Article written by MileSplitCA contributor Caleb Ragan.
If you don't know her name, you should probably learn it. Makayla Browne (JW North), one of the two freshmen who competed in the 2017 Woodbridge Classic Bob Day Girls Sweepstakes race, ran an impressive 16:41 for a 17th place finish in one of the most competitive meets in the country.
Her time puts her ten seconds ahead of the previous fastest freshman time at the Silverlakes course and gives her the all-time second fastest time for a freshman in Woodbridge history.
And if that doesn't grab your attention, her time is five seconds faster than the 16:46 that the renowned Sarah Baxter ran her freshman year in 2010.
JW North coach Milton Browne, also her father, said, "this is her running on purely fitness. We haven't even begun to start doing the hard workouts."
So, where did Browne come from?
The 5-foot-tall athlete attributes her fitness to her time running for the Lions Track Club. In seventh and eighth grade, Browne held PR's of 2:16.13 in the 800m and 4:48 in the 1,500m.
"Now going to cross country races, I'm used to it. I'm not as nervous. Now I'm with bigger girls and that's what I have to adapt to," said Browne.
Her sister Mckenzie Browne(2:18) and herself have both been dominant forces in the realm of club cross country.
North has been long awaiting an athlete like Browne to come along. The huskies haven't had an athlete as talented and humble since Skechers athlete and UC Berkeley alumnus Mariel Mendoza ran the roads of Riverside.
Side note: Browne also took down Mendoza's school record of 16:51.
When asked about the future of the freshman standout, Coach Browne offered some placid words.
"There's no way of predicting how she'll do and really no use to it. She has the potential and we are going to keep training... and wait and see."
However, Makayla is confident in her own ability. When asked in a pre-meet interview about what she expected running against the likes of Chloe Arriaga and the Great Oak girls, Browne said, "I feel good, I know I won't be with them this year but next year the plan is to win."
If her performance at Woodbridge holds any weight, don't be surprised if you hear her name again.