With the top six finishers in the girls one-mile race at the New Balance Indoor Nationals to be designated as All-Americans, Katherine Lee had a simple plan: stick with the pack at the front. That may be more difficult than it sounds, but for the Wading River girl, it was a soundproof idea that worked.
In a tight finish, the Shoreham-Wading River High School senior nipped a competitor at the end to grab third place Sunday at the Armory in Manhattan, and with it her first indoor All-American honor. Lee had been an All-American in cross-country twice, and is a three-time All-American in outdoor track and field from relay events.
“It’s really satisfying,” Lee said. “I’m just glad that I was able to get an individual All-American my senior year.”
Lee said Marlee Starliper of Wellsville, Pa., and others opened the race with a fast pace.
“They took it out kind of hard and I didn’t think that would benefit me so I hung back a bit,” she said. “[Starliper] goes out kind of hard and everyone was like, ‘Wait, what’s going on?’ Everyone was kind of focused on her and I ended up getting her at the line.”
The finish was close. Katelynn Hart of Glen Ellyn, Ill., won in 4 minutes, 45.47 seconds. The next three runners finished within 48/100ths of a second of each other. Victoria Starcher of Ripley, W.Va., was second in 4:46.32. Lee turned in a personal-best 4:46.61 to pass Starliper, who was fourth in 4:46.80.
“It was really tight to get those All-American spots,” said Lee, who will run for Georgetown University in the fall.
Shoreham coach Paul Koretzki said, “It was really a fine finish to her season and her indoor career.”