AAA Girls 1600 Heat 2 - Taryn Parks 4:56.71

Saturday wasn't the first meeting between Greencastle-Antrim's Taryn Parks and Northern's Marlee Starliper, and it likely won't be the last.

Far from it.

The pair of freshmen distance runners have seen an awful lot of each other since they started high school this past fall. They dueled on a few occasions during the XC season, most notably in an epic race to the finish at the PIAA XC State Championships in Class AA. Then at indoor states in the mile, they were literally separated at the line by .01. So when the two toed the line at Saturday's Shippensburg Invitational, history has taught us that it was likely going to be close again.

Starliper already had an 800 under her legs after anchoring her Northern squad to a PA#5 and win in the 4x800 meter relay. But she was still ready for another dual with Parks. With about 500 meters to go, Parks and Starliper got away from the rest of the pack and we knew it was going to be another race to the line.

In the end, Parks had the better kick once again, powering down the finishing stretch to a PA#1 4:56.71. Starliper took second in a PA#3 4:58.08. Saturday's race served as a great appetizer for what's to come to rest of the way this spring.

The two will see each other again, surely, with the District 3 AAA Championships lurking next month, and then possibly the state championship a week after.

An early prediction for those races?

It'll be close between the two freshmen phenoms.

1Taryn Parks9Greencastle-Antrim4:56.711
2Marlee Starliper9Northern4:58.081
3Abby Yourkavitch11Chambersburg5:06.781
4Alana Yoder9Solanco5:07.941
5Kate Dickow10Warwick5:17.361
6Makenna Krebs10Central Dauphin East (CD East)5:18.571
7Marie Rulapaugh12Cumberland Valley5:21.711
8Emma Simon10State College Area High School5:26.401
9Mikayla Carnathan9Selinsgrove5:27.051
10Kelsei Bixler12Palmyra5:27.211