BRONXVILLE, N.Y. -- Bronxville's Mary Cain, a 16-year-old middle distance track star headed into her junior year, has qualified for the Olympic Trials in the 800-meter run and is in Eugene, Ore. awaiting Friday's first-round heats in the event.
She also has an eye on qualifying in the 1,500 meters.
Cain hopes to qualify for the upcoming 2012 Olympic Games in London, which begin in late July.
"I was just trying to run my best at the season-ending events and see what I could do," Cain said after the local Section 1 state qualifier earlier this month. "Just being consider to be at the Olympic Trials is amazing. I want to be able to compete and see where I am. Being there at (16) is really great."
Cain ran the second-fastest 1,500 meters (4:14.74) in U.S. history at last week's USA Junior Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Bloomington, Ind. to win the national title. The win earned her a spot in the IAAF World Junior Championships in Barcelona next month and she is hoping her times also will qualify her for the 1,500. The dynamic runner, who began her meteoric career as a seventh-grader in Bronxville coach's Jim Mitchell perennial state championship program, is the 31st seed out of 32 runners in the 800.
Cain said she always tries to achieve a personal record when she runs either the 1,500 or 800 despite often being far ahead in her local high school competitions. She has clocked a time of 2:03 in the 800 and now has her 4:14.74 in the 1,500. If her short history on the track is any predictor, being in the company of the nation's top runners and with a history of being a fast finisher, she may set new standards.
The U.S. Olympic Trials can be seen on several NBC-TV channels locally.