Nearly every steeplechaser in the nation just got very scared seeing this weekday meet's results. Indoor National Champion, Rachel McArthur, not only tried the hurdles for once but qualified for 6A States! Her time of 45.74 (hand-timed w/added difference already in) would rank 6th in the state right now.
Now there is no official word one way or the other but this time definitely has us wanting to see her in a steeplechase this season and potentially at nationals. Given, there is a big difference between a 300H race and a 2K steeplechase but after you look at her stats it seems like it would be a piece of cake.
So let's start from the top. The national record in the 2K steeple is 6:29 which equates to 77.8 second laps or 5:09 Mile pace. Rachel is capable of both of those considering she has run 1:14 indoors in the 500 and 4:45 for the full Mile.
She isn't just a mid-distance runner though and also has the stamina to run a 17:16 5K and 7:46 1.5 Mile race.
That being said, if she were to race against the big dogs she would have a lot of competition. The two big names right now in the girls steeple are Mary Hennelly and Alexandra Harris who are both from NY and the top returners from nationals.
Hennelly is a freshman this year and finished second last year as an 8th grader! Harris is a senior this season and interestingly enough could end up being Rachel's roommate next year at Villanova!
Both of those girls have run 6:52 and 7:04 as of last year.
Shedding some more insight into this, let's take a look at how she compares to Emma Coburn who is definitely one of the premier steeplechasers in the US and World right now. As a high schooler Coburn only ran 20:01 in XC, 5:11 for 1600, and 2:09 for the 800.
She would eventually go on to finish as the high school national runner-up in 2008 in the 2K steeple with a time of 6:44.
We can't say right now that she or any high schooler is going to end up being the best in the world in the event but we can definitely speculate based on stats! Rachel has some impressive times under her belt but if she wants to get to that level in the steeple she will need to drop time in the open races and seriously start training for the steeple which is one of the most grueling events around.