Mia Cochran had not been in a competitive race since Foot Locker Northeast last fall. But the Moon Area junior showed no signs of rust as she rolled to a season-opening victory at the Red, White & Blue Classic on Saturday.
Cochran ran a career-best 17:39 for 5K, covering the White Oak Park course in record time. She had good competition by her side with Shady Side Academy's Melissa Riggins a 2:08 half miler and 4:48 miler also in the field making her XC debut as a senior.
Cochran was able to pull away for the win, while Riggins was second in 18:13, a very strong showing for her first XC race.
It was Cochran's first race since that regional race last year when a hip injury didn't allow the then-sophomore to compete at Foot Locker Nationals. Cochran dealt with that injury throughout much of last fall, but that didn't stop her from winning the AAA state title at Hershey. She detailed that injury to Phil Grove before the start of this season.
Cochran's return is a good sign that she hasn't lost a step since last year, and is arguably in better shape than her state championship-winning, nationals-qualifying 2019 season. Her 143 speed rating, per TullyRunners, is the second best of her career, trailing only her 147 rating from the state meet last year.
Cochran is entered in Saturday's PIAA Foundation Invitational back on that Hershey course. The current PA No. 1 runner will be looking for another strong performance
"It feels pretty nice for my first meet to get out there and pull away with the win," Cochran said of her Red, White & Blue win.
Watch the AAA girls race from RWB above and check out an interview with Cochran after her win below: