How Data Helped Sophia Rodriguez Mine Success At Nike Indoor

* Mercer Island's Sophia Rodriguez set two freshman class records over the weekend at Nike Indoor Nationals

Photo Credit: Derrick Dingle/MileSplit

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It was only last year that Sophia Rodriguez first began to take high school track and field by storm. 

The Pennsylvania product ripped through the Armory track over two miles to touch down for a new World U14 two-mile record of 10:20.68, singularly creating a wave of momentum that would continue with the eighth-grader logging top times of 4:50.20 for 1,600m and 10:17.43 for two miles over the outdoor season. 

Fast forward a year later.

With the goal posts now moved farther down the block -- and now a high school freshman -- Rodriguez aimed higher in 2024, though with a little more help with data that would allow her to form those aspirations. 

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The COROS NextGen athlete, whose family moved to Washington over the summer, trained with a PACE 3 and COROS Heart Rate Monitor that allows her to track key variables of her training. 

This weekend at Nike Indoor Nationals, the Mercer Island first-year athlete lowered her career bests in the two-mile and 5K considerably, clocking new freshman class records of 10:12.56 and 16:22.72, respectively, in each event. 

"I wanted to get out strong," Rodriguez told COROS of her performance in the latter race. "I knew the other girls would be going out hard, and I wanted to settle into my race and move up the field. I knew I was going to have to be patient in the first mile." 

Rodriguez split 5:09.64 over the first mile, reaching threshold pace, before she followed forward with a second mile split of 5:13.58. As the race unfolded, Rodriguez's heart rate moved into VO2 range, according to COROS, and was nearing her max effort. 

Rodriguez's fitness, however, showed up in a big moment and she capitalized with a third-mile split of 5:20.39 before finishing the race in third-place.

As other faded, the freshman steadied and never lost ground. 

"Looking at the data from the race, I would love to be able to work with my coach to be able to hold surges in the middle of the race for a little bit longer," she said. "I feel like I was able to push to keep my position, but it was definitely getting towards my maximum effort. 

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