Girls' 800 meters
Wilkinson looks to defend against a deep field
Possibly the most surprising thing upon viewing the
performance list was the absence of Sarah Walker (Germantown Friends'). The
Stanford-bound half miler will not run in the state meet, leaving open an
opportunity and creating some disappointment.
At last year's state meet, Walker and Friends' Central's Gabrielle Wilkinson were a part of the day's most exciting race in the 800 meters. They went step-for-step until the finish line. We won't see a rematch on Sunday, though, with Walker out.
But that doesn't mean this race can't once again be one of the most exciting events of the day. In fact, there's a good chance we could see some of the same drama we did a year ago. Wilkinson is entered in two events, and the 800 will be the second race of her day.
CB West's Maddie Villalba will look to add an indoor state title to her already impressive resume (Photo by Patty Morgan)
Maddie Villalba of Central Bucks West (who has won two AAA outdoor 800 meter titles) looked very strong in winning the DVGTCA Meet of Champs 800 this past weekend and is looking like more than a formidable challenger to Wilkinson. Villalba was seventh a year ago. Look for her to try and shake off that disappointment from last year with a big race on Sunday.
Olivia Arizin of Cardinal O'Hara will surely be a factor as well. Arizin is in the midst of a great season. In consecutive weekends, she was second at The Armory in 4:57.88, a double winner at PCLs, including a solo 2:15.09 800, and eighth at the Millrose Games in 4:55.68. Arizin has proven that she has the speed and strength to hang with the top two seeds.
Mount Lebanon's Claire Dougherty has seen a very steady progression in the 800 this season. At TSTCA Champs, she ran a 2:15.03 for the win. That points to the fact that her training is on point. Last year, she peaked well to grab a big indoor PR and a fourth place finish at states. We could see more of the same this year from the senior.
Mikayla Schneider of the Academy of Notre Dame was third a year ago, but she comes in as the sixth seed, making her somewhat of a darkhorse for Sunday. Schneider's speed has shown through this year, though. She was third at the DVGTCA Meet of Champs, but she was also third at MOCs in 2015. Can she channel some more magic this year?
Penn Wood's Terri Turner is another one to watch in the field, after putting down a 2:16.83 back in December. She's got in a good mix of speed and strength races this year, and she'll look to put herself in the mix.
Even without Walker, which was a shock to anyone that follows the sport, the 800 is still the must-watch event of the state meet.
List of entires:
Event 11 Girls 800 Meter Run (24) =============================================================================== State Meet: 2:04.96 2/24/2007 Chanelle Price, Easton Name Year School Seed =============================================================================== 1 Wilkinson, Gabrielle 10 Friends' Central 2:11.87 2 Villalba, Maddie 12 CB West 2:12.80 3 Arizin, Olivia 11 Card O'Hara 2:14.49 4 Dougherty, Claire 12 Mount Lebano 2:15.03 5 Turner, Terri 11 Penn Wood 2:16.83 6 Schneider, Mikayla 12 Notre Dame 2:16.84 7 Brown, Claire 12 Villa Maria Acad 2:17.14 8 Ritchie, Rebecca 9 Marple Newtown 2:17.30 9 Mickens, Jenn 12 Pleasant Valley 2:17.94 10 Mancini, Christine 9 Card O'Hara 2:18.23 11 Bracken, Emily 12 Shanahan 2:18.84 12 Stovall, Sydni 11 Springfield (M) 2:19.21 13 Ross, Hayley 10 Wissahickon 2:19.64 14 Brunton, Allison 11 O J Roberts 2:19.65 15 VanBlunk, Maddy 11 D-Town East 2:19.92 16 Bible, Lexi 12 Hickory 2:20.19 17 Eberly, Makayla 11 Coatesville 2:20.22 18 Fedkina, Natasha 12 State College 2:20.35 19 Kole, Maddie Carlisle 2:20.39 20 Powell, Megan 11 Hempfield (7) 2:20.54 21 Ehrenberger, Laura 11 Peters Towns 2:21.21 22 Chtourou, Amina 12 Wilson (3) 2:21.32 23 Kuhn, Cassidy 12 Wyomissing 2:21.74 24 Barnett, Myla 10 Baldwin Scho 2:21.88