Poll: Greatest Girls Distance Runner First-Round Results

The voters have spoken and first-round results are in from the Greatest Girls Distance Runner of the Decade poll tournament. 

Runners from the top two ranking groups -- the top eight seeds -- all advanced.  It was in the group of 9-12 that was beset by upsets with Sarah Baxter, Elena Denner and Sarah Robinson all being ousted. In the case of Baxter, the three-time State Meet 3200m champion from Simi Valley (SS), she was eliminated by 2021 Chino Hills star Jacqueline Duarte in the highest volume matchup of the 16 in the first round.

Duarte, the 2019 State 1600m champion, was the highest overall vote-getter -- 46 more than runner-up Meagen Lowe, also a first-round winner -- while Baxter ranked fifth in overall voting among the 32 athletes.

While Elena Denner, the 2018 State Meet 3200m champion, was knocked out, her twin sister Maddy -- a two-time State 1600m champion and 3200m runner-up -- was a 20-vote winner over three-time State 800m champion Amy Weissenbach. 

The Maddy Denner-Amy Weissenbach matchup was one of six decided by 20 votes or fewer. The tightest race saw Anna Maxwell -- the 2016 State 1600m champion and the top-ranked 800m/1600m combo runner of the decade -- advance past two-time State 800m champion Alyssa Brewer by just seven votes! 

While the Denner twins weren't able to advance to the second round together, the O'Keeffe sisters -- Fiona and Olivia -- were. 

While two former Great Oak teammates, Destiny Collins and Haley Dorris, did advance, two former La Costa Canyon teammates, Kristin Fahy and McKenna Brown, did not move on together. Fahy, the 2019 State 3200m champion, was voted into the second round. 


This tournament is designed to recognize the top combined distance runners on the track over the past decade. Be sure to follow along and vote for your favorites. 


*--Barnett attended Village Christian (SS) her first two years before transferring to Crescenta Valley for the spring of 2020. 

SECOND-ROUND MATCHUPS (voting opens Monday)
  • Collins vs. Hiltz
  • Duarte vs. O. O'Keeffe
  • F. O'Keeffe vs. Bowen
  • Billmeyer vs. Castillo
  • Knights vs. Gehrich
  • Dorris vs. Lane
  • Maxwell vs. Fahy
  • Lowe vs. M.Denner
Thank you all for voting in the first-round of this poll tournament designed to honor the amazing distance talent in the Golden State over the past decade. The first-round generated more than 4,500 votes!!! That's totally awesome, folks!

Please stay tuned as we post, score and report the second-round and quarterfinals next week beginning Monday. 

Who will be the Greatest Girls Distance Runner of the Decade? Only your votes will determine the winner.