Indianola runner Jamie Elbert hears a historic roll call in her head when the first Drake Relays 1,500 meters high school field is read.
There's Tipton's Ashley Miller, a 13-time state champion in cross country and track. North Tama of Traer's Brooke Dinsdale owns the state-meet 800 record.
The 16 runners entered in Saturday's event at Drake Stadium have won a collective 25 state track or cross country races.
This is simply the fastest Iowa high school field ever assembled for this distance. Runners from all four classes will compete.
Having them all run together, it's like the race of champions, Elbert said.
Previously, there were no Relays girls' events between 800 and 3,000 meters.
The timing couldn't be better from a fan's perspective. Fourteen of the runners qualified with sub-5 minute times in the 3-lap race, which is scheduled to begin at 2:06 p.m. Saturday.
It used to be that if you could get a 1,500 girl that could break 5 minutes, you were on cloud nine, said Tipton coach Dave Fetterman, who has coached 35 seasons.
Fetterman said the 1,500 field will be the best ever. The girls' 800 should be a feature race, too.
The state's all-time best of 4:34.01 was set in 1999 by Iowa City High's Michelle Lilienthal.
The fastest qualifier is Katie Flood, a freshman at West Des Moines Dowling Catholic, who has run 4:38.94.
Betsy Flood, Katie's sister, ran a 4:35.08, the second-fastest state meet clocking, en route to winning the Class 4-A title last season.
Five entrants have won state championships in either cross country or track.
It's just an honor to have them say my name in the same sentence with them, said Elbert, whose best time is 4:59.73. It's an historic event.
The group has won its share of Drake Relays titles, too.
Tipton's Miller has won two Drake 800 championships; Dinsdale took that race last year, breaking a 25-year-old meet record. Iowa City West's Sarah Wickman is a two-time 3,000 winner.
Elbert said the first-place finisher will have to stay close to the front of the pack and then outsprint the field.
The winner's going to set the record, Elbert said. We'll set the bar for the rest of the years to come.