Future Stars: Young Distance Stars Shine Over The Weekend

* Sophia Rodriguez has a fantastic performance this weekend in Washington

Photo Credit: MileSplit

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The track season is always exciting, regardless of event, but over the weekend some well-known and unknown distance athletes put on quite the show and had few PBs along the way.

From Massachusetts to Washington, these four athletes left scorch marks in their wake, running their way into both the freshman class and all-time record books.

Here are a few distance stars who had great weekends on both the indoor and outdoor ovals.

Sophia Rodriguez

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Mercer Island (WA)

Class of 2027

Granted, Rodriguez has been well-known for sometime now, but for her to be running at the level she is as a freshman, it's hard for her not to be on this list. 

Last weekend, the freshman phenom ran 16:52.05 over 5,000m at the UW Invitational meet in Seattle, just a short trip from Mercer Island High School where she attends. 

Despite competing in a field full of experienced collegians, Rodriguez more than held her own, finishing 10th out 35 finishers. The 5K isn't an event commonly ran during the indoor circuit, but it's a great sign of what's to come throughout the rest of the track season.

Patrick Noonan

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Lexington (MA)

Class of 2027

As a freshman, expectations aren't too incredibly high and it's more about seeing what you're capable of week-after-week.

For Noonan, he's continuing on his success from the fall and showcasing his ability in any event. Over his last three 1,600m races, Noonan has lowered his personal best down 11 seconds to 4:25.37, most recently at the MSTCA Coaches Invitational.

That's good enough for No. 26 all-time for the freshman class, pairing well with his top 70 all-time mark in the 2 Mile.

Ryan Sykes

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Horace Greeley (NY)

Class of 2027

Last weekend at The Armory, one of New York's up-and-coming distance runners threw down a 9:33.64 in the 3,200m at the Section I Westchester County Championships.

Sykes is just a freshman, but after finishing 11th at NXR New York, he's been on a tear indoors.

From the 600m to the 3,200m, he's ran incredible. His 3,200m from over the weekend is the fastest amongst the freshman class so far, and according to the MileSplit database it's the 24th fastest in class history.

Elizabeth Leachman

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Boerne Champion (TX)

Class of 2026

Just like Rodriguez, Leachman is fast-becoming a household name in the high school distance world.

The reigning Foot Locker Nationals champion and the owner of a 16:07 5K PB, it's no surprise she's already off and running during her sophomore track campaign. 

Over the weekend at the NISD meet in San Antonio, Leachman opened up her outdoor season with an outdoor national record in the 3,200m.

Clocking a time of 9:45.57, the sophomore became just the ninth high school girl to ever break 9:50 in the event.

In the process, she broke high school legend Katelyn Tuohy's previous record of 9:47.88. Leachman also ran 2:13.97 in the 800m that same day, which was another PB.