One of the top high school distance runners in the country isn’t even halfway through her sophomore season at North Central.
Allie Janke, the defending State 3A champion in the 1,600-meter run, continues to kick past her previous standards.
Using her tall frame and long, fluid stride, Janke recently ran a career-best 4 minutes, 51.48 seconds at the Eastmont Twilight Invitational, 4 seconds faster than her state championship mark.
Five months after winning an individual State 3A cross country title, Janke has the country’s 10th-best time in the 1,600 this spring, according to Athletic.net.
Carlee Hansen, a sophomore from Utah, is No. 1 (4:46.45).
“It’s been fun to be among those girls,” said Janke, who placed second at state in the 3,200 last spring and is ranked No. 1 in 3A.
“I’ve followed many of them for years, and some of them have been my idols.”
NC coach Kelly Harmon believes Janke has the potential to shave a few more seconds this spring.
“I expect that she’ll run in the low (4:45s) this year in the mile,” according to Harmon, who helped the Indians place second at the 2018 state meet.
“She’s really impressive. I think it’s a reflection on her work ethic. She’s a tremendous worker and a great teammate.”
Katie Knight, a 2013 NC graduate who went on to run at Washington, owns the tradition-rich program’s distance records.
Janke ranks No. 2 at NC behind Knight in the 1,600 (4:45.84) and 3,200 (10:11.93), Harmon said.
“My goal is to get under 4:50 again,” Janke said. “I hope to keep the momentum going.”
Getting pushed by teammate Erinn Hill, who is also among the 3A classification’s top distance runners, doesn’t hurt.
Janke and Hill placed 22nd and 33rd, respectively, at the Foot Locker Cross Country Championships in San Diego in December.
Hill (5:05) ranks No. 2 in 3A behind Janke in the 1600 and is No. 4 in the 3,200 (10:59.36).
“This is by far the deepest group of distance runners I’ve had,” Harmon said.
Janke and Hill are two of the major cogs for an NC team aiming for a state title, but there are a few more athletes who hope to earn medals.
Mia Hill (distance), Amaya Martin (hurdles) and versatile exchange student Elisa Tosseto have helped NC rack up points.
Tosseto, from Italy, is among the area’s best in the long jump (17 feet), high jump (5-2) and javelin (115-4).
Area teams gear up for Pasco Invite
More than a dozen Spokane-area teams will be competing in Saturday’s Pasco Invitational at Edgar Brown Stadium, one of the most prestigious and competitive high school meets in the Northwest.
Mead’s boys placed fifth out of 62 teams that registered points last season. The Lewis and Clark girls took third.
Coeur d’Alene hurdler Nate Burch is the lone returning individual champion from the area. He won the 110 hurdles (14.73).
Colville girls win a pair in NEA meet
Kassi Brooks won the 100-meter hurdles, shot put and javelin to help the Indians to wins over Riverside and Newport in a Northeast A League meet on Wednesday.
Colville beat Newport 123-16 and Riverside 101-43.
Brooks won the 100 hurdles in 18.28, took the shot at 32-11 and the javelin at 92-11.
Other winners for Colville included Mayzie Gariepy (100, 13.60); Ella Heideman (400, 1:06:05); Alaina Stone (1,600, 5:23:61); Camina Heideman (3,200, 13:46:97); Maria Schutt (300 hurdles, 57.04) and Mia Mascarinas (discus, 83-9).