Will Speed Or Strength Win The 800m?
* Roisin Willis ran the fourth-fastest time ever in high school history last year as a sophomore
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Hands down, the girls 800m is going to be one of the top races of the weekend. Three of the top 10 runners on the high school all-time list arel in this field:
- US No. 3 All-Time: Juliette Whittaker, Mount De Sales Academy (MD) - 2:03.01
- US No. 4 All-Time: Roisin Willis, Stevens Point (WI) - 2:03.05
- Tied for US No. 6 All-Time: Sophia Gorriaran, Moses Brown School (RI) - 2:03.98
Gorriaran has the speed to win, as she already set three personal bests this indoor season at the Grant Holloway Holiday Invitational in the 200m, 400m and the mile. She dropped a US No. 1 mile time of 4:47.21.
Perhaps the big question mark will be Willis? During the 2020 outdoor season, she ran a 400m time trial in a lifetime best of 54.23. This past weekend, she also competed at the All Comers High School & Youth Indoor/Outdoor Events in the 600m and won the event in 1:30.15.
Her style of racing seems to take out the first 100 or so meters aggressively and hold on. Will that be enough? Also in this event will be Makayla Paige of Tewksbury Memorial (MA). The UNC signee ran a handful of races so far this year, including a 1:37.53 in the 600m and 2:58.23 in the 1K.
Michaela Rose, the 2020 AAU Junior Olympic champion in the 800m and 400mH, will also make up part of the field. Taylor James of Niwot (CO) and Bailey Goggans of Marble Falls (TX) will be in attendance and will debut their indoor seasons at the VA Showcase.
In Whittaker's case, the race on Saturday will mark the first time she will touch the track this indoor season. This past fall, however, Whittaker set a season best of 17:29 in the 5K. Her strength is definitely evident, but will her foot speed be there as well?