Mile News

First Allie Zealand, then Sadie Engelhardt, run record-breaking Mile races in St. Louis

May 31, 2024

Drew Griffith clocks 3:57.72 Mile as 22nd U.S. boy sub-4 and #5 outdoors all-time, #6 overall

By Keenan Gray of DyeStat

ST. LOUIS – It may have been one of the most exciting 15 minutes in the history of high school distance running on May 30.

All Sadie Engelhardt could do was watch from the side of the track at St. Louis University High School and see Allie Zealand snatch her high school Mile national record away in the HOKA High School Girls Championship Mile in 4 minutes, 30.38 seconds.

But Sadie being Sadie, she managed to counter Zealand’s act with another historic run.

Engelhardt became the first high school girl in history to dip under 4:30 for the Mile outdoors, delivering a 4:28.46 performance in the Drury Hotels Professional Women’s field at an electric Thursday night of racing at the HOKA Festival of Miles.

The Ventura CA junior held her own against a talented group of veteran runners, finishing second overall just behind Jenn Randall, representing Oregon Track Club, in 4:28.23. Alex Teubel took third in 4:29.00, with Eleanor Fulton finishing fourth in 4:29.02 and Krissy Gear of NAZ Elite finishing fifth in 4:31.47.

Mary Cain remains at the top for the absolute high school girls record, running 4:28.25 during the indoor season of 2013. And Addy Wiley's outdoor 1600 record of 4:26.16 converts to 4:27.72.

Engelhardt battled back from an early deficit, crossing the first 440 yards in 12th. Well within striking distance of the lead group, she continued to move up the next two laps, going from ninth to eighth.

“I just wanted to relax the first two laps,” Engelhardt said. “I didn’t want to be jostling or wasting energy. Not as much as I did last year at Portland Track Festival. I wasted so much energy trying to hold my ground in second place, and eventually got passed, so I just wanted to stick kind of towards the back and work my way through the third and fourth lap.”

Upon the final lap, it was Randall, Fulton and Gear moving well ahead of the chase pack. Fulton found herself into the lead heading into the backstretch, with Randall responding right on her heals.

As the two leaders rounded the turn into final straightaway, Engelhardt began to sprint, moving past the remaining field from sixth place into the top three the last 50 meters, on the cusp of catching Randall at the line.

“It kind of gave me motivation seeing those people in front of me,” Engelhardt said. “Most of the time I’m frontrunning in high school races, so I think that gave me more of a boost. I’m very happy with my positioning throughout that race.”

Engelhardt’s efforts were expected, but Zealand’s was an eye-opening experience.

The senior from Pacers Homeschool VA sent a big message to the nation with an enormous lifetime-best effort to take the crown in the girls championship race, besting her previous best by six seconds from the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix this past winter season.

“It’s been such a good season, every single thing I could hope for went right and better,” Zealand said. “So thankful for everyone who’s supported me, my family, my coach, my teammates. Every single race has been so fun.”

Zealand didn’t hesitate from the gun; it was a wire-to-wire run for the senior.

The future Liberty Flame crossed the line five seconds ahead of a field that saw five girls dip under 4:38.

Reigning champion Charlotte Bell of Cuthbertson NC ran well under last year’s winning time of 4:41.33 to finish second in 4:35.70. Ali Ince of Normal Community IL dropped nine seconds off from last year’s sixth-place effort to run 4:35.96 for third.

Isabel Allori of Liberty Common CO broke 4:40 for the first time in her career, clocking 4:37.32, with Mt. Lebanon PA’s Logan St. John Kletter doing the same in 4:37.44 for fifth.

Freshman Ellery Lincoln of Lincoln OR was the top underclassmen, finishing sixth in 4:40.75. She became the second-fastest freshman in history, behind Engelhardt.

Complete event results:

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CREDIT: Ava Kitzi

Tags: sadie engelhardt (7) , jenn randall (3) , high school record (22) , festival of miles (14) , drew griffith (3) , allie zealand (2)

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