This weekend will be the return to track meets in Virginia and in the premier race we will have a state record attempt. Our third athlete to feature in this race of four is freshman superstar Madison Whyte. You can check out previews one and two by clicking those links.
Out of all the girls in this race the biggest question mark is Madison. She is tall, talented, young, and scary fast. She owns a personal best of 54.67 in the 400 from 8th grade last outdoors but could very well be looking for a sub 52 and thus the state record this Saturday.
The only thing you need to know to back that fact up is her 300m time. Her time is 37.81 and ranks third all-time in Virginia behind just Britton Wilson and Francena McCorory both of whom hold state records and won national titles while in high school. Madison is certainly on that trajectory.
Despite her young age and being two grades younger than anyone else in the field she is battle tested and was the only one to win an individual state title indoors. She was peaking at the right time and being used to the summer club circuit should help her maintain that fitness well into August if need be.
Figuring out her race plan is very difficult compared to the others since we have not seen enough of her racing strategy and haven't really seen any of it outdoors. Being so tall and strong means she usually takes a little time to build up speed. Now she certainly isn't slow, she does own a personal best of 7.12 in the 55m dash.
If we had to guess we would say her focus will be the middle 200m. Getting out in the 400 is important and she will definitely push out of the blocks fine and maybe even a little too fast since this race has so much on the line. The place where she will make her money is on the backstretch and into the curve where she can use her long stride to continue that speed. We wouldn't be surprised if she split 12.5-12.5-12.5 thru the 300m mark.
That strategy would give her 14.5 seconds to close that final 100m. She certainly will have company down the homestretch and will be watching athletes by her side and behind her who could be putting on a late kick.
Madison Whyte may not enter the race as a favorite but she cannot be counted out and in fact, she may be the best pick for the win.