Walsh strikes again, taking second in mile at divisional meet for Swampscott track and field

In classic distance running form, Lindsay Walsh rounds the track during a regular season meet. Walsh finished second at the Division 3 championships and now gets a chance to race against the best in the state. By Joshua Boyd / jboyd@cnc.com Swampscott Reporter Posted Feb 26, 2010 @ 11:53 AM Last update Feb 26, 2010 @ 12:59 PM

Choices, choices, choices. What to run, what to run?

Lindsay Walsh has the choice to run the mile, the two-mile or the 1,000-meter race at the Nike Indoor National High School Track and Field Championships.

The event, which will be held at the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center in Boston between March 12-14, makes for quite the quandary for Walsh.

“I’ll see how I do in the mile at the All-States on Friday to decide which event I run at Nationals,” said Walsh.

“She’s hoping to break the 5-minute mark,” added head coach Joe Tenney. “I think she is ready to do it. She has been looking stronger with each mile.”

The senior ran her best-ever indoor mile time at the Division 3 state championships on Feb. 21, posting at 5:05.44, good for runner-up honors. Not bad, considering she barely ran the mile this winter.

“I’m really happy with my season so far,” she said. “I didn’t have a lot of competition in my dual meets until my elite meet at the end of Decmeber, early January, when I broke three minutes in the 1,000, which was really exciting. I’ve kind of been focusing on the 1,000 all season, but then I decided a couple weeks ago to run the mile at All-States.”

Last year, Walsh finished 10th in the state in the mile, though last year was a season focused mostly on the two-mile for her. Walsh competed in the two-mile at All-States in her first two seasons.

Walsh is seeded sixth overall in the state with her time from the divisional meet. She’d certainly like to at least overtake Pentucket’s Alanna Poretta, who finished first in Division 3 with a 5:03.51.

“I’m excited, because it’ll be my last indoor All-State meet,” said Walsh, of Friday’s big meet. “I’m hoping to run a good time, but it’s going to be a difficult race. It’s one of the best fields of girls that I’ve seen — just looking at the times, it’ll be a ridiculously fast race.

“I’m seeded in the middle of the seeded heat, and the girls seeded around me are all [within] a second of each other. I’ll try to stay with the top group.”

Walsh came into this week off the Sunday meet, so she took a rest day on Feb. 22. She hoped for some good speed workouts on Feb. 23, and then she’d take it easy again on Wednesday and Thursday to keep fresh legs for Friday night’s main event.

“I’m used to having one more day, but I’ll make the best of it,” she said. Walsh also said that she plans on taking a waiver on the New England championships if she qualifies for that March 6 meet in order to prepare for the Nationals.

Rest of the pack

Walsh was the only senior at the Division 3 state championship meet, and the majority of runners representing Swampscott there this year were either freshmen or sophomores.

“Out of the seven kids that went, only two are upperclassmen,” said Tenney. The boys and girls have very young but strong teams.

“They did a great job of setting the pace for themselves and trying their best,” he added.

A number of personal record (PR) times were set at the meet as well, besides Walsh’s in the mile. Both Emma and Hannah King ran their best times in the 600-meter (refer to attached results box), while Jermaine Kelly (55-meter hurdles) also ran his best time of the season in his final winter meet.

“I think both the boys and girls should be proud after this Sunday,” Tenney added.