Sports

Stanford track recruit runs to a national record

 

Aisling Cuffe will arrive at Stanford in the fall as one of the all-time great prep female distance runners following a record-breaking performance at the New Balance Outdoor National Championships on the campus of North Carolina A&T during the weekend.

Cuffe, from Cornwall Central in New York, broke the national record in the girls' two-mile on Friday as she clocked a 9:54.22. That eclipsed the previous national mark of 10:01.08 by Molly Huddle in 2002.

The only 3200/two-mile performance that is faster (indoors or out) is the 9:48.52 run by Kim Mortenson over 3,200 meters in 1996. Cuffe's two-mile time converted to 3,200 is 9:50.77.

"I wanted to leave high school with PRs I can be proud of and I did that," Cuffe told Doug Binder, a contributor to DyeStat.com.

Cuffe took the early lead, but the 75.65-second lap likely cost her the all-time mark.

"It went out a little slow," Cuffe told Binder. "I guess I got a little too relaxed."

Marc Bloom, the nation's leading authority on cross country, told MaxPreps earlier in the year that Cuffe was a top prospect.

"Aisling is certainly one of the best young female distance runners of recent years. She not only wins national events, but by big margins. She's already medaled in international competition.

"On a personal level, she's the sweetest, most natural, self-effacing athlete you'll ever meet. She just loves to run, train hard, compete. I think she's only been scratching the surface of her potential and in college, at Stanford, I expect her to have an impact on the national scene. I wouldn't be surprised if eventually she became a top pro like a Shalane Flanagan or Kara Goucher."

Cuffe was one of two Stanford recruits to win a title at nationals. Mary Kate Anselmini of Stonybrook, N.Y., won the girls' 2,000 steeplechase in a meet record of 6:34.69. It was just off her national record of 6:33.01 set earlier this month.

In the boys' competition, Stanford-bound twins Joe and Jim Rosa from West Windsor-Plainsboro North, N.J., finished second and third, respectively, in the two-mile. Joe, the defending champ, ran 8:54.46 while Jim was third in 8:57.56. Ammar Moussa of Arcadia won the race in 8:51.80 after pulling away on the final two laps.

— Palo Alto Online Sports

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