly difficult triple by winning the 100-, 200- and 400-meter races in the Kensington Lakes Activities Association meet.
Six days earlier, she had another amazing single-day performance by breaking her own school record in the 200 with a time of 25.24 seconds, setting the Livingston County record in the 400 in 57.37 and running the second-fastest 100 in school history with a time of 12.60.
Although she had four school records coming into the year, eclipsing the 400 school record of 57.64 set by Michelle Moraitis in 2017 was her biggest goal as a senior. She not only did that, but broke the county mark of 57.52 set by Brighton’s Cassidy Newburg in 2016. Sargeant then became the first girl in county history to break 57 seconds in the 400 with her fifth-place time of 56.76 in the state Division 1 meet.
The 400 is the most difficult event Sargeant ran, but also her favorite.
“It’s a very hard race, but I did have the stamina from playing other sports,” said Sargeant, a Michigan State University soccer recruit in addition to starting on a state runner-up basketball team.
“That was the event where I could be faster than other people, because there’s girls I couldn’t beat in the shorter sprints who are naturally faster. That’s why I like the 400; it’s something you can work on to get better at.”
Sargeant’s other school records were set on relays in her first two seasons. As a freshman, she was on a 400 relay team that ran 50.80 and a 1,600 relay that ran 4:02.90. As a junior, she helped the 800 relay team run a school-record 1:44.78.
ALL-COUNTY TEAM: Meet the 2022 All-Livingston County girls track and field team
“We coached her older sister, Grace, who was a good soccer player and solid runner,” Hartland coach Matt Gutteridge said. “We kind of knew the family. We knew she’d be someone we could use. You don’t know how fast a kid can get, especially missing a year of pandemic and things like that. We knew she was always going to be part of our 4x4 her freshman year. She set records all three years, minus the pandemic year.
“She told me what her goals were. Her goals were to break the 200-meter record, her goal was to break the 400-meter record and her goal was to run sub-57 at the state meet. She talked about things she wanted to do. Coach (Jeff) Hough did a great job putting her in a nice spot. We did a nice job making sure we didn’t over-race.”
Contact Bill Khan at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @BillKhan.
This article originally appeared on Livingston Daily: Girls track Athlete of the Year Emmy Sargeant set 5 Hartland records