Maddy Berkson flew out to Seattle on Friday to compete in the prestigious Brooks PR Invitational at the Dempsey Indoor Stadium.
The Classical High junior came home today with another state record.
In a stacked field of the mile run Sunday night, Berkson finished an outstanding fifth overall with a nearly eight-second personal best of 4 minutes, 50.5 seconds. She was under the indoor mark of 4:53.02, set by former Westerly great Samantha Gawrych in 2004 at the Armory in New York City. Her time is also faster than the outdoor record of 4:55.02 by ex-Portsmouth all-stater Laura Turner in 1998.
Due to the fact that Berkson ran her race on an oversized (307 meters) track, her time and Gawrych's clocking will both be recognized as state records.
“I am pretty pleased,” said Berkson, less than an hour after her race via cell phone. “I was hoping for under 4:50. I was hoping for a little better. But I am still pretty pleased with 4:50.”
Pre-race favorite Amy-Eloise Neale, a senior from Glacier Peak High in Snohomish, Wash., captured the race with a winning time of 4:45.89 (US #5). Senior Haley Meier of Gross Pointe, Mich., was second at 4:46.56.
Neale did most of the front-running and hit the halfway mark at 2:25. She was passed with about a lap remaining by Meier, but regained the lead on the final straightway and held on for the win. Meier was followed across the line by last-minute entry Anna Maxwell of Santa Cruz, Calif., in third at 4:47.37. Rebekah Topham of Griswold, Idaho, also dipped under 4:50, placing fourth in 4:48.66.
During the initial stages of the race, Berkson found herself on the inside lane behind a cluster of runners. She was between seventh and eighth place for the first three laps. The Classical standout, running a good portion of the final few laps on the outside lane, made a move with about a quarter-mile remaining and was temporarily in fourth before eventually settling for her fifth position among the 12 elite runners.
“At the beginning, I got pretty boxed in. I think on the second lap,” she said. “I went to the outside, which was a mistake. I felt pretty smooth. I tried to kick with two laps to go. My legs just weren’t feeling as good as I was hoping. My kick wasn’t as strong.”
Overall, Berkson enjoyed her visit to the West Coast. She arrived in Seattle on Friday at 11 p.m. PST. She spent most of Saturday relaxing before her big race.
“Seattle is great, a really great city,” she said. “On Saturday, we went on a run around a place called Green Lake. It was really beautiful there. We then went on a Duck Boat that took us around Seattle. It’s really scenic and nice.”
Berkson will have a short breather before her next meet. This Saturday she’ll be at the Reggie Lewis Center for the New England Championship. She’s one of the top seeds in the two-mile run and the 1,000, where she is the defending champion. Berkson is also entered in the 4x400 relay.
Watch Maddie At the Brooks PR Invitional