Waterville junior Bethanie Brown knew what she was doing when she pulled out all the stops at last weekend’s New Balance National High School Track and Field Championships in New York City.

But even she was a little surprised at the results.

Brown knocked 19 seconds off her previous best time in the 2-mile run to finish fourth in the nation. Her time of 10 minutes, 29.04 seconds was less than four seconds off the winning time.

“I went into the race and I really just wanted to take a risk and go for a good time,” Brown said. “I was a little nervous because I was up there in the front.”

Messalonskee’s Harlow Ladd also set a personal best time in finishing 15th in the boys 2-mile run. Both Brown and Ladd won the mile and 2-mile events at last month’s state indoor meets.

Waterville track coach Ian Wilson said Brown is just beginning to tap into her potential despite her impressive achievements already. She set a state indoor record in the mile last month and holds the fastest ever indoor time in the 2-mile as well.

“That’s one of the unknowns,” Wilson said of Brown’s potential. “She hasn’t been running a whole lot in her life. She doesn’t have a whole lot of miles on her.”

Brown competed for the first time in cross country last fall, finishing first in the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference meet as well as the Eastern regionals and second in the Class B state meet. She won the 2-mile event at the Dartmouth Relays in January in 10:48.35, which at the time was the best in New England. But there was no foreshadowing for her time over the weekend.

“She took 19 seconds off which is an incredibly impressive chunk to take off,” Wilson said. “She is a relentless competitor. Bethanie is the type of kid who just raises her game and gets better when she’s around better people.”

Brown’s next competition will be Waterville’s first outdoor meet.

As Brown did, Ladd turned in a breakout season in cross country and indoor track. He finished second in the Class A state cross country meet in a photo finish, then won the mile and 2-mile at the state indoor meet, setting a state record in the 2 mile. He bettered that time at the recent New England meet, running a 9:20.42 to finish fourth. He bettered that over the weekend finishing 9:16.40 despite a break in training because of illness.

“I did the best I could given the circumstances of being sick the last two weeks,” he said. “I didn’t really go after it like I have all season.”

Ladd said he’s taking three weeks off from running. When he resumes training he has set his sights in state outdoor records in the 1,600 and 3,200 meter runs.

Gary Hawkins — 621-5638

[email protected]

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