Starliper Captures USATF U20 3K Title

MIRAMAR, FL -- Marlee Starliper took home the 3,000 meter title on Saturday morning at the USATF Junior (U20) Championships in Miramar, Florida.

The Northern junior ran 9:29.39 for the win, which qualifies her for the Pan-American U20 Championships, where she will represent the USA.

Also earning a qualifying spot for Pan-Ams is Ariana Gardizy of the University of Pennsylvania. Gardizy, a 2018 graduate of North Penn, went 9:41.15 for second place. The top two finishers qualify for Pan-Ams, which will take place July 19-21 in Costa Rica.

In the hot Florida conditions, Gardizy took the pace out early with Starliper tucked in right on her shoulder. Those two, along with the University of Tennessee's Katherine Thronson soon opened up a gap on the rest of the field. A little after the halfway point, Starliper broke away and opened it up on the field, bringing it home for the win.

This victory comes on the heels of Starliper's national title from a week ago in the mile at New Balance Nationals Outdoor. Starliper will head to Costa Rica next month, where she'll look to be among the favorites.

Starliper's 3K also added another Pennsylvania state record to her resume. Her time beats the previous outdoor record, which stood since 1994, held by Liberty's Janelle Thomas, who ran 9:33.61 at the Penn Relays. It's not an overall PR for Starliper, however. During the indoor season, Starliper ran 9:20.91 against collegiate competition at Penn State.

Ciccolini Secures Pan-Am Qualification

Sylar Ciccolini also earned a Pan-American qualifying spot, placing second in the women's javelin on Friday evening to a soon-to-be teammate.

The recent Mifflin County graduate threw 158 feet (48.15 meters) for the runner-up finish, which qualifies her for the Pan-American U20 Championships. next month in Costa Rica. It wasn't a PR for Ciccolini, who threw 184-2 earlier this season, but as she said, she "won't complain" with a qualifying effort on Friday.

She'll look forward to extending her season with a big training block heading into Pan-Ams.

Taking the win was Ava Curry of the University of Missouri, who tossed 160-5 (48.89 meters). Ciccolini will join Curry next year at Mizzou, as she is among the Tigers' top recruits for the incoming class.