Menlo School senior Maddy Price missed qualifying for a big summer trip by the barest of margins on Saturday at the Canadian Junior Track and Field Championships in Sainte-Therese, Quebec.
Price clocked 55.57 while finishing third in the women's 400 meters. Sage Watson, who runs collegiately for Florida State, won in 53.86 while Marie-Colombe St-Pierre finished second in 55.55. Only the top two finishers earned berths on the Canadian team headed to the Junior Pan American Championships in late August in Medellin, Colombia.
"She still made the podium though, as she gave it all to try to win that race," said Jorge Chen, who coaches Price at Menlo School and during the summer with the Menlo iGreyhounds Track Club. "Top two girls have been there before, last year, and this their last year since they are in college and they will be over 19 so they're moving up to Seniors."
Chen said the long season for Price might have weighed on her performance.
"Even though Maddy won her semifinal heat yesterday, that was a tough race since she ran a slow time of 57.16 -- since she wasn't used to running with fast competition since State Finals about a month and a half ago," Chen explained. "So we had a race plan for Maddy today and we were hoping that Maddy would just give it all, and go after last year's champion (Watson), since she runs in the 53s.
"Maddy executed her race to really well, especially the first 200. Maddy and Sage were neck to neck, even though Maddy had lane 6, while Sage had 5. But, on the last turn, Maddy took it a bit slower and she was fourth by the 300m mark."
Price, however, found another gear and poured it on over the final 100 meters.
"She caught one but unfortunately not two," Chen said. "If there was another five meters, Maddy would've caught her for sure. However, we couldn't have been any prouder as she left it all out there on that track. Even though she is a bit disappointed, she shouldn't be as she is third in Canada Juniors in the 400 as a first-timer."
Price still has the 200 on Sunday, semifinals and perhaps finals. She is seeded No. 8 in that race while she was No. 2 in the 400.