In her debut 10K race on the track, Philips Andover senior Cayla Hatton rewrote the history books and moved her high school career to the next level. Running the 6.2-mile distance in the Tufts Snowflake Invitational, Hatton made it a solo affair as she pushed to a New England record time of 33 minutes, 17.28 seconds. The time was great on several levels. Hatton broke Cathy Schiro’s 1984 New England standard of 33:26.53 and destroyed the Massachusetts best set by Peabody great Lesley Welch of 34:49.2 in 1981. But maybe even more importantly, Hatton’s time qualified her for the Olympic Trials B cut in the event. If the top 25 qualifying times in the country aren’t under the A cut time, there’s a possibility Hatton could be competing in the trials come June on the University of Oregon’s Hayward Field track.
The Stanford bound Senior knew early that she was feeling strong running under her pre-race strategy of 82-second laps and her race plan changed drastically as the race progressed. “About halfway through I didn't feel fatigued, and I was still hitting splits around 79 or 80,” said Hatton. “It crossed my mind at that point that I could make the cut, but I didn't really think about it until much later in the race. With about six laps left it sunk in that I was going to do it. It was hard to try to stay focused at that point. I guess I was a little baffled that I was going so fast."
“My coach and I weren't sure how I would perform in a 10k, especially so early in the season, so my goal was to run 82's (the pace for the B Cut) for as many laps as I could. Before the race, we talked about what my mentality should be when I start dropping to 83s, 84s. Looking back, it's funny that we definitely said "when" and not "if." We both knew I was strong, but I guess we didn't have a good idea of what I was capable of at this distance.” With a blistering 10K time under her belt, Hatton will be looking to do the same over 5K, a distance she believes she’s most competitive. “Since I most likely won't run another 10k, I hope my time is enough to get me in,” Hatton said. “I'm going to go for the 5k cut now too. It would be absolutely amazing if I can run, but if not, I will certainly go and watch!”
SNOWFLAKE INVITATIONAL, TUFTS UNIVERSITY
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