Ripley High School junior Victoria Starcher made the most of this year’s trip to the Penn Relays, running a meet record 4:38.19 mile to finish first.
Along the way, Starcher set a new state record in the process.
“This is such a prestigious meet and being able to do it here, it’s so incredible, along with the meet record,” Starcher said. “I was really hoping to go under 4:40, but I didn’t know if it was going to be here.
“I was hoping to compete. I saw once I crossed the line that I was under 4:40. I was just ecstatic.”
Starcher’s showing broke the previous meet record from 2012 held by Mary Cain (4:39.28).
She outlasted Marlee Starliper of Northern (Pa.), who finished in second place at 4:42.30.
One year ago, Starliper won the mile at the famed event at Franklin Field, while Starcher was runner-up.
Although Starliper improved her time this season by more than five seconds, it wasn’t enough to best Starcher’s record-setting effort.
“Marley usually makes a strong move in the middle of the race, so if that happened the plan was just to stick it out as long as I could. At New Balance (Nationals Indoor), the last quarter of the race I was pretty dead. Normally, I’m pretty confident in my kick, but I just didn’t have it then.
“My workouts have been very awesome lately. I felt strong and healthy coming into the race. It was just all about competing and trying to run a really good time.”