Wednesday, June 25, 2008

She's technically not a Washington affiliated athlete (yet)...

One athlete we purposely omitted in any of our posts on the Trials is Christine Babcock, the new national high school federation record holder in both the 1500 and 1600 meter runs.

Babcock, who turned 18 on May 19th, graduated from Woodbridge High School in Irvine, California on June 16th. She is coached by George Varvas, but will soon take her talents to the University of Washington.

Babcock recently lowered her own National Federation of High Schools record in the 1600-meters to 4:33.82 in winning the California state title for the third time. Babcock was also the California state cross country champion as a junior and senior.

On June 15th, Babcock added the national high school federation record in the 1,500 to her resume, running 4:16.42 and breaking Kim Gallagher's 26-year-old record. The record was mostly an afterthought; Babcock was focusing on qualifying for the U.S. Olympic Trials, which she successfully did. She will line up against the U.S.'s best professional and collegiate runners in the quarterfinals of the 1,500 at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon on July 3rd.

"Our class of women's distance runners is arguably the best assembled anywhere," said UW coach Greg Metcalf. "Christine's high school track season from a historical perspective, any high school girl that's run four laps before her hasn't done it as well as she has. She's broken the national high school record at 1600-meters, she's an Olympic Trials qualifier, she's the state champion and she's taken it all in stride. She's just a great young woman and we couldn't be more excited about adding her to our group."

Here's video of her breaking the national high school record in the 1500, courtesy of DyeStat:

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