Saturday, June 11, 2016

Grace Ping Targets 10:10

Grace Ping winning the Griak Invitational.
Photo by Gene Niemi
As the top finishers in the Class A Girl's 3200 award ceremony were standing in line to go onto the podium one of the other, older runners came up to Ping and said: "Please keep doing what you're doing. You're an inspiration to us all."

Ping, a 7th grader, is also ambitious.  When she was asked what her goal was, she said this year it was to run 10:10 for the 3200.  She was hoping to run that on Friday but it would have had to have been a solo effort in far from perfect conditions for running fast.  Senior Hannah Truniger led for the first few laps, starting with a 74 second first lap, followed by a 79 before Ping took over.

Ping said she followed for the first few laps because she didn't want the first lap to be the fastest lap of her race.  Her strategy was to get faster with every lap, but she ended up running pretty even splits with a 5:15 first 1600, followed by a 5:16 second 1600.  The second 1600 was all on her own as Truniger and 2015 Class A 3200 winner Morgan Richter couldn't hold Ping's pace.

Ping comes back to run the 1600 on Saturday, then will run in the New Balance Outdoor Nationals next weekend in search of that 2016 goal of 10:10.

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