Oregon’s next track phenom?

Mary Cain is the best female runner in American high school history, and she hasn’t even started her senior year.  Cain, who attends Bronxville (NY) High School, has been coached by former Duck (and former U.S. record-holder in the marathon) Alberto Salazar since 2012.  At this early stage in her prep-career Cain has already shattered high school records in the 800 meters, 1,500 meters and 5,000 meters; and in June qualified to represent the U.S. at the World Championships, which will be held mid-August in Moscow.  At 17, she’s the youngest athlete in history to represent the United States at the World Championships.

At 17, Cain is already one of the best female mid-distance runners in the world.

At 17, Cain is already one of the best female mid-distance runners in the world.

There’s a lot of buzz that Cain may not attend college, that she may pull a LeBron and take her talents straight to the professional level.  That would be a bold move for Cain, but I think she’ll end up competing at the college level for at least a year.  Former-Duck Jordan Hasay was quoted as saying that she thinks Cain could benefit from things she would learn at the college level, and that the experience would be an overall positive one.

A deal-breaker in Cain’s recruitment and overall decision may be her coaching relationship with Salazar, as it’s likely whatever school she attends will have to allow Salazar to coach Cain, instead of that school’s coaching staff.  The University of Oregon seems to be the front-runner in her recruitment; Salazar’s presence and familiarity with Eugene leave little doubt that such an arrangement could be reached with the Duck coaching staff.

Good luck to Mary at the World Championships, we hope to see her in green and yellow in the future!

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