State Record Snapshot - Sarah Trainor Busts Steeple Barriers

While there might not be much track going on in New York State, there is plenty of history to pore through. In our time off, we are looking to revisit all of the State Records for the Outdoor Season. Who these athletes were, where their marks came from, and where are they now. We're releasing "Snapshots Of A State Record," where you can learn what it takes, to put your mark on history. Tune in!

We are now into the abridged version of the Snapshots as we get to more recent records. We look here at a record from way back in 2019. The state records for the girls  began with Shelly Choppa in 1990 and go to Sarah Trainor in 2019, but there are still more to come as we fill in with a few more events we want to highlight. Enjoy!

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If you were planning to set a national record, the low-key (meaning no cameras around) Race at the Oval Office meet in Staatsburg hosted by FDR HS would likely not be your first choice. Sure, the 1500m \ 1600m races can pull in some top Section 9 talent such as budding 8th grade star Karrie Baloga of Cornwall, but the the 6th annual RatOO invitational on May 4, 2019 was certainly not the place where anyone expected to see the girls national 2K steeplechase record go down. Sure FDR junior Sarah Trainor had finished a strong 3rd behind Brooklyn Tech's Aziza Chigatayeva and Tully's Brooke Rauber at 2018 States and then had gone on to finish 2nd at Nationals as the top NY athlete with a 6:41.47 time that was 8th best ever in the state. But RatOO is held about a month and a half before big records are usually set, and Trainor was not going to have any serious competition to push her in her first steeplechase of the season. Plus, she was looking at a very busy day ahead as after the steeple she would go on to win the 1500m and then 800m races.

Running by herself in  a field of nine runners, the long-striding Trainor clocked a 1:13.27 for the first lap that lacks the first two barriers, giving her more than a 10 second lead. The next three laps at a steady 1:20.16, 1:21.70, 1:20.09 put her at 5:15.21 going into the last 400m, leaving her needing to run a 1:13.98 to break the national record and a 1:14.34 to set a state record. Both marks were from 2011, and Trainor took care of them both by crushing the last lap at a 1:13.88 split for a 6:29.08 national record, bringing it back home to NY after 9 years in WA. She had one more intensely run steeplechase during the season, and that would come at States where she ran the third fastest 2K SC ever by an NY athlete to capture the title at 6:31.59 and set a meet record. She also was 3rd in the 800m. Trainor never got a chance to run the steeplechase in her 2020 senior season due to the pandemic, but indoors she picked up a 2nd in the 1000m and 3rd in the 1500m at States.

2019 States 2k steeplechase where Sarah Trainor posted 3rd best ever NY time.

Trainor broke the 8-year-old mark of North Shore's Brianna Nerud who set the record as a junior in 2011. After finishing more than 5 seconds behind then national record holder Mary Kate Anselmini of Ward Melville at the States meet, Nerud went on to the World Youth Championship in Lille, France and on July 11, 2011, set a state mark of 6:29.56 while finishing 7th, one place behind US teammate Madeline Myers of Washington who set a national mark of 6:29.20. Anselmini repeated as the NBON champ in 2011, while in her senior season of 2012 Nerud was the state and US Juniors champion and 5th at World Juniors, where she set a national 3K steeplechase record of 10:00.72.

Interview with Sarah Trainor at Section 9 State Qualifier in February 2020 at West Point.