As a sophomore at the first Ocean Breeze States in 2017, Ursuline's Lily Flynn lost out to Bronxville senior Kaitlin Ryan in the 1000m by a little over a half second with a time of 2:50.72. She would never lose another States 1K again, and over her last two indoor seasons, Flynn would rarely get beaten in the event and never by an NY runner. She took 3rd behind Gabrielle Wilkinson and Nikki Merrill while going sub 2:50 for the first time with a 2:49.97 at the Armory's Dr. Sander Invitational in 2018 and 2nd behind Marlee Starliper at the VA Showcase in 2019, and that's it.
But at States in 2018 in a 1K that was projected as the most competitive girls race at the meet, Flynn went to the line as just one of a trio of favorites. FDR sophomore Sarah Trainor came in with the best seed time of 2:49.51, and she did that while cutting loose at West Point in the Section 9 Class meet, so you knew that was extra fast. Shoreham-Wading River senior Katherine Lee had chalked up three States XC championships during her career and placed 4th at Foot Locker the previous fall while also running a very strong indoor season. Other standouts included Kellenberg junior Maureen Lewin who had posted the fastest 800m time, and Fayetteville-Manlius sophomore Phoebe White had finished 5th in the 2017 States 1K.
At the gun, Trainor burst to the lead from the inner alley and opened up a big lead on the rest of the field for the first 3 1/2 laps as she flew through the first three 200s in 30.3, 32.9, and 33.8. From the first lap on, Flynn and Lee had settled into the next two places about 10 meters in back of Trainor to wait for a chance to attack if Trainor faltered. That surge started around the 700 meter mark as Trainor fell back to a 35.8 on her fourth lap and Flynn took the lead a little before the bell. Lee gave chase as she moved into 2nd, but Flynn's 33.3 last lap sent her to the finish in a meet record 2:45.83, the second fastest time ever in NY history bested only by Rush-Henrietta's Sammy Watson in 2017 with that incredible 2:40.72 while taking 4th among the pros at USATF Championships. With a a big kick, Lee clocked the third fastest time in state history at 2:46.91 to take 2nd. Lewin passed Trainor near the finish to take 3rd in 2:50.05 to Tainor's 2:50.60, and White sprinted in for 5th at 2:51.29. The old meet record had been set 22 years earlier by George Washington's Tamieka Grizzle at 2:48.44.
A week later at Nationals, Flynn, Lee, and Trainor all opted for the mile, and Lee was 3rd, Flynn 5th, and Trainor 10th. Lee graduated in 2018, but at 2019 States the rest of the top 5 would have a race reunion in the 1000m as Flynn would capture a repeat title while Trainor took 2nd and White and Lewin were 4th and 5th behind Burnt Hills' Rory Graham.