Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Battle Royale: Aisling Cuffe vs. Molly Huddle's 10:01.08 National 2-Mile Record

With all the Lukas Verzbicas fever of late, it's easy to forget the rest of the very talented high school class of 2011, including Verzbicas' female counterpart for the Gatorade Cross Country Runner of the Year Award. Headlining that class is indeed the Foot Locker Cross Country National Champion, Aisling Cuffe, who will be taking aim at (now 5000 meter American Record holder) Molly Huddle's National 2-Mile Record of 10:01.08 (on Friday night). Huddle set the record at the same meet nine years ago.

Cuffe's main competition Friday night should be the weather, which can tend to be hot and humid this time of year in North Carolina. Right now, the weatherman's calling for highs of 88 and lows of 67. The race goes off at 7:30, but sunset isn't until 8:30, so it may be a hot one out there.

Cuffe has run the 2-mile in 9:56.85 indoors this year, taking the New Balance Indoor title, which made her the second fastest ever indoors. She also ran a very impressive double at the New York State meet with a 9:56 3200, followed up the next day with a 4:40 1600. After this weekend, she'll begin to prep for her freshman cross country season this fall at Stanford.

Full meet coverage of the New Balance Outdoor Nationals is available here. I'll be in attendance tweeting reports as well from the distance events on Thursday and Friday.

Here's the field she's up against:

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