Northeast Region Top Girls To Watch
Marlee Starliper, Northern (PA), sophomore
The Northern High sophomore, ranked No. 7 on the Flo50 national rankings, has risen quickly up the national radar ever since a breakout performance at the Carlisle Invitational on September 30, which was a then-national best in the 5K of 16:50.00. But the underclassman hasn't tapered off since, moving on to post a PIAA District 3 Championship record in 17:25.00 and her first PIAA Class AA championship on a very tough Hershey course in 17:50.00. Her performances, though, reflect a major improvement from a year ago; in some cases, she cut more than a minute off times year-over-year. Those statement-like efforts have also moved Starliper into the conversation among the best class of 2020 recruits, including the likes of North Rockland's (NY) Katelyn Tuohy, McKinney North's (TX) London Culbreath, and Glenbard West's (IL) Katelynne Hart. Expect Starliper to shoot for a top-five finish at Foot Locker Nationals.
Katherine Lee, Shoreham-Wading River (NY), senior
The Georgetown signee has improved ever so incrementally since October -- coincidentally after she made her pledge to the Hoyas final -- and seems in top form heading into Foot Locker Nationals. A year ago, Lee qualified for NXN through a big performance at NXR New York, a race in which she won over Kelsey Chmiel and Katelyn Tuohy. This season, Lee hasn't reached the heights of 2016 -- her best still remains her 16:45.45 from her junior season -- but she's coming off arguably her best effort of her senior campaign with a second-place finish at Foot Locker Northeast. Lee has the potential to stick with the top pack and go for a top-10 finish at Balboa Park. Lee won her second straight Class B title this year and won her letter race at the Manhattan Invitational in 14:25.00.
Jacqueline Gaughan, Exeter (NH), senior
Gaughan has had an up-and-down season, complete with highs and lows. The big performance? Her now-U.S. No. 3 mark of 16:48.29 at the Brown Northeast Invitational on October 14. And her forgettable sixth at the New England Championships on November 11 (18:06.50) after winning the NH Meet of Champions in 16:51.20. Gaughan could have used the effort as a workout -- or was playing it conservative -- but chances are we'll see the best of the Notre Dame signee on Saturday. She finished third at Foot Locker Northeast in 17:54.70 and is the third-fastest returner back from a year ago. Don't be surprised if Gaughan sneaks into the top five.
Full List of Qualifiers
|PLACE||TIME||NAME||GRADE||CITY / STATE|
Wading River, NY