Saturday, January 12, 2013

High schooler Mary Cain steals show with one of the greatest performances by a US prep distance runner...

SEATTLE--Very rarely does a high schooler steal center stage in a meet that had the Olympic silver medalist in the 10000 as the headliner.

But Mary Cain (left/photo by Mike Scott) did.

Cain, a junior at Bronxville HS in New York took down not only the established national high school record of 9:17.4 set by Melody Fairchild in 1991, but also the the all-time outdoor best of 9:08.6 set by Lynn Bjorklund of Los Alamos HS in New Mexico way back in 1975 in Kiev in a USA/USSR dual meet as she won the women's 3000 in a time of 9:02.10 at the UW Indoor Preview meet at the Dempsey Indoor facility.

After Club Northwest's Rose Wetzel took pacing duties for the first mile, pro runners Treniere Moser and Tara Erdmann from the Nike Oregon Project took turns up at the front along with Canadian Olympian Hilary Stellingwerff.

Coming off the turn, Erdmann and Moser were battling it out with each other when Cain snuck by both to take the victory in a time of 9:02.10.

Cain last summer qualified for the US Olympic Trials in the 800 meters, and finished sixth in the 1500 at the IAAF world junior championships in Barcelona, setting an American high school record of 4:11.01.

Cain raised eyebrows this fall when she decided to leave her high school team to be coached by Nike Oregon Project coach Alberto Salazar, who also coached Galen Rupp when he was a high schooler at Portland's Central Catholic.

Unlike Rupp, Cain is staying on the east coast, while having one of Salazar's associates oversee her workouts.

Speaking of Rupp, the Olympic silver medalist at 10000 coasted to an easy victory in his season opener, winning the mile run in 3:57.15, over Olympic steeplechaser Donn Cabral (4:00.56).

In other events, Washington's Maurice McNeal was impressive in setting a meet record in the rarely run 600m, running 1:17.74.

The men's pole vault saw the "Tuxedo Man", Paul Litchfield upset Olympic Trials 3rd place finisher Scott Roth and five other local vaulters, winning with a best of 17-3 3/4 (5.28m).

Jeremy Taiwo of the Huskies showed that he's back from injuries, winning the high jump with a best of 6-11 1/2 (2.12m), and scoring a personal best of 8.10 in the 60 meter hurdle prelims.

In Pullman, All-American Stephan Scott-Ellis broke his own meet record in the long jump Saturday at the 11th Annual Washington State Open Indoor track and field meet at the Indoor Facility on the Pullman campus.

Scott-Ellis, a senior from Tacoma, led a first through fourth-place Cougar finish in the men's long jump with a meet record leap of 23-feet 11 3/4 inches (7.31m), bettering his 2012 meet mark of 23-10 1/4 (7.27m). PJ Benedictus  was second with a lifetime-best distance of 22-8 1/2 (6.92m), Trevor Rogers (placed third (22-7), and Michael Bolligar finished fourth (22-1 1/2).

Holly Parent of the Cougars won the high jump with a strong showing at 5-8 1/2 (1.74m) after a year away from competition.

On Friday in Lawrence, Kansas, Curtis HS alum Andrea Geubelle won the long jump at the Jayhawk Challenge, soaring to a mark of 6.25 meters (20-6.25 ft.) on her second attempt of the day to not only break the Anschutz facility record by more than four inches, but to give her the NCAA-leading mark in the event.

NOTE:  The sports information department at the University of Washington and Washington State University contributed to this report.

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