Photo by Greg Hall
Her final state meet 1600, last chance to impress for Dream Mile, & crummy weather conditions were all plenty of reasons for Hannah Long to stress. In a couple of prior high-stake situations like these including the last two Foot Locker Nationals, she had folded under that pressure. But not this day. She came through in the clutch with a US #1 4:40.15 1600 on Saturday to repeat as a Missouri state champion!
After seeing Destiny Collins run a 4:40 1600 solo in California and slew of girls move up in the national rankings in the mile at the Prefontaine Classic last night, Hannah Long knew she had to go fast. Rainy conditions put a damper to make for a dreary day two of the Missouri State Championships, but the Eureka High School senior Long changed the mood of the day with just one race.
She opened up fast covering the first 200 meters in 32 seconds and then settled in at 400 meters in 68 seconds. The 3-time Foot Locker finalist hit the halfway mark just under 2:20. By the time she reached the bell lap with 400 to go (3:30 split), Long had created a 100 meter gap between her and second place.
After running a 2:06 anchor on Friday to help her 4x800 meter relay team to a third straight title, Long had no problem closing her last lap well in 70 seconds to knock off Destiny Collins for the US #1 time in the 1600 meter run with a 4:40.15 state record and personal best effort.
Oh, Long was not done for the day. Just an hour later, the future Stanford University distance runner won her 12th and final Missouri state individual title in the 800 meter run with a open PR time of 2:08.
Now she waits to find out if she will receive a second trip to the adidas Dream mile over the next few days, but it will be hard to deny her a spot in the field of 14 after impressive solo state meet performance on Saturday in Missouri.