By Christopher Hunt
For the first time in a long time Suffern’s Shelby Greany is under the radar. The Providence-bound senior eased her way into this season and been absent from major competitions after the best cross country season of her scholastic career.
But let’s not forget that she’s still one of the best high school milers in the country – something she’ll try to prove in the girls invitational mile at the Boston Indoor Games at the Reggie Lewis Center in Roxbury, Mass. Saturday.
“I think it’s obviously going to be fast,” Greany said of the race. “I think that when a lot of people think of me they don’t think of me as a miler. They think about the steeple and they think of distance.”
But Greany, a national champion in the steeplechase, won the mile at the Kevin Dare Invitational at Penn State in 4:57.08, the sixth-fastest time in the country this season. In that race, she won by 12 seconds and Greany holds an indoor personal best of 4:55.54. So although she may not be listed among the favorites this will be her first opportunity this season to be in among top-level competition.
“When people pick people to win miles they don’t’ think of Shelby Greany,” she said. “They think Emily Lipari (of Roslyn), or whoever. But I don’t think anyone is expecting me to go in there and win and that’s fine with me. So if I don’t win -- whatever. No one expected me to win anyway and if I do win that’s great. I’m going to run my race and I’m going to have fun.”
Greany said she doesn’t have much of a race plan but did promise one thing: that she’d stick to her own race plan. That means that the pace will be honest or at least Greany’s pace will be honest if the field decides to make it a tactical race.
It’ll be Greany’s first time at the Boston Indoor Games and the same for Roslyn’s Lipari, who placed third in the mile at the Millrose Games at Madison Square Garden Friday night. Lipari finished in 4:57.70 and won the mile at the Hispanic Games in 4:54.40, the second fastest time in country this season.
“Going into this race I know I’m going to be racing a lot of awesome milers,” she said. “Ii’m trying to get my time under 4:54. If I do that I’ll be happy. … Pretty much the game plan is probably going to be go out quick and just hold on as long as I can.”
The only local returner to the race is North Shore junior Brianna Welch. She finished seventh last year.
“My goal is just for her to improve upon last year’s experience,” said her coach Neal Levy. “This time she’s a little older and wiser.”
Welch has been battling pain in her hip all season but Levy said that her workouts have been solid and he expects her to be competitive. She won the 3,000 at the Hispanic Games in 10:03.74 and has shown sub-2:10 800-meter speed. Levy said last year they had the entire race mapped out but Saturday they just want to adjust as the race unfolds.
“This time we just want her to go out and get in the race and have fun with it,” he said.
Reach Christopher Hunt at firstname.lastname@example.org.