Mary Cain to make assault on American indoor 1K record on Thursday at BU!

Mary Cain, who took the American distance running scene by storm beyond the high school level onto the professional and international ranks as a New York high school junior last year, will be competing in her second meet as professional runner for Nike (despite still being a high school senior) on Thursday at Boston University. She will be featured in a loaded women's 1000 meter race with fellow Nike pro runners Shannon Rowbury, Treniere Moser, and Jordan Hasay on a record attempt and chase on the American women's 1K national record. The US indoor 1000 meter record time of 2:34.19 is currently held by Jen Toomey, who achieved the performance from a February 2004 meet in Birmingham, Great Britain.

Cain made her indoor season and professional debut last Thursday in a low-profile Gotham Cup college meet at the New York Armory. She competed in two events with an impressive double that started with a US #7 high school all-time 500 meter dash clocking of 1:12.43. With limited recovery time, Cain came back to run a time of 2:08.51 in the  800 meter run. 

​Cain will be joined by Nike Oregon Project teammates for two meets this month at Boston University. Cain will be back in New England racing at the BU Terrier Invitational on January 24th & 25th in the women's mile again with Rowbury, Hasay, and Moser. They will be giving chase as a group after the American women's national record of 4:20.5 set back in 1982 by the legendary Mary Slaney (Decker). Many often compare and draw similarities of Cain to Mary Decker (as she was known as a teen phenom before marriage), who also rose to become a world-class runner as a teenager.

Last year, Cain set the American high school records in the 800 (1:59.51), 1500 (4:04.62), mile (4:24.19), 3K (9:02.10), 2 mile (9:38.68), and 5K (15:45.56).

Sarah Bowman holds the US high school national record in the 1000 meter run at 2:43.40 from 2005. There is some debate among the gatekeepers of high school records whether Mary Cain's performances should count or not towards high school records now that she is a professional runner and no longer amateur status as a high school runner. However, Cain still does not graduate high school until this spring. Nonetheless, an exciting young athlete to follow and watch develop! 

Flotrack will be providing LIVE COVERAGE at both of these events, which will also feature American record attempts on the men's by Galen Rupp and Matt Centrowitz.


BU Multi-Team Meet (1/16/14) Live Coverage

BU John Thomas Terrier Invite (1/24/14 & 1/25/14) Live Coverage



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  • WPPat / 1 Years Ago
    To the gatekeepers.......Why should Mary be forced to run all alone in high school? She has done it, with very few exceptions, for the past few years anyway. She is seeking competition, why penalize her will to improve by not giving her the high school record? "Roger * Maris" her if you want....but be certain to acknowledge that a high school talent named Mary Cain existed throughout both the U.S. and New York State high school record books.
  • vmattix / 1 Years Ago
    Go Mary!
  • seannunn / 1 Years Ago

    If she is enrolled as a high school student then it should count as a HS record. It should not count as a high school MEET record. Alan Webb has the NHS record in the mile from the Pre meet (3:53.X) and the high school meet record of 3:59.X (for the 1600 I believe).

    Sean Nunn
    Raytown South High School
    Raytown, MO
  • Daved1033 / 1 Years Ago
    I have to say I agree with the gatekeepers who feel her times should not be counted toward HS records or stats.. Mary is a great athlete no doubt but I know that some of the best high school runners are training in the hallways of their schools with out the benefit of an olympic level coach and the backing of the Oregon Project. She has so many advantages over high school runners that her times should no longer be on any high school rankings or count for any records. High school runners have to train within the confines of the limited budgets that high schools have for the students and not the unlimited resources of the Oregon Project. To even think for a second that this is not a huge advantage is absurd! I do wish her the best of luck but just dont think she should be eligible for anything related to high school sports including rankings and records.
  • coach_eazy / 1 Years Ago
    To be sure, I also believe that her times should not be counted toward HS records or stats, but for a different reason. At this point, high schoolers cannot freely compete against her. If they do, it has to be in an open meet running unattached. @Daved1033, Mary Cain has been training with Salazar for the past 2+ years (even when she was not a pro), so the benefit of the Olympic level coach reasoning doesn't work. Her parents looked to give her every advantage (as most parents and coaches should do) along the way and it paid off for her. At this point, she is a professional athlete -- regardless of her age and day job (full-time student?). No other professional athlete is eligible for high school records and stats in that sport. Mary can, however, still compete in age group competitions and can re-write those records.
  • Daved1033 / 1 Years Ago
    @coach eazy I can agree to that. If the parents are going the exta mile, that's fair enough. Also I have never seen a high school level race have pacers another advantage when you are not running at the high school level. Question can high school athletes have pacers? I have never seen it. Not from dual meets to states to nationals.
  • WPPat / 1 Years Ago
    Your points are valid. I will say that I watched her lap kids in the longer races and understood why she did what she did. Yes, she is now a professional. She is also a high school student. Stick a big old Roger Maris (asterisk) on her marks, acknowledge that a high school student ran these times. Rabbit or no rabbit. Salazar or no Salazar. Some kids have parents who provide them with every advantage, others can't afford it. This is all acknowledged. Mary is, has been, a super talent since she first set foot on a track. Acknowledge this.
  • Daved1033 / 1 Years Ago
    @wppat agreed, but acknowledge it any where else in the world except for sites for high school athletes on amateur status like milesplit,, dystat. Why put her in front of the high school kids. Put the * next to her name on pro sites and say only 17....I bet a lot of high school times would be faster with pacers! I think it's so unfair to the kids who are all bumped back in rankings....
  • WPPat / 1 Years Ago
    We will have to agree to disagree on this one. You can't punish someone for seeking competition.