Jan. 13, 2014
For immediate release

Former Placer High standout won four 800-meter state titles
(Third in a series highlighting the eight members of the Sacramento Running Association’s 2014 Hall of Fame class. Today: Lindsay Hyatt Barr)

Lindsay Hyatt Barr’s high school running career was simply dazzling.

The former Placer High School standout earned four consecutive state titles in the 800 meters and claimed two national championships. She also earned valedictorian honors as a senior and helped make it cool for girls to run.

College brought more success, with Hyatt helping win two national titles in the distance medley relay, one as an undergraduate at Stanford and the other as a graduate student at Tennessee.

Her accomplishments earned her a spot in the Sacramento Running Association’s Hall of Fame. She and the other members of the class of 2014 — Al Baeta, Patti Gray Bellan, Harold Kuphaldt, Heike Skaden Mansoor, John Mansoor, Michael Stember and Tim Twietmeyer – are scheduled to be inducted at a dinner at the Sheraton Grand Hotel in Sacramento on Jan. 25.

That group joins the inaugural SRA Hall of Fame class inducted last year: Rae Clark, Eileen Claugus, Chris Iwahashi, Helen Klein, Billy Mills, Paul Reese, Dennis Rinde and Linda Somers Smith.

The SRA will also present its Annual Achievement Awards, including Athlete of the Year to Shadrack Biwott.

Tickets for the 6 p.m. dinner are $50 and can be obtained at www.runsra.org.

“I am totally honored,” said Hyatt Barr, now 32 and living in Auburn with her husband, Chris Barr, and their son Cooper, 5, and daughter Addison, 6 months.

“There are a lot of great athletes to come out of the Sacramento area. I was surprised and honored to be selected, especially with this class.”

Hyatt Barr’s accomplishments made her selection into the Hall of Fame inevitable.

She started running in middle school because of friends, then enjoyed a lot of success as a freshman at Placer. Hyatt moved up to the varsity and wound up winning the first of her four consecutive 800-meter titles.

“We just had a lot of success, a lot of fun,” said Hyatt Barr, whose father, Ron Hyatt, was her high school coach. “It (a state title) was definitely a shock. I went into that race, I had no idea what I was doing.

“I won the state championship as a freshman. I went, ‘OK, Whoa, how did this happen?’”

As she prepared to defend her state title a year later in Sacramento, anxiety paid a visit.

“That was the hardest year,” she said. “Winning as a sophomore was extremely difficult. I almost didn’t go to that because I was so nervous.

“The best thing my Dad said to me is ‘You don’t have to go.’ There was no pressure on me to run. He said, ‘If you don’t feel good, just stay home.’

“That just kind of clicked … ‘What am I doing? Of course I want to go.’”

Hyatt won her fourth and final state championship in 1999 as a senior in Sacramento, running a then national-best 2:06.74 to bow out a champion.

“It was just so special, that last one was,” she said. “I had a lot of friends and family there.”

She also won two national titles as a junior in 1998, one indoor and one outdoors, cementing her status as the nation’s top female prep 800-meter runner.

“I just approached every race the same,” she said. “I either was good at it, I liked to win and I just kept working at it.

“I have good memories of the state meet.”

Hyatt Barr, whose childhood babysitter was Olympic pole-vault gold medalist Stacy Dragila, competed in the World Junior Championships in 1998 and finished third in the Junior Pan-Am Games in 1999.

She ran a leg on Stanford’s distance medley relay team that won the national title in the NCAA Indoor Championships in 2000. Hyatt Barr earned All-America honors several times and also set an indoor school record in the 800 with a 2:05.95 effort.

“It was really all about my teammates,” she said. “I made life-long friends there.”

After earning a degree in American Studies from Stanford, she headed to Tennessee, where she earned a Masters in sports management and ran a leg on another national championship distance medley relay team, this one for the Volunteers.

A stress fracture in her heel bone curtailed her running, leading Hyatt Barr to take a job with Stanford, where she has worked as a project manager and development analyst for the Athletics Department.

The Sacramento Running Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to finding ways to encourage people of all ages and abilities to run. The SRA is committed to developing new, quality running events that appeal to a broad variety of runners.