What We'll Miss At State: Annalyssa Crain Chases First Title

Annalyssa Crain on her way to a 12th place finish at Foot Locker Nationals

Annalyssa Crain had a remarkable junior cross country season. She started off her season with at the Bloomington North Invitational winning in 18:53. She would continue that win streak for 11 races, including Sectionals, Regionals, and semi-state. She would then take 2nd to Erin Strzelecki at the state meet. But Crain was still hungry. She then ran both the Nike and Foot Locker Regional meets taking home 6th at NXR and 5th at FLN. It's worth noting that Crain also nagged a new PR of 17:25 at the NXR Midwest meet. With those high finishes in the regionals, she earned a spot at both national meets. First up was NXN in Portland where she took 16th. The following weekend was FLN in San Diego where she took 12th. Running one national meet is hard enough, but running two is next level. Especially considering neither national course is an easy task to conquer. Crain definitely opened some eyes with those performances, but it was something that was looming in the background. 

Annalyssa Crain leads the pack early in the 3200 meter run at last years state meet.

So what event did Crain have a shot at winning at state? The 3200 seemed like her best shot. She came home with a 6th place finish in the 3200 at last year's state meet and would have entered the meet as the number three returner behind Erin Strzelecki and Katelyn Wasson. Both girls being strong competition for her. Crain's current PR of 10:46 is pretty solid, and would have had no problem dropping that time considerably.

It's worth noting that she did run one indoor race this year at the Bloomington North Invitational running a 5:08 over 1600m. Considering her outdoor PR stands at 5:06.95, it goes to show what kind of speed she was gearing up to for a longer distance.

She did tell MileSplit Indiana just a couple weeks ago that she had run a sub-5 1600 in a time trial. This spring she has kept up training as if she were in a regular track season. 

Even though we didn't see her race a 3200 this year, her speed work in the 1600 is something that would have greatly helped her in the 3200 come the state meet. Crain was definitely primed for a great outdoor season, and would've probably been one of the favorites if not the favorite going into the state meet. Thankfully for the distance fans, we do have one more year with her both on the cross country course and the track.