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By Jim McGrath - MileStat
If one was to ask Ocean Lakes junior Aniya Mosley about her strategy in the Virginia High School League's Class 6 girls 1,000-meter run on Monday inside the Virginia Beach Sports Center, she wouldn't have had to respond, as a gesture toward the inside of her right wrist would give the answer away.
There, in blue ink, was written: 34, 1:08, 1:42, 2:16.
Those times were Mosley's goal-splits for the first four laps.
The plan between her and Dolphin's coach Mike Nestor was to leave enough energy to drive home with a 32-second finale lap, and finish out just under 2:50. And while the four splits were almost on target -- "I came through the 800 in about 2:17," she said -- the last lap, which was run solo, fell a bit short of expectations.
Still, Mosley devastated the field with a US No. 4 performance of 2:51.64 in a race that vaulted the junior into the top-15 of all-time Virginians. It currently ranks as the No. 1 time in Virginia over the 2021 season.
Most impressively, it scratched four whole seconds off her previous best time and set the young Dolphin athlete up for a notable middle-distance campaign in the abbreviated spring season.
Of course, that will come after helping her Ocean Lakes squad as they attempt to win a Region 6A cross-country title, one which was denied in the fall of 2019 when Kellam nipped the Dolphins by two points at 52-54. Mosley won that race in 18:16 at the Bells Mill course in Chesapeake, but don't look to see her in the longer events, at least not right now.
"I'm hoping to get my 800 (meter) time down to 2:08-2:09," Mosley said just minutes after her 1,000m win on the blue Virginia Beach oval.
Mosley has clocked 2:13.2 in the event, but hopes her base training, coupled with a rare cross country season in between, will improve her consistency, measured in even timed laps.
"If I run a 62 (on the opening lap)," Mosley said, "I'll never make the time on the second lap. I have to hit 64 and 64."
And in case she forgets, there's always an ink pen and a wrist to scribble the reminder.