Sarah Edwards has a legitimate chance to earn gold this weekend in possibly the biggest race of her young career.
The former Bellingham High all-stater is among a field of 11 runners entered in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the Pan American Championships in Trujillo, Peru. The 19-year-old Edwards is the No. 2 seed with her time of 9 minutes, 52.30 seconds. Her seed time is five seconds behind senior Alexandra Harris of North Rockland (N.Y.), the recent New Balance Nationals Outdoor champion and a third-place finisher at Pan Am last year. Edwards would appear to have the edge over Harris. The soon-to-be Virginia Tech sophomore beat the 18-year-old standout at the USATF Junior National Championships a few weeks ago to earn her berth to Peru. There's a good possibility that both runners could break the PanAm U20 record of 10:04.71, set by Sanine Heitling in 2005.
The three-day meet begins on Friday. Edward's race is scheduled for Sunday at 1:40 p.m. EST.