Marlee Starliper's decision to run at the USATF Indoor Championships over the PTFCA Indoor State Championships wasn't without risk.
But in the end, it was worth it for Starliper, who came away with the fifth fastest indoor high school 2-mile in U.S. history.
Starliper, a junior at Northern, went 9:58.22 for seventh in her section and 18th overall in the women's 2-mile, which featured all pros and post-collegians. Bowerman Track Club's Shelby Houlihan won the event in 9:31.38, a current world leading time. Starliper's time also breaks the Pennsylvania 2-mile state record, which previously stood at 10:08.05 from 2014 by Tessa Barrett.
Her splits were relatively even, with her once again closing hard in the final few laps. In the end, Starliper went sub-10 on the Ocean Breeze Facility in Staten Island, New York.
Ultimately, the decision to run at USATF had a lot to do with the fact that Starliper had already broken two PA state records this season in the mile and the 3K. She would have been the heavy favorite to defend those state titles at the indoor state meet. So she opted for the national meet against some terrific competition with a goal in mind.
"All I knew was that I wanted to break 10 minutes," she said.
"I love seeing all the people from PA -- all my friends. I was able to run two state records this season, and then come states I was like 'well, I don't know what I'm fighting for anymore,'" she said noting that she won both the mile and 3K at indoor states last year.
Next up for Starliper is New Balance Nationals Indoor, where she said she'll probably run the mile. Check out her post-race interview from Ocean Breeze below.