On Saturday's Lake Mary Invitational, Winter Springs junior Caroline Wells broke the Florida high school state 3200 meter record in an incredible race of 10:10.39. One of the longest distance races that can be run on the track and Wells broke the state record by a mere fractions of a second.
Two years ago at the FHSAA State Outdoor Finals, East Lake's Parker Valby set the state record with a 10:10.45. Valby unfortunately did not get an opportunity to improve upon that state record last year for her senior season as the coronavirus pandemic shut down spring sports in the state.
At Lake Mary on Saturday, Wells splits en route to breaking the state record went as followed (found on Elite Timing):
She was clearly aggressive in the first half of the race with a 70 second first 400 meters and hitting the 1600 meter split in an astounding time of 4:58. Her PR for 1600 meters is only 9 seconds faster from a recent breakthrough PR just last weekend at the Silverhawk Open.
Wells slowed down a bit in the last 1600 meter split at 5:12, but was able to hold her form and pace enough to just dip under the prior state record time of Valby with the fastest time nationally outdoors for 3200 meters. The performance is also fourth-fastest nationally for 2021 when factoring in full two-mile performances converted and indoor races behind only Sydney Thorvaldson of Wyoming, Brynn Brown of Texas, and Audrey Dadamio of Michigan .
If she ran a more evenly paced race, no wonder how much faster that Wells could run and one cannot forget that she is only a junior. She still has one more season to go of high school.
After time trialing her first few races so far this outdoor season without much competition, let's hope that Wells can lock up with some of the other top distance girls in the state as well as perhaps the indoor state record holder Lehman in a two mile or 3200 meter race. She is planning to race at the Set Goals Not Limits Distance Showcase on Friday, March 19th at Satellite High School.