BRONXVILLE, N.Y. Bronxville High School sophomore track sensation Mary Cain had planned to run in the 1,500 meter event in Tuesdays league championship meet at her school. Cain needs to shave one-tenth of a second from her 1,500 meter time to reach the qualifying time for the Olympic Trials. She has already qualified for the 800m.
But Cain came down with a headache and stomachache and was unable to run on Tuesday. She said she was feeling better on Wednesday but does not know when her next 1,500m race will be.
She finished with a time of 4:17.1 at a meet in Somers recently. Now, she has her sights set on lowering that time.
I really want it. Even if I dont make it, Im excited to try it," Cain said. "The fact that I came so close really motivates me and really gets me excited.
Cain will run in the 800m event on Friday at The Glenn D. Loucks Memorial Track and Field Games at White Plains High School, where she will compete against several other standout female runners, many of whom she knows and with whom she is friends. She ran in the Loucks Games several years ago but has not returned until this year.
The sophomore started running outdoor track in seventh grade. Those around her noticed her amazing speed and her current coach, Jim Mitchell, saw her and encouraged her to try out for the team. Her counselor and parents supported her, as well. Cain used to swim and did so until the fall of her eighth grade year, when she switched to indoor running.
Cain is not sure of her long-term plans and goals for track, but at such a young age, she has time to sort out her future.
To be honest, I dont really know yet, Cain said. Im still pretty young and I have some goals right now. I really try to take every race as it comes.
When the 1,500m race does come, Cain will take another shot at reaching the Olympic Trials qualifying time. She said that as she was running the race in Somers, she thought she might have reached her mark. Now, she knows what she needs to do to get there.
I know the other day I was .1 off, so one thing I just want to work on is really running to the line, Cain said. I know sometimes I end up slowing down a little bit the last 20 meters or so.
Some have dubbed Cain one of the best high school runners in the country. The humble sophomore laughed appreciatively when she heard those words and, at first, did not know what to say.
But Cain knows that as long as she runs track, others will do the same. And that motivates her just as that elusive 1,500m time does.
Im flattered to hear that, Cain said. Theres a lot of really good girls out there still. There will always be somebody to chase, you know?
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