When it comes to athletics, things have always come naturally for Fremont junior Amare Harlan. From the volleyball court to the soccer field, Harlan did well no matter the arena.

But when it came to her performances on the track, Harlan and her coaches quickly discovered that she could do more than just do well — she could be great.

In fact, it was her play on the soccer pitch that helped her realize that she had a future in sprinting.

“My parents got me into (a track and field) little league in elementary, but the soccer field was where I could really see and display my speed,” Harlan said.

But as Harlan started to get more involved with track in junior high and high school, she realized the need to move on from the sport where she first displayed her unique talent.

“I just fell in love with track and started losing the love for soccer, and there was a lot more injury (in soccer), so I felt it was time to just focus on track,” Harlan said.

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With her sole focus on the track, the junior sprinter and long jumper has already become one of the best track and field athletes in state history, despite having a handful of meets and another year of high school track in front of her.

Harlan has tied the state record in the 100 meters (11.68) and is approaching state records in both the long jump and the 200 meters. She already holds the 6A records in each of those events.

Invited to the 2022 Arcadia Invitational meet this spring — one of the premier track events in the western United States — Harlan competed shoulder to shoulder with some of the best in the nation. There, Harlan posted a 19’7” in the long jump — a jump that would’ve broken a 21-year-old state record (19’4.75”) posted by Alta’s Amy Menlove if it had occurred in a Utah meet.

Although additional state records seem to be on the horizon for the lightning fast junior, Harlan said that she’s more focused on chasing herself than records.

“I just want to PR every event,” Harlan said. “I want to break my personal records. That’s what keeps me going and that’s the goal.”

Harlan posted a PR of 23.95 in the 200 meters at the Davis Invitational last weekend — a time that’s .20 seconds away from the state record set by Enterprise’s Jaslyn Gardner in 2017 — and narrowly missed her PR and state record time in 100 meters by just .01 seconds (11.69).

Though she couldn’t quite replicate her jump from Arcadia, Harlan’s jump of 18’5” was still good for first place and was nearly a foot longer than the second-place jumper.

Chasing those personal and state records can be exhausting and frustrating at times, but Harlan said she’s just focusing on “trusting the process” through her daily work and training.

Unlike most track and field athletes, Harlan has the luxury of living with one of her coaches. Her mother, Kelly Harlan, a former track and field athlete at Weber State, coaches Fremont’s sprinters and jumpers.

Fremont sprinter Amare Harlan competes in 100-meter race during Davis Invitational at Davis High School in Kaysville on Saturday, April 30, 2022. | Mengshin Lin, Deseret News

Amare attributed much of her success and improvement to her mom’s coaching, but Kelly Harlan said that much of her daughter’s success comes from her hard work coupled with pure, natural ability.

“It is so fun to watch her run because she’s just a beautiful runner,” Kelly said. “Sometimes I’m like, ‘Was she even going all-out?’ And then I see her times I realize she was, but she runs so effortlessly. She makes it look easy.”

When asked how Amare’s abilities compare to hers when she was at that age, Kelly revealed that her daughter bested all of her personal records last year when she was a sophomore, admitting that “she has exceeded (her) by a lot.”

Though the gifted junior hasn’t received any formal collegiate offers, she said that she’s been talking with BYU and Utah, as well as a few out of state schools.

But with three more meets this season — and plenty more next season — Amare Harlan said that she’s focused on staying humble and having fun as she continues to build on an already impressive resume.

“It would mean a lot to break all those records and it would be so cool, but I try my best to stay humble and not get too flashy with my ability,” Harlan said.

“But I do take pride in my work ethic, I like to be (at the track) as much as I can because I want to be able to put my best foot forward every time I compete. Obviously I’m not going to get better (times) every time, but I can always work my hardest at practice.”

Fremont sprinter Amare Harlan poses for a photo prior to working out with the track team after school in Plain City on Tuesday, April 26, 2022. | Scott G Winterton, Deseret News