(Photo Credit: Paul Jaeger)
Heather Bates - The Colorado Native boasts some of the best PR's of the field, coming in with times of 2:15.10, 4:54.18 (full mile) and 10:57.79. Last spring she was the 4A State Champ in the 3200 and well as runner-up in the 1600m. This outdoor track season she has gotten off to a great start with times of 2:21.60, 5:11.23, and 11:09.93. With a mile PR of 4:54 from the indoor season, she is one of, if not the, favorite to claim a spot in the Jim Ryun Dream Mile.
Hannah Long: Despite being a freshman, coming into this track season Long already had one of the best mile times in the state of Missouri with her 5:06.03 mile PR from 8th grade. Her first high school track season has already been fantastic, running a 2:17.63 for an 800 her first open race and 4:55.56 this past weekend to become the best freshman in the nation in the 1600m.
Alli Cash: The Shawnee Mission West junior gave Samantha Nightingale a run for her money a few times during the fall. This spring she has blown away fields running 10:32 her first race and 2:18.78 and 10:35.38 this past weekend. She comes in among the favorites and for great reason. Her PR of 4:51.67 comes in as the best.
Taylor Dickerson: Dickerson has been a part of some fast races this track season, being one of only five girls to break 5:10 from Missouri. Her best time this season comes from the Perryville Invitational where she ran 5:08.93 to fall to Class 3 state champ, Saga Barzowski, by .01 seconds.
Samantha Nightingale: The Blue Spring South senior is already one of the best runners in the history of Missouri. She is a 2 time state XC champ and she finished 8th this past fall at NXN Nationals. This track season she has remained undefeated and has run times of 10:48 and 5:04.
Valerie Reina: The Arkansas native is coming off a great indoor season where she placed 2nd at the Arkansas Coaches Assoc. Invite in both the 800m (2:20.52) and 1600m (5:07.02), as well as an 11:07.25 earlier in the indoor season. Missourian's might remember her from her 6th place finish in the Forest Park XC Festival, ahead of Taylor Dickerson who finished 9th.
Amber Eichkorn - Eichkorn was the runner up to Cash in the 1600m, and 3200m state champ at the KS State meet last year, and has already gotten off to a great start so far this season. Her time of 5:13.46 is not far off of her PR of 5:09.88.
Alaina Schroeder - The Manhattan, KS sophomore was third behind Eichkorn last spring. However, she did get the best of Eichkorn in the fall to finish second at the state XC meet behind Alli Cash. So far this season she has run a 5:18.22. This time is 7 seconds behind her PR of 5:11.23.
(Photo Credit: Dale Wooten)
Rebekah Topham - Topham is another freshman sensation. In her first indoor season she ran 5:08.30 for a full Mile at the Arkansas High School Invitational and 5:10.76 later in the season. Topham was the Iowa Girls Gatorade XC Runner of the year, as well as the state champ. So far this outdoor season so has run 2:16.67, 9:37.96 (3000M which converts to a 10:20 3200m) and 4:39.40 (1500M which converts to a 4:59.94 for 1600M).
Heather Ruder - The Thomas More Prep junior had a slower start to her season but has been continually dropping her times. She ran 5:16.09 this past weekend at the Pre-State Challenge to finish second. She has run just under 2:20 and 60 seconds before to go along with her 1600m PR of 5:11.05.