Marlee Starliper brilliant career took another big turn on Friday night, as she broke the Pennsylvania state record and ran a U.S. No. 8 all-time time in the 3200 meters
The Northern junior went 9:54.75 to win at the Glenn D. Loucks Games in White Plains, New York. That shatters the previous all-time PA best time in the event of 10.09.2 (hand-timed), held by State College Martha White since 1978.
"At that point, I was feeling pretty good and I was just trying to get faster and amp up the pace a little bit to see if I could break down my time," she said of the race's turning point.
Katelyn Tuohy of North Rockland (NY), who broke the 3200 meter national record last year at Loucks with a 9:47.88, was originally entered in the race, but scratched. Starliper's time is a current US No. 2 behind only Tuohy, who went 9:53.30 at the Red Raider Relays in April. PA's top distance runner would have liked to opportunity to race the record holder to help push her to a faster time.
"I was very disappointed that I wouldn't be able to race her," Starliper said, knowing she would have to do much of the frontrunning duties with Tuohy not in the field. "I was happy to have Kelsey Chmiel there because she was right on me for a majority of the race."
Starliper negative split after a 4:58 opening 1600 and brought it home with a 73 second final lap, her fastest 400 of the race.
Starliper ran 9:58.22 for a full 2 mile at the USATF Indoor Championships this past winter. Interestingly enough, per the MileSpit Conversion Calculator, Starliper's time converts to a 9:54.75 for 3200, her exact time from Friday.
Starliper thinks she had a little more in the tank.
"If I'm being honest, I would have wanted a bit of a faster time today," Starliper . "I feel like I could have done better today, which is why I would have loved to have Tuohy there to chase down, but I'm still very happy with how I felt today and how the race went."
With the postseason looming, Starliper doesn't expect the opportunity to run another quick 3200, so Loucks was a good late season race to get a fast time out there. Much of the early part of the season was based around the Penn Relays mile, where she placed second in 4:42.30. After that, she turned her attention to Loucks and the 3200.
After a strength-heavy indoor training schedule, Starliper said she's been doing more speed work now that the outdoor season has rolled around.
"I've been really encouraged and excited with how well my speed workouts have been going since we incorporated that into my training," she said. "I've been actually enjoying them, which I don't know if I could always say that last season."
Next up comes the PIAA postseason. She will definitely run the 3200 and 1600 meters at the District 3 Championships (set for next Friday and Saturday). She may even throw in an 800, depending on the team situation. As for the state meet, she's doesn't know yet what exactly she contest.
"I definitely have to see how districts goes because I'm very undecided about states," she said.
Before a busy two weeks at Shippensburg, Starliper will enjoy another state record -- this one dating back long before its new holder was even born.
"I had no idea (the record) was that old," Starliper said of White's time from 1978. "That's kind of cool to think about, 'wow, I broke a record that's 41 years old.'"
Watch the race above and check out the results, via Leone Timing below.