Girls Winter Track Distance Events Preview
Returning Girls Stars
Rylee Bowen has often been a regular on the indoor track circuit, traveling to Washington state and even to New York to compete, but last year was quieter for her. Kate Bowen also raced indoors last winter, including a trip to the Armory for New Balance Nationals Indoors, and Kelli Hines ventured north to Boise to run a 3200. The least heralded of the young Calabasas stars, Janiah Brown, clocked a 2:17 800 at the UW Invite, which heralded her emphasis on that event in the spring; it will be interesting to see where her focus is this winter (and how much faster she is!).
In all-comers competition, Kalea Ibarra is the only returner that broke 1:35 for the 600 last winter, although Brown and Maya Sharp were very close. Great Oak dominates the returning 1500 times, with Sandra Pflughoft and Arianna Griffiths holding the top two spots. Fatima Cortes is ranked 6th, but that was way before her HUGE breakout cross country season, so you can be she will be much faster this year, and Tori Gaitan will likely be up near the top of the rankings as well. Emily Virtue is the #1 returner in the 3000 in what turned out to be her only appearance of the winter. Let's hope we see much more of her this time around! Keep an eye out for the Oak Park duo of Sarah Shulze and Sylvia Cruz-Albrecht, who both ran very well this fall.
Girls Stars We Hope To See
As was the case with the field event athletes, there are too many big-time distance stars in the state to name all the ones we'd like to see racing this winter. Let's pick just a few that could compete at the national level in major indoor meets. Claudia Lane would be an obvious choice, but she has declared her intention to focus on international cross country during the next month plus. How about Maddy Denner and Elena Denner, who both went sub-4:50 (Maddy under 4:45) and sub-10:20 last spring? Haley Herberg would also be a great addition to the big-time distance races around the country, as would Corie Smith. And wouldn't it be awesome to see Alyssa Brewer or Cathilyn Mcintosh take on the 1000 in addition to putting up big 800 times?