Sports

Menlo's Price takes national lead in girls' indoor 400

Menlo School senior Maddy Price won the girls' 400 meters at the 2014 Simplot Games indoor track and field meet with the time of 54.69 on Saturday in Pocatello, Idaho. The time, which is a personal best, makes Price the current national high school leader in that event.

Price also came in second in the 200 with a time of 24.47, just 35 minutes before the 400 -- something that is not unusual for Price to do as she often races with little rest between events.

"With barely any time between the 200 and the 400, I knew I had to relax and chill until it was my turn to try and take home the win in the 400," Price said. "I have been working on letting go, meaning that when I step out on the track, I trust all the training that (sprint coach Mark) Mueller has put me through, and stop thinking and just run.

"I felt like today was one of the first races for me where I felt perfectly relaxed and that probably had a big impact on the race. It was such a cool feeling running through the ribbon at the end and I have been visualizing breaking through the "Simplot Games" ribbon for a while now. It is such a relief and such an honor to have that visualization become a reality today!!

Price tuned up for the 400 with her solid effort in the 200.

"I knew this race was going to be super-competitive because of the high caliber of all of the competitors here," she said. "For me, the indoor 200 is just such a fun race because it is so fast and the feeling of rolling through the banked curves of the wooden track was such a cool experience. I never really like to lose, but getting second was good motivation to win the 400."

Said Mueller: "I am very proud of Maddy. The win and the times were good, but I am most proud that Maddy stayed relaxed, composed, and executed her race plan on such a big stage. She has grown and matured a lot since last year."

Price was last year's Central Coast Section champ in the 400 and 200. She finished sixth in the 400 at the CIF State Meet. She has a scholarship to run for Duke University next fall.

Price's next major race will be the Canadian Jr. Indoor Nationals in St. Therese, Quebec on March 15-16.

"Maddy has committed and been working hard for this upcoming (outdoor) track season in order to reach her goals -- CIF state champion in the 400 & the Canadian Jr. Nationals," said Jorge Chen, her coach at Menlo. "And a performance like today's just goes to show how tough and focused she is to reach those goals."

— Palo Alto Online Sports/Menlo Athletics

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