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Paul Walters

Harford youths compete at AAU Junior Olympics in New Orleans

In the steamy heat of New Orleans Monday, Katherine Eckart, of Bel Air, raced to an eighth-place finish in the 3,000-meter run at the National AAU Junior Olympics.

A member of the Harford County Track Club, Eckart completed 7 1/2 laps of the Tad Gormley Stadium track in 11:38.46. The humid, 85-degree heat seemed to slow all 31 finalists in the age-12 division race despite an early morning start. Winner Sydney Tullai from Chino Hills, Calif., ran about 25 seconds slower than her qualifying time of 10:40.

Eckart, a Patterson Mill Middle School student, came into the meet with the fourth-fastest qualifying time, 11:24. She also qualified in the 1,500 meters, which was to be...