Thursday, May 3, 2012

Girls Distance Showing Depth in 2012 Season

Shannon Luu started out running the 400 meters her freshman year as the required mileage to train for the longer distances were not kind to her legs, she was suffering from shin splints.  Running just one 800 meter race last season in 2:48 Luu showed potential in the middle distances and since has blossomed into one of this year's top distance runners.  While the longer distances weren't entirely foreign to her, she has run cross country the past two seasons, it does seems that she has found her groove.

The past two weeks Luu has been on a tear smashing her personal best in the 800 meters by well over 10 seconds.  She finished 6th at the Avis Kelley Invitational where she ran an impressive 2:35.69.  She followed that up running her first 3200 meters later in the day where she finished 2nd in 13:39, a respectable debut for a runner who focuses on the 800 meters.  Then just four days later in the dual against Saint Ignatius she ran another personal best, this one a 12 second improvement, finishing as the top JV runner in 5:52.3.

Luu has not been the only distance convert to see success.  Kara Hinton, a star tennis player in the fall, started with the 400 meters as well.  The freshman moved up to the middle distances just past the half way point of the season and had a spectacular debut in the 1600 meters running 5:58 in her first attempt at the distance.  Just two weeks later in the meet at Saint Ignatius she lowered her time even more finishing right behind Luu with a time of 5:52.7!

Another first year runner who is having a successful debut is junior, Amy Reyes.  Reyes ran cross country and track in junior high and since tried a multitude of sports that include golf, tennis, and even cheer leading, before eventually finding her way back to the track this spring.  Reyes has come into this season like she never missed a beat.  Running impressive performances of 2:41 for 800 meters, 5:53 for 1600 meters and 12:54 for 3200, she has shown a wide range of ability this season.

Solid performances have come from the Veterans as well.  Morgan Lira, who is #3 all-time for the Warriors at 3200 meters, has run 5:27 and 11:48 earlier this season.  After taking about 3-4 weeks off due to a tight IT band she has resumed training and is looking forward to the WCAL Championship next week.  Isabel Garcia, who is #5 all-time for the Warriors at 800 meters with a personal best of 2:17 has run 2:29 and was a member of the 4 x 400 meter relay team that ran 4:06 at the CCS Top 8 Invitational. 

Karen Mac had a spectacular early season running 12:27 for 3200 meters (which is #9 all time for the Warriors) in the first meet of the year.  She was hitting her stride running 5:49 in the 1600 meters and 2:36 for 800 in just the second WCAL dual of the season with Sacred Heart when she took a spill in the 3200 meters tweaking her knee.  She took 3 weeks off and has a slow road to recovery but she is once again showing the form she had before getting tripped up in mid-March. 

Having an outstanding season in her own right Jessica Xu has followed up her outstanding cross country season with personal bests in the 800, 1600 and 3200 meter races.  She recently won the 800 meters at the Avis Kelley Invitational in a team leading 2:27 that places her #10 all-time for the Warriors.  She also has a season best 5:32 for the mile and 12:19 in the 3200 meters (#8 all-time).

Kellianne Connolly joins the group having run sub 6 this spring as well.  She also ran a personal best 12:52 at Dan Gabor in the 3200 meters and has worked hard on improving her speed.  It has shown as she has earned personal bests in the 400 and 800 meters this season.

This spring 8 runners have dipped under the 6 minute barrier for the mile, the most ever in school history.  In addition 10 have dipped under 3 minutes for 800 meters (Morgan Haag has run 2:55 and Megan Gillespie 2:56), also a record.  The depth of the Lady Warriors has been encouraging this season, the previous best was in 2009 when six girls break 6 minutes in 2009.  That season four runners were 5:32 or better.

A look at the 2012 Performance List:

800 Meters
2:27.38 Jessica Xu Avis Kelley  #10 All-Time
2:29.65 Isabel Garcia Vs. Mitty
2:35.69 Shannon Luu Vs. St. Francis
2:36.34 Karen Mac Vs. SHC
2:41.3 Amy Reyes Vs. SI
2:43.80 Kellianne Connolly Vs. St. Francis
2:49.51 Kara Hinton Vs. Notre Dame
2:55.4 Morgan Haag Vs. SI
2:56.0 Megan Gillespie Riordan Time Trial
1600 Meters
5:27.16 Morgan Lira Vs. SHC
5:32.5r Jessica Xu Stanford DMR
5:38.0 Jessica Xu Vs. SI
5:49.04 Isabel Garcia Vs. SHC
5:49.57 Karen Mac Vs. SHC
5:52.3 Shannon Luu Vs. SI
5:52.7 Kara Hinton Vs. SI
5:53.77 Amy Reyes Vs. SHC
5:59.83 Kellianne Connolly  Vs. SHC
6:26.21 Megan Gillespie Vs. Mitty
3200 Meters
11:48.0 Morgan Lira Vs. SHC
12:19.54 Jessica Xu Vs. Mitty #8 All-Time
Karen Mac Dan Gabor #9 All-Time
12:52.66 Kellianne Connolly Dan Gabor
12:54.12 Amy Reyes Vs. Mitty
13:39.53 Shannon Luu Avis Kelley

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