Two national caliber athletes will be the clear favorites in the smaller divisions. Both Molly and Allie return as state champs in their respective events too. But what about the D1 race? Who do you think will win the 3200m this spring?
In last year’s D1 race, Gabby Levac battled Jenna McMiller into the final laps and then a fast closing Eckhoff nearly caught Levac in the last 400m.
There’s no doubt that Gabby Levac was the better runner last year but for anyone who watches the second half of the race it appears that Ashley Eckhoff was maybe one or two moves away from winning it. Actually, each time I rewatch it I am amazed by the fluid turnover that she produces during the final lap. There’s definitely something more there and she has some unfinished business hanging over her head from cross country. Apparently a late season knee injury kept her from a better finish. Too many races perhaps SIZE=1[/SIZE]?
Other top state returnees include Jenna McMiller SIZE=1 [/SIZE]and Eckhoff’s teammate Katelyn Stine (11:07, 11:01). Mandy Prom, Abigail Bullmore, Jocelyn Perry, Olivia Pratt and Claire Knaus have each posted times in the 11:10-11:15 range so they’ll be looking for a jump. Possibly added to the field are the three freshman podium finishers from cross country including D1 state champion Alexandria Fons.
Can’t forget Kenzie Vicker SIZE=1[/SIZE] who ran exceptional in 2009. Not enough? How about Emma-Lisa Murphy (11:16 last year at sectionals) who has proven she can run with the rest of these girls. She really came on at the end of cross country. Of course, Plymouth and Lakeland Union move up to D1 too which has a few other potential podium candidates if they decide to compete at 3200m.