The Dominant Season Of Marlee Starliper Continues

Lost amid the hustle of a national high school record in the girls 3K this weekend in New York was the overall effort of Pennsylvania native Marlee Starliper, who lined up against a collegiate 3K field in State College on Saturday and proceeded to put down the ninth fastest time in the history of the distance. 

The Northern (PA) High School junior was downright dominant once she took the lead through 2K in 6:23 and then closed the last four laps in 2:22.

"I was just really excited," Starliper told PennTrackXC's Phil Grove afterward. "I've never ran a fresh 3k before. I was excited to make the most of the competition and really see what I could do."

Starliper's overall effort was exceptional in that it wasn't only a US No. 2 time but it also broke Pennsylvania's state indoor record of 9:20.91, which was last set in 2014 by Tessa Barrett in 9:31.09 at New Balance Nationals Indoor. 

Her career best 3K marks a more then 30-second improvement from her opener at the distance on Jan. 12 at a local invitational where she ran 9:55.39.

"I definitely wanted to break 9:30," Starliper said.

Starliper's entry into a collegiate field didn't worry her, either. She won by over 13 seconds. Her effort is the fourth fastest indoor 3K since 2017 and the third fastest race in a non-national-championship-field over that same span.

"This season I've been able to do a lot better relaxing before races," she said. "It's made everything so much more enjoyable and it's helped me going into these races being more prepared."

Generally speaking, this has been a banner indoor season for the junior.

The two-time All-American at Foot Locker Nationals owns a US No. 16 time in the 800m (2:15.06), a US No. 7 effort in the 1K (2:50.25), a US No. 2 mark in the 1500m (4:28.63), and a US No. 2 mark in the 1-mile (4:47.21).

And now comes an even bigger test.

Starliper is just one of two returners over the 2019 indoor season to have beaten Katelyn Tuohy in a race over the last year, having finished third in the elite high school mile at the NYRR Millrose Games in 2018, just behind recent Friends Central graduate Gabrielle Wilkinson and Saratoga Springs' Kelsey Chmiel. Tuohy was fourth. 

Both Starliper, Chmiel and Tuohy are back for the high school mile on Feb. 9 in New York.

Starliper is still adjusting post-cross country, but she said after her race Saturday that she's motivated.

"Coming back from cross country I have to come back to track form," she said.


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Penn State National's Girls 3K Field

1Marlee Starliper11Northern9:20.911
2Moira O'SheaPenn State University9:33.681
3Grace ManciniLaSalle University9:34.731
4Katie MunksPenn State University9:39.931
5Jordan WilliamsPenn State University9:46.551
6Samantha HatcherWest Virginia University9:52.341