So here is the hot take of the season, Kelsey Harrington is going to place top five at Foot Locker Nationals. Only 13 VA girls have ever finished top 10 and an even smaller nine girls from VA finished in the top five with Erin Keogh doing it three times herself.
Basically what we are saying is that it is not only hard to make the Foot Locker team by finishing top 10 in the South Region which includes athletes from 13 states, but that it is nearly impossible to run fast enough to finish top five in the entire nation. Kelsey though is going to do it.
Here are the big numbers to remember.
- Over 1,143 VA Girls Have Run at Foot Locker South
- Only 68 VA Girls Have Made Foot Locker Nationals
- Only 11 VA Girls Have Ever Run Faster Than Harrington
- Only 9 VA Girls Have Finished Top 5
- 45% of The Girls Who've Run Faster Than Her Finished Top 5
- Only Weini Kelati Has Run Faster in September
When you look at those stats and the competition that Harrington has faced it is quite easy to see that she is on another level. The question is though how fast can she run.
Right now Kelsey sits at US #18 in the latest speed ratings with quite a few athletes ahead of her slated to solely compete at NXN. That means it is safe to say that Kelsey is right around top 10 in the country, without facing really any competition that has pushed her.
That brings us to our next point, and it is a scary one... she has not faced anyone yet who has pushed her.
Kelsey has run in and won six races thus far this season, set four course records, and averaged a 1:21 margin of victory.
The closest competition she has had came at the Knights Crossing invitational where she finished in 17:13 with seven time Tennessee State Champion Sasha Neglia 21 seconds behind. Neglia also is the defending Nike Southeast Champion and was 15th last year at NXN.
Neglia not only lost by 21 seconds but was completely dropped. Simply put, after the first 400m in the race no one had a chance.
Her course records are the real story though. Two of which are important to understand.
The first big one is Knights Crossing. Her time of 17:13 bested the previous course record by 23 seconds set back in 2014 by Libby Davidson. That same year Libby was 6th at Foot Locker.
Her time is also 49 seconds faster than Kathleen Stevens' time the same year she would go on to finish 2nd at NXN.
The second big one was last weekend at Hagan Stone. Here she ran 17:23 which broke both the course and meet records by 18 and 13 seconds respectively. The two girls' times she beat were Caroline Alcorta's and Wesley Frazier's. Both girls finished 3rd and 10th at Foot Locker Nationals the year they ran those times.
So when you take a step back and just look at all the data it really seems clear. Kelsey has run faster earlier than nearly anyone else, she has shattered course and meet records set by Foot Locker finalists, and she is beating pretty good competition by considerable amounts.
We are barely at the halfway point in the season and there are many more times to be run, but right now it looks like Kelsey Harrington is on a path to a top finish in San Diego this December.