Saturday, May 29, 2010

How Goethals did it

Megan Goethals' stunning 8-laps last night at the Oakland County Championships made history, establishing a record that may last for many, many years--that is, unless she breaks it herself at Nationals next month.

How did she do it? The splits (all 400m times, none including the last 18.69 meters)
1:17.3 [2:27.3]
1:16.8 [3:44.1]
1:15.9 [5:00.0]
1:16.9 [6:16.9]
1:16.3 [7:33.2]
1:16.5 [8:49.7]

Her last two 200s were 35.8/34.7
Her 800s: 2:27.3, 2:32.7, 2:33.2, 2:27.0
Her 1600s: 5:00.0/5:00.2

Her 3000m split of 9:25.5 broke Sharon Van Tuyl's 1997 state record of 9:41.6, which she had set at the National Scholastic Outdoor that year en route to the 2-mile win.

Her 3200m time of 10:00.15 broke her own state record of 10:20.25, set last year at Nike Nationals. While the 10:20.25 was a 2M time, organizers did not time her at 3200m itself. Since her time was faster than any 3200 a Michigander had recorded (and longer), it stood as both the 3200 and 2M record. Remember, in the big leagues (world, American, and high school) records are not converted. That 3200m time ranks her No. 7 in U.S. history among all 8-lappers, including converted 2-mile races.

Her 2-mile time of 10:03.2 (there were 8 official timers on that!) is the second fastest two-mile race ever by a U.S. girl. It narrowly missed the record of 10:01.08 set by Molly Huddle in 2002.

Goethals said the plan was to go out in 72, and that she perhaps blew her chances for a sub-10 in the first lap. "I was so excited. I felt good, and I went for it. I wasn't thinking about laps 5 and 6 when I would be regretting it. I know I gave my best, though. I couldn't have done it without the crowd. I'm so happy that at Nationals I will have someone else to race with."

For now, though, she has to refocus on the state finals, where she will be running the 4x8, the 1600, and the 3200. The biggest challenge there may be her 1600m match-up with surprising frosh Hannah Meier of Grosse Pointe South, who has reeled off times of 4:45.0, 4:46.1, plus a 2:12.9 this spring.