Lenape graduate Hayley Conway, a freshman at The College of New Jersey, has been named NJAC women’s track Rookie of the Week after recording a four-second PR in her first collegiate 800-meter race.
Conway negative-split a 2:22.43 to finish second at the TCNJ Invitational at the 168th Street Armory this weekend.
In her first college 800 and second college race, Conway took second to Kayla Rosario of Rutgers. Rosario ran 2:21.62.
Conway came through 400 meters in 72.1 but closed in 70.3 for a nine-second indoor PR.
Her time is No. 16 early on in Division 3 and No. 4 among freshmen. It’s also fastest in the early weeks of the season in the New Jersey Athletic Conference.
This is the kind of story we love. It’s not always about what superstar high school freshman comes out of the gate running 2:13, never to be heard from again.
Conway wasn’t one of Jack Walsh and Gerald Richardson’s endless stable of 2:15 half-milers at Lenape. She had an outdoor PR of 2:26.38 and an indoor PR of 2:31.52 during her high school career.
She never placed in a county or sectional meet indoors or outdoors, although she did place 3rd in the intermediate hurdles last spring in the Olympic Conference American Division Championships.
But she never stopped working and never stopped improving and now she has a big 800 PR to show for it.
There’s something to be said for persistence and steady development.
Every runner’s journey is different, and someone like Conway — who didn’t break 2:33 until the end of her sophomore year outdoors but kept at it — can be more inspiring than someone who experiences immediate success.
TCNJ is back at the Armory on Friday for the Ramapo Indoor Opener