Lightly Raced Before High School and Moderate Racing Schedule in High School
L-R: Cailie Logue, Emily Venters and Molly Born during 2017 Kansas Relays 3200
Examining racing totals and patterns reveals some distinct trends and insight that illustrate why this particular commonality is essential. To do so, it's necessary to dive into a few numbers.
All three entered high school having run very limited, low-level middle school racing schedules. For Venters, that was only track, and for Born, it was only cross country. While the exact number of races is not known for any of them, it would be an accurate characterization to say that all three were very lightly raced coming into high school and the races in which they did participate were not highly competitive, especially given the absence of any age-group competition.
All three ran a modest number of races during high school. According to their MileSplit profiles, Logue ran 108 high school races in 10 total events, Venters ran 97 high school races in 13 events, and Born ran 62 high school races in nine events (the difference being her shortened junior track season and missed senior cross country season due to the stress fracture). That's an average of 88.6 total high school races each. Breaking those races totals down even further, 39, 46 and 37, respectively, of those total races were in their first two years of high school, through the end of sophomore year. That's an average of 40.7 races their first two years in high school.
The average high school grade (using 9-12) in which they established their high school 3200 PR was 11.7 and their average high school 3200 PR was 10:12.40.
To understand what those numbers mean and why they're significant, compare them to the top 15 at 3200 for the class of 2018 at two different points in time.
The top 15 girls at 3200 for the class of 2018 as seniors averaged 101 total high school races, with an average 41 of those races coming in the first two years in high school. They established their high school 3200 PR at an average grade of 11.9, and the average PR is 10:12.89.
Those numbers are nearly identical to what the Triumvirate did.
However, if we look at the same class of 2018 two years earlier, when they were sophomores, it is a very different list, and the athletes on that list ended high school with different race totals, average high school PRs and ages at which they set those PRs. It should first be noted that only two of the top 15 for the class of 2018 as sophomores also appear in the top 15 when the same class became seniors, including two sophomore for which there are no more reported results after their sophomore year.
The top 15 for the class of 2018 as sophomores averaged 110 total high school races with an average of 55 races through the first two years of high school. The average grade of their high school 3200 PR was 10.5, and the average PR was 10:18.81.
Comparing the same class at those two points in time, the top 15 of the class of 2018 as seniors ran 35% fewer races their first two years, established their PR 1.4 years later, and on average had a high school 3200 PR that was six seconds faster than those in their class who were in the top 15 of the class of 2018 as sophomores.
This pattern is consistent with the high school competitive records of the Triumvirate. In other words, the Triumvirate's comparatively slower start and later domination of the national lists - continuing on into domination of national Junior teams as college freshman in the case of Logue and Venters - is consistent with national patterns for young female distance runners.