* Sophia Rodriguez finishing the 5K on Friday at the John Hay Distance Festival
Photo Credit: Ryan Comstock/MileSplit
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The second time was the charm for Sophia Rodriguez.
On Friday at the John Hay Distance Festival, a co-ed meet held near Philadelphia, the 14-year-old from Dallastown, Pennsylvania claimed a World age group record for 5,000 meters, clocking a time of 16:22.30 in West Goshen.
That performance, which followed an earlier effort of 16:51.39 in April at The Penn Relays, surpassed Emily Pidgeon's former mark of 16:24.28, which was last accomplished in 2004 in England.
What's remarkable about the feat, however, is that Rodriguez, a since-graduated eighth-grader, had run just one day before in St. Louis, Missouri.
That's right. Just one night earlier, Rodriguez posted a time of 4:50.20 for the full mile before hopping in a plane with her family and returning east to Pennsylvania.
Moreover, Rodriguez's effort on Friday catapulted her all the way up to U.S. No. 1, ahead of Ciara O'Shea's 16:23.67 from the Raleigh Relays in March.
It's been a star-making season for the Pennsylvania teenager across 2023.
In May, she won a Middle School Championship in the 3,200m with a U.S. No. 35 time of 10:17.43. Over the indoor season, she set a two-mile World age group record with a time of 10:20.68 for two miles.