MileSplit NY - You can file this one under the twitter hashtag #unattachedproblems. Mary Cain, now running unattached under Alberto Salazar, opened her first season on the track in her new situation. Limited to specificlly-sanctioned meets where she must run unattached, Cain won the event amongst professional athletes, collegians, and high schoolers. Her time was 9:02.10, which would stand as fifteen seconds faster than the current HS National Record of 9:17.4, set by Melody Fairchild in 1991.
Notice how we said current. The indoor record still stands, because the track at Dempsey field is an oversized track. That means it is an a-typical 307 meter track, as compared to the 200 meter, or 220 yard standard. Marks run on oversized tracks can not be ratified, in order to maintain fairness. While USATF and IAAF have different standards for ratification, it is clear that Mary Cain did not break the indoor record.
There is some light at the end of this story. Track and Field News contacted us via twitter, and told us that the mark would be ratified as the new Overall National Record. The previous mark was set by Lynn Bjorkland in 1975, at 9:08.6. There are less than a handful of records that date back further than that: Debbie Heald's Indoor Mile was 1974, and Mary Decker's Indoor 800m of 2:01.8 still stands from 1972. The scary thought is that those two records, are exactly the marks Cain is most likely next to break.