Lydia Russell took down the all-time Pennsylvania state record in the outdoor 5,000 meters on Friday night at New Balance Nationals Outdoor in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Russell, a junior from Friends' Central, went 16:18.72 to finish third in the Championship section of the 5K, breaking the previous record held by Madeleine Davison, who ran 16:34.86 in 2016. Tessa Barrett ran 16:11.85 indoors in 2014, which stands as the fastest 5K by a PA girls, indoors or outdoors.
Sydney Masciarelli, the Foot Locker XC national champ from the fall, of Massachusetts took the win in 16:16.20, while New York's Kelsey Chmiel took second in 16:18.57. Then Russell came across for third, followed by Bethel Park's Emily Carter, who also ran faster than Davison's previous outdoor record. Carter clocked a 16:32.48 for fourth in the country.
Chmiel led for most of the race, with Masciarelli and Russell on her heels, seperating themselves from the rest of the pack with about a mile to go. With three laps to go, Masciarelli seized the lead and then kicked in the final lap to take the win. Chmiel was second with Russell coming in right behind her.
"I've actually never done a 5K before on the track," Russell told MileSplit after the race. "So I was just excited to go out there and have fun and I really like the longer races, so I just wanted to see what I could do."
Carter, meanwhile, wasn't done. The sophomore standout came back on Saturday to take third in the Championship 2 mile in 10:22.29. That's the third fastest 2 mile time in PA state history, per the MileSplit database.
Both Russell and Carter return next year, along with a number of other distance stars in the Keystone State. The future is certainly bright. Check out an interview with Russell below.