EUGENE, Ore. - Bronxville track phenom Mary Cain has broken yet another a national high school record.
Running at the Prefontaine Classic on Saturday, the 17-year-old junior became the first high school runner in U.S. history to finish the 800-meter run in less than 2 minutes, finishing with a time of 1:59.51. She placed fifth in an elite field that included Olympic bronze medalist Yekaterina Poistogova and Jaqneth Jepkosgei, third in last year's world championships.
Cain topped the record of 2:02.04 set by Amy Weisenbach in 2011.
"Down that backstretch I think I was the most determined person out there," said Cain, who battled fellow American Alysia Montano to the finish. "I said to myself, 'I'm going to break that 2-minute barrier.'"
Francine Niyonsaba of Burundi won the 800 in 1:56.72, a meet record and a world best this season. But the sellout crowd of 12,816 erupted into cheers when Cain's record was announced. One fan shouted to the high school junior, who has yet to announce her plans for after high school: "Come to Oregon!"
Last month, Cain set the U.S. high school record in the 1,500-meter run with a time of 4:04.62. No other high school runner has run faster than 4:14.50 – and only one college athlete has ever bested her time.
She also holds the U.S. high school and junior record in the indoor mile (4:28.25).