Our 2024 COROS MileSplit50 Indoor AOY: Elizabeth Leachman

You couldn't have scripted a better indoor season for Boerne Champion's (TX) Elizabeth Leachman

Despite competing in just four races this indoor season, the sophomore came out on top with a national high school record that surpassed a former legend in the sport. 

And the best part?

It happened in Leachman's final indoor race of the season.

"Elizabeth is fun to coach," Boerne Champion's Jenny Breuer told MileSplit. "She is everything a coach would want because she's an athlete that's all-in. Most of the time I'm having to pull her back because she's so driven."

Just a few weeks ago, Leachman set a new high school indoor national record for 5,000 meters, clocking a time of 15:28.90 at Nike Indoor Nationals to surpass Katelyn Tuohy's former mark of 15:37. But that wasn't all. She also entered into the all-time ranks for 2-miles, too, clocking a winning time of 9:44.16.

Earlier in the year, she also ran 4:48 in the mile, giving her three top 25 performances across he resume. For those reasons, we are naming Leachman our COROS MileSplit50 girls Indoor Athlete of the Year. 

* Elizabeth Leachman reflects on her national 5K record at Nike Indoor Nationals

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At Nike Indoor Nationals, Leachman had her mind set on accomplishing gold in the two mile and 5K double at the historic Armory Track in New York. 

Leachman put together a similar race to what Katelyn Tuohy did when she was a sophomore. Outside of Tuohy, Ellie Shea and Brie Oakley, no other high school girl has dipped under 16 minutes during the indoor season in history. 

Leachman's coach at Celerity Track Club, Kenny Dirkson, started working with her after the 2022 cross country season.

Even though he wasn't there in person to watch Leachman win double gold at Nike Indoor Nationals, he said he was shocked to hear her splits during her two mile. 

"I know she broke the 5K record, but it was the second mile of her two mile [that was the most memorable moment that Leachman had this indoor season]," Dirkson told MileSplit. "To drop a 4:41 is mind-blowing. She went 5:03 and then 4:41. To be able to change gears like that, and to push herself, that was the most memorable thing for me."

* Elizabeth Leachman winning the 5K Nike Indoor Nationals title

Photo Credit: Derrick Dingle / MileSplit

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There were indications, however, that she was capable of these performances.

To kick off the indoor season, Leachman registerd a time of 9:16 in the 3K to win the title against collegians at the Texas Tech Corky Classic. This would have converted to a 9:05 performance for 3,200m due to the elevation. 

It didn't stop there. 

Before indoor nationals, Breuer issued a workout that predicted where Leachman stood. 

"She strung together a version of the Michigan," Breuer told MileSplit. "We called it the New York. She did this two weeks before (Nike Indoor Nationals). After that workout, she did another workout that was 2 x 1.5 miles. I texted my daughters and my colleague that she's in sub 15:40 pace right now. We were also doing threshold miles too and she was doing them so fast but her recovery was short. She quickly recovers and is ready to have a conversation."

As a whole, Dirkson said, he was beyond impressed with Leachman's three performances this indoor season and he would describe it in one word.

"Unmatched," Dirkson said. "No one has ever done what she just did. It was a complete success. It shows the type of person she is. It's not about talent, it's about the toughness and the consistency."

* Elizabeth Leachman at Nike Indoor Nationals

Photo Credit: Derrick Dingle/MileSplit

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What's next?

The young star will compete at the Texas Relays in the 5K at the end of the month and could set her sights on taking down Natalie Cook's outdoor national high school record of 15:25.93.

"[She's going after] the national 5K record," Dirkson said. "Other than that, I don't want to put any limits on her because she's showing that she doesn't have any limits. It's so cliche sounding, but she can accomplish anything she wants in this sport."

At the end of the day, Leachman wouldn't be who she is without the support of her family, the strong belief in her faith, and her fearless personality.  

For Breuer, she knows when things are going right for Leachman.

"I always look for that smile," Breuer said. "She will give me that smirk, and that's when I know things are good."

COROS MileSplit50 Indoor Season Outline:

Final Rankings, March 20: Elizabeth Leachman, Boerne Champion (TX)

Week 5, March 15: Elizabeth Leachman, Boerne Champion (TX)

MileSplit50 Athlete Of The Year History:

2024 Indoor AOY: Elizabeth Leachman, Boerne Champion (TX)

2023 XC AOY: Addison Ritzenhein, Niwot (CO)

2023 Outdoor AOY: Shawnti Jackson, South Granville (NC)

2023 Indoor AOY: Adeajah Hodge, Montverde Academy (FL)

2022 XC AOY: Irene Riggs, Morgantown (WV)

2022 Outdoor AOY: Juliette Whittaker, Mount De Sales (MD)

2022 Indoor AOY: Roisin Willis, Stevens Point (WI)