Lots Of Talent, No Clear #1...Yet - Girls 400m
PA State Rankings: 400m
Top Medal Contenders: Leah Graybill (Warwick); Natalie Kwortnik (North Penn); Jane Madson (Upper Saint Clair); Porsha Miles (Coatesville); Elicia Moore (Penn Wood); Jada Smith (Swenson); Dasia Wilson (Neumann Goretti)
Sizing It Up: With just two clear favorites in the 60 and 200, the 400 is a much more open event in PA this winter.
Barnes, Diggs, Hebron, and Perry are the ones to beat, something we looked at last week. Perry was second at states a year ago, though she sits at PA#4 for now. She's been busy racing everything from 55 meters all the way up to 800, but the 400 is probably her best event. She'll look to keep the state crown with Neumann Goretti (now-graduated Sydni Townsend won last year).
Diggs, too, has been running a variety of events this season, and has been doing a ton of winning in the process. She was fourth at states last year (and second at outdoor states) and could take this title. Barnes is getting better as the season goes on and will have plenty of motivation after an injury cut her season short a year ago.
That brings us to the PA#1, Hebron. Just a freshman, she's turned plenty of heads. In a field with two juniors and a senior, the ninth grader could spoil the day in the quarter mile.
Looking at the other medal contenders, the versatile Kwortnik can't be counted out. She was fifth at states a year ago and was a 4x4 anchor-leg hero a few weeks ago. Moore and Miles are a pair of hungry seniors. Madson's 58.45 in a flat track solo effort is impressive, and she'll factor in as well.