When senior Mackenzie Hart and her Saratoga Springs teammates show up at a track meet, they’re always the team to beat.

But it all starts in practice, making sure they’re getting better with every step.

“We’re excited to improve our time from indoor a lot, and we’re just excited to see how it goes,” Hart said.

She, Ella Kurto, Emily Bush and Alycia Hart will all be part of the 4 x 800 meter relay at this weekend’s state championship meet. It’ll be the last race the four will run together after breaking national records over the last year.

“We’ve been working for that goal since before COVID hit, so I really think it was just satisfying to break that record finally,” said Kurto, also a senior.

During the 2021 Nike Outdoor Nationals, the Blue Streaks set an outdoor record of 19 minutes 40.67 seconds in the 4 x mile relay.

Then, during the Nike Indoor Nationals, the group shattered that 4 x mile relay record as well with a time of 19 minutes 49.10 seconds.

“It meant so much to us,” Hart said. “It just showed us what we can do, and I think I made us even closer.”

They were not done.

In April, the runners clocked in at 19 minutes 48.59 seconds in the 4 x 1,600 meter relay, another national best time.

They won’t be running the 4 x mile together anymore though. Their one final race together will be the 4 x 8.

“We’re such a close knit group of girls, and it’s been great just to see each other improve, cheer each other on and it’s just a great dynamic overall,” said Bush, a sophomore.

“It shows that they reach for the top. But it doesn’t go to their head,” said Linda Kranick, Saratoga Springs coach. “They’re just out there working, and they just look at it as a record to break.”

After Saturday’s state championship race, the track careers will continue for all four girls.

Hart will run at Wake Forest this fall, while Kurto will compete for Toledo. Bush and Hart will be back for their junior year, with another group of fast and hungry runners ready to break more records.

“I think we’re really excited to go out with one last bang,” Kurto said.

“Bittersweet. But they’ve done a great job, and that’s what they’re going to leave with,” Kranick said. “’I put it on the line. I did all that I could do, and I had a good time doing it.’”