BOONTON, NJ - When it came to the 110-meter high hurdles at the Morris County girls track championships, Simone Kirton never paid much attention to her competition.
The Chatham senior was racing against the clock. And she won.
Kirton breezed through a preliminary and a semifinal heat before setting a Chatham school record and Morris County meet record of 14.07 in the final. It was her second straight 110-meter high hurdles title at the county championships held Wednesday under heated conditions at Boonton High.
Her championship-race time of 14.07 put her far ahead of the field and broke her own school record of 14.12.
"I knew I was favored to win, but I just wanted to go after my personal best," Kirton said. "I wasn't really focused on anyone, just trying to beat the clock. I'm from Florida, so I'm used to the heat. Your muscles don't need extra warming up because it's so warm out."
Kirton picked up some momentum on Tuesday when she ran a personal-best time of 12:58, gaining a surprise victory in the 100-meter dash. She kept improving her times in each heat of the 100. First she clocked 12.64 in the preliminaries, then 12.60 in the semifinals, and culminated with her 12.58 in the final.
"That definitely was an ego boost because I don't really run the 100 that fast and I wasn't expected to win," Kirton said. "I was seeded fourth or fifth. That was a PR for me 12.58."
Now that she has defended her Morris County hurdles title, Kirton has her sights set on repeating her state sectional championship of a year ago and beating the clock - again.
"I would love to get it down to 13 (seconds) by the time I'm done," she said. "That would be really cool. I just have to keep an open mind and not feel that other girls are faster than me. That never helps. Just race against the clock and not worry about the other girls. Just worry about the clock."
Simone Kirton set a school record of 14.07 in the final of the high hurdles at the Morris County Championships below
There was no competition for Kirton in the semifinals of the high hurdles below