In the week following the Rhode Island Indoor State Meet, many would rest in preparation for New England's. However, a select few athletes decided to better their marks heading into New England's and nationals later this season. These athletes traveled to Boston University's Last Chance Meet hoping for magic on the banks of the track. Simultaneously across the country in Spokane, Washington; Sophia Gorriaran was set to run at the USATF Indoor Championships. In this meet are some of the best in America. They are all collegiate or professional athletes, but Sophia Gorriaran was the lone exception. As the youngest in the field, many may get a sense of imposter syndrome. However, Sophia Gorriaran is used to having the odds stacked against her, and proving that no matter how old she is, she can compete with the best in the world.
In Boston, a battle of Rhode Island's best middle-distance occurred. In the 800, Portsmouth Senior Kaden Kluth battled Saint Ray's Pedro Mayol in section 7. Kluth was out in 56 while Mayol in 57, but Kluth edged out Mayol and the field winning in 1:54.13 to Mayol's 1:54.74. These are the fourth and sixth-best marks in Rhode Island history for the indoor 800 as well as US #20 and US #28 currently. Mayol's teammate, Devan Kipyego, was in the mile. He looked for redemption after missing his PR at the Millrose Games. Going out in 2:06, Devan closed his last 800 in 2:04 and kicked his final 400 in 60 to run 4:10.12. This is the 3rd best mark in Rhode Island ever only after high school teammates DJ Principe and Jack Salisbury. This is currently the US #13 mark in the event this year.
Across the country in Spokane, Washington. Sophia Gorriaran faced Olympian Ajee Wilson, NCAA outdoor 800 champion Michaela Meyer, former high school 800 record holder Sammy Watson. Sophia Gorriaran ended up running in the fastest heat, and going out with the leaders near 60 flat, came back in 2:03. Her 2:03.85 was good for only 5th in her heat. With one automatic qualifier from each of the three heats and the next four fastest qualifiers; her 2:03.85 placed her 8th overall, missing the final by .12. Although this is a heartbreaking margin, As only a high school junior, she will only improve and become a regular at US Championship Meets.
Next week these athletes previously mentioned as well as many others will travel to the Reggie Lewis Center in Boston for the New England Championships this Saturday.