Ranking the top 150 Girls 1600m over the past decade

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Destiny Collins and Fiona O'Keeffe are among best at 1600m in the last decade. (Kirby Lee/Image of Sport)

We've been bullish on this season's strong depth in the the girls 1600 meter run. So much so that we wanted to run a historical comparison to get a sense of if this group is as good as we may think. 

In this report, we rank the top 150 girls in the 1600m over the past decade. We explore the best performers, and the best seasons by both high-end and top-150 depth and draw comparisons with the current classes competing now.

The database pulled athletes since 2009 and ranked them by PR. In some cases, the athlete's PR is not the same as their graduating class. Class year rankings are based on rankings by graduation year not necessarily by PR-accomplishment year. 

While we pulled numbers for the past decade, that is only true looking backward, where all the 2009 performers executed their times listed here in 2009.

However, the 2018 list includes 11 athletes from that class, eight from 2019, six from 2020 and one from 2021 (Mia Barnett). While '2018' pulled 26 runners in the top 150 -- the most of any of the class years -- the class breaks down to 11 in 2018, which ranks this year's senior class only 8th among our class list.

(It should be noted that data is pulled through posted meets of April 14, most if not all of the girls on this list have at least six weeks left in their season and some will undoubtedly run through the CIF-State Meet June 1-2,  seventh week to continue to drop PRs.)

The class year 2016 produced the most top-150 marks over the past decade, 20, including Nos. 1 (Amanda Gehrich), No. 3 (Destiny Collins) and No. 15 (Fiona O'Keeffe). However, all three of those marks were achieved in 2015. 

While the class of 2015 produced only 13 of the top 150 to rank 6th as a class, it may have been the fastest season in the last 10 years, regardless of graduation class. Eight of the top 33 and nine of the top 53 1600m marks were run during the 2015 season, including No. 1 Gehrich (4:39.33), No. 2 Marissa Williams (4:39.88), No. 3 Collins (4:40.34) and No. 10 Rylee Bowen, the current senior then a freshman (4:43.92).

Overall, 23 of the top 150 1600m marks were recorded in 2015.
  • There were 17 recorded in 2016
  • 16 in 2017 and in 2013
  • 15 in 2012
  • 14 in 2011 and in 2010
  • 12 in 1214 and in 2009
  • 11 in 2018
While the class year 2016 produced eight of the top 46 and 11 of the top 58, not until No. 36 Gabby Satterlee did a '16 actually PR in '16. Note that No. 28, achieved in 2016 is by current senior Olivia O'Keeffe.

The class year 2017 only produced 12 of the top 150 to rank No. 7 as a class with its best mark ranking tied for 33rd, the lowest top mark for any class on the list. The next lowest top mark is No. 17 in 2009. 

When we apply cross country scoring to the top 5 from each class year, it is the elite quintet of the 14 runners from 2014 that run away with the title. In fact, two of the three, No. 6 Bethan Knights (4:42.29) and No. 11 Sarah Robinson (4:44.07) achieved their PRs in their senior year. No. 8 Anna Maxwell (4:42.57) posted her PR in 2013. No. 13 Haley Dorris (4:44.60) and No. 26 Ashley Helbig (4:48.25) also PRed as 2014 seniors, both running for Great Oak (two of nine Wolfpack listed among the top 150).

So where does the current class fall? When applying cross country scoring to the top 5 places, 2018 jumps from No. 8 most runners in the top 150 to No. 4 top scorers with Bowen, No. 14 Maddy Denner (4:44.89), No. 20 McKenna Brown (4:47.61) No. 24 Mari Friedman (4:47.89) and No. 28 Olivia O'Keeffe. Of those, Denner ran her time to win the 2017 CIF-State championship and Brown and Friedman have posted their PRs this spring. With seven weeks left, the 2018 class has ample time to continue to challenge the best of the past decade. 


Maddy Denner, the defending State 1600m champion, is No. 14 over the last decade. (Lizette Adams photo)

RANKING THE CLASSES

The classes are ranked two ways below. The first list is by applied cross country top-5 scoring based on overall place among the top 150 over the past decade. The second list is ordered by numbers of runners in the top 150 for each class.

No. Year (Total in top 150) XC scoring top-5 places = total points

1. 2014 (14) 6-8-11-13-26 = 64

2. 2016 (20) 1-3-15-27-33 = 79

3. 2012 (18) 4-18-19-21-30 = 92
4. 2018 (11) 10-14-20-24-28 = 96
5. 2011 (14) 5-9-23-40-60 = 137
6. 2013 (17) 7-25-32-42-43 = 149
7. 2015 (13) 2-12-53-61t-69 = 197.5
8. 2017 (12) 33-44-50-56-63 = 246
9. 2009 (9) 17-22-49-81-88 = 257
10. 2010 (7) 16-39-59-89-96 = 299
11. 2019 (8) 47-57-66-70-80 = 320
12. 2020 (6) 72-92-126-141-144 = 575
(Note: 2021 has only one in the top 150)

No. Year (Total in top 150)

1. 2016 (20)

2. 2012 (18)

3. 2013 (17)

4. (tie) 2014 (14)
4. (tie) 2011 (14)
6. 2015 (13)
7. 2017 (12)
8. 2018 (11)
9. 2009 (9)
10. 2019 (8)
11. 2010 (7)
12. 2020 (6)
(Note: 2021 has only one in the top 150)

Stats Geek:
  • The difference in time between No. 1 and No. 150 over the last 10 seasons is 16.77 seconds
  • There are 99 schools represented on the list, 25 with at least two runners and 11 with more than two.
  • Great Oak has the most with nine, followed by Saugus with five and Tesoro, Torrey Pines and Redondo Union each with four.
  • Mia Barnett, the only 2021 on the list, ranks 97th at 4:53.12.
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