Brie Oakley's first visit to The Armory in New York was a charm.
The Centennial Grandview (Colo.) High senior crushed the high school national record of 16:08.83, which was set by Virginia's Weini Kelati in 2016, by going 15:55.75 to open New Balance Nationals Indoor action on Friday.
"I just came into it and I knew I wanted to break the record," she said. "It's been broken every year. I could definitely feel a little bit of pressure, but I knew I was confident in myself that I would go out there and give it my best."
Oakley and her coach had a plan in mind for the first mile, but the senior outpaced her expectations when she went out four seconds faster than her goal pace. She cruised through the first mile split in 5:04.
"I knew I wanted to take it out fast and see who would try to see with me," she said. "My coach and I talked about splits before. I would have to run about 5:08 for the mile. I was sticking to that. Obviously, I went a little faster."
Oakley was a little apprehensive that her strategy changed so suddenly, though she felt she could overcome the shift in race plan, she said.
"I think it did make me a nervous," she said. "I was like, I didn't want to die the last two miles. But I also (knew), I came down from altitude to sea level, and I knew I had something left in me."
Another big key: Oakley said she never let her record-breaking attempt consume her.
"I didn't want to stay too much in the moment," she said. "I want to keep thinking. This isn't the end. I still have more. I can still keep improving. There's always things that I can improve on and get better at. I take each race as it is and just give it my all."
Read more from MileSplit associate producer Billy Cvecko's interview with Brie Oakley after her record 5K, and keep up to date with up-to-date coverage of NBNI:
Was there a point in there race when you said to yourself, 'I got this' ....
I think. Through the first mile, I could tell I think it was Sarah Platek that was still on me. I was a little nervous on that. I knew someone would probably be on me, but I didn't think she'd be on me for so long. That made me a little nervous, but I eventually broke away and I was like, I just need to stay focused and just go for it.
Were you running more important to get a national record, a win, or just get your time down as low as possible...
I think all three. I definitely wanted to get the record and the PR. But also, feel really good while I was racing.
You have a 2-mile again on Saturday. What are you trying to do in that race? Do you want to break Mary Cain's record of 9:38 ...
It is kind of crazy. I'm not going to count myself out. I do. Is the meet record 9:55? I want to go for that. Definitely sub-10.
What's your game plan for the 2-mile...
I know it's going to be a lot more loaded of a race. Kelsey Chmiel, Annie Hill. I'm definitely looking forward to that. I think we'll be in a pack for the majority of the race. We'll just have to see who takes it out fast from the beginning and who's going to kick at the end.
Did this race take too much out of you? How do you feel about doubling...
I mean, kind of signing up for this race. I was like, it was crazy. There is a day in between. I also know my body. I know I recovery pretty fast. I think I'll be ready for the second day.
Was this one of the coolest races you've run...
It's definitely amazing. I've always wanted to come to the Armory. And this is my first race in New York. It's definitely amazing.
What's one fun fact about you, not about running...
I really like dogs. No. I have two cats. I've always wanted a dog. I really like pugs.