RunningLane Mock Top-10 Girls Mile Finish

Nicki Southerland won the 2023 Runninglane Track Championship 1,600m and was runner-up in the 800m

The mile events will bring the 2024 RunningLane Track Championships to an end on Saturday night. This event is the meet finale for a reason, and that's because we expect some fireworks from both the girls and the boys milers.

There are talented girls coming from all across the states and the meet record could go down as should some shuffling of the national top-10 mile rankings.

Of the entries, 19 girls will head to Huntsville, Alabama with sub 4:56 performances including five girls who have run in the 4:40s.

Check out how we think things might shake out.

1. Nicki Southerland

School - Delta HS, Muncie, Indiana

Grade - Senior

College - Notre Dame signee

Personal Bests - 2:05.06, 4:42.65, 10:13.37

For a couple of reasons, Nicki Southerland is our pick to win the 2024 RunningLane Track Championships girls mile. 

The Notre Dame signee has big race experience from not only the IHSAA, but also Foot Locker XC Nationals, New Balance Indoors, and the RunningLane Championships. That's right, Southerland has history with this track; she won this event in 2023 dropping her 4:42.65 personal best.

Southerland just might be the fastest girls at the track meet altogether. Not only has she run the fastest mile of all the girls and a 10:13.37 3200m best, but she has the 2:05 800m capability along with a 57.59 400m best.

2. Lily Guinn

School - Maury HS, Norfolk, Virginia

Grade - Senior

College - Florida State signee

Personal Bests - 2:14.83, 3:48.08, 10:25.94

Guinn doesn't run much, in fact, this will only be her second run at the mile distance.

Her 4:53.91 from the Carolina Distance Carnival wouldn't make you think she'd be predicted to possibly finish as high as second, but expect her to be ready to roll.

Last season, she came to RunningLane with the same type of resume; very few races and a 4:53.97 from the Carolina Distance Carnival. That is when she went for her 4:48.08 personal best run in Huntsville, taking fourth place.

3. Emma Wade

School - Vista Ridge, Cedar Park, Texas

Grade - Junior

Personal Bests - 2:12.91, 4:48.67, 10:38.36

This will be Wade's first real big time national level race. That makes mocking her this far up a step out on the ledge, however there some things that elevate the confidence level in her.

Despite only racing out of state girls at the Texas Distance Festival, Wade still races national level talent on the regular. A couple of miles away at her fellow district school, Wade has regularly raced Isabel Conde De Frankenberg along with Elizabeth Leachman, San Juanita Leal, Samantha Humphries and Nicole Humphries.

Wade has been as consistently good as almost anyone in Texas. She has individually qualified for the Texas UIL 6A state meet every season in both cross country and track and field. In Texas, they only qualify 10 in cross country from each region and nine total in each classification during the track season.

4. Elin Latta

School - Texas/Colorado Homeschool

Grade - 8th

Personal Bests - 4:51.19

Eighth grade Latta is a gamer and one of the best rising young distance talents in the country. During the indoor season, Latta set a new National Record for middle school girls when she ran 4:51.19 at the indoor mile.

She recently ran 4:55.42 at the Distance Night in Palatine Community Races and winning by over 20-seconds. If she can stay in the mix and be able to match the leg speed of the older girls, Latta could challenge for the win this weekend.

5.Payton Meineke

School - Riverdale HS, Thornton, Colorado

Grade - Sophomore

Personal Bests - 2:13.44, 4:54.63, 10:16.87

Meineke is just a sophomore, but she already has very impressive stats. 

She was only sixth at the Colorado state meet last weekend in the 800m and runner-up in the 1600m. Given that, she does have a blazing fast 4:47.16 in the mile from last month's Penn Relays.

It's her placement in races that has us seeing her placing fourth or in that range. However, her black and white time in the mile and elevation running makes us think she can even possibly challenge Southerland for the win. Can the Alabama weather and lack of elevation giver her the jolt she needs to challenge for the win?

6. Elena Rybak

School - Father McGivney, Glen Carbon, Illinois

Gade - Junior

Personal Bests - 2:07.13, 4:54.07

Rybak is your typical good high level high school runner; except, she is slightly different. Like majority, she is very good on the grass at the Illinois three-mile distance and continues that on the track. However, there lack of 3,200m performances on her profiles tells us this girl is a half-miler/miler and she knows it.

Rybak went 2:09 and 4:51 indoors at New Balance, showing she can compete on the big stage. Outdoors, she ran 2:07 and 4:54 along with capturing IHSA 1A 800m and 1,600m titles last weekend.