Tony Cosey long has predicted Rebecca Story will end her tenure at Christian Academy of Knoxville among the short list of dominating girls distance runners in Tennessee history.
Story, a 5-foot-5 junior, continues to show she’s on pace to make that happen.
Story broke the coveted 10-minute barrier during her victorious 3,200-meter run at the Hoka One Postal Nationals meet at Hardin Valley Academy recently.
Her personal-best time of 9 minutes, 59.85 seconds is the fastest mark by a high school girl in the country this season. It’s also among the top times ever recorded at this level.
“Basically, she didn’t run one five-minute mile; she ran 4:59 back to back,” said Cosey, CAK’s cross country coach. “Even better than that, and it varies from website to website, I think she’s 11th or 12th on the all-time list ever in the history of the U.S. high school girls cross country. That’s huge.
“Now, it’s not is she the best runner to come out of Tennessee, which I’ve always said she is, now she’s taking it to a national level. And she’s doing this as a junior. She’s not even a senior.”
Kim Mortensen of Thousand Oaks (Calif.) High School holds the girls all-time 3200 record at 9:48.59.
Story’s pace bests the state record of 10:16.72 that she set last April, continuing her dominant cross country season. She won the Class A/AA state meet earlier this month, a title that had evaded her during her career. And she’ll next run at the Foot Locker Nationals South Regional qualifier in Charlotte, N.C., on Saturday.
She finished 79th in her last appearance at the regional as a sophomore.
“Foot Locker Nationals is in some ways like the state cross country meet for her; the one that eluded her,” Cosey said. “It’s another nice feather in the cap, if you will, another nice way for her to end her career if she does what I expect her to do.”