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Efraimson, Cain to meet at the Millrose Games women's mile

Published by
DyeStat.com   Jan 29th 2014, 2:41pm

Cain, Efraimson to meet at Millrose Games


By Doug Binder, DyeStat Editor

Mary Cain will race at least one high school athlete this year after all. And Alexa Efraimson will get a chance to test herself against the World Championships finalist and Nike Oregon Project pro who has become something of a role model.

Cain switched events at the Millrose Games this week and joined the Women's Wannamaker Mile field, which also will include Efraimson, the NXN cross country champion and a junior at Camas High School in Washington.

"The race itself is so exciting," Efraimson said. "The more competition, the better it will be."

Last year, as a high school junior, Cain finished second in the Millrose mile in a high school record 4:28.25. The only runner who beat her was former NCAA champion Sheila Reid.

Last summer, Cain advanced through the rounds at the World Championships in Moscow in the 1,500 meters. Meanwhile, Efraimson, a year younger, ran at the World Youth Championships in the Ukraine and earned a bronze medal in the 1,500.

Efraimson said Cain has raised the bar not only for high school girls but for female running everywhere.

"She helps set the stage for giving more opportunity to women, even for women just starting to run," Efraimson said. "I think what she's done is helping all women."

Both runners will be part of a world-class field and that's something new for Efraimson, who is still breaking in as an elite-level runner. The junior from Camas is still months away from college recruitment and has never run on a banked track like the one she'll race on at The Armory in New York for the Millrose Games.

And because she's on the West Coast, where indoor track is not prevalent, she hasn't been in a race yet in 2014.

"Honestly, I feel like I'm still getting back into it (after cross country)," Efraimson said. "A few weeks ago I wasn't sure I was going to be in shape for this race. But then I started doing some long runs and strength work. I'm probably at the equivalent of where I was at the Bill Dellinger Invitational last fall. I'll just have to see how it goes."

Cain's rapidly progressing career also includes record-breaking performances in 2014, including a mile of 4:24.11 -- one of the fastest of all-time by an American woman.

In a field that includes Olympians Morgan Uceny and Emma Coburn, and top collegians Cory McGee and Emily Lipari, Cain should be one of the favorites to win.

For Efraimson, there is a chance to see how she measures up. She is charting her own path, but she admits that Cain's progress is something of a guidepost.

"It's a frame of reference," Efraimson said of Cain's career track.


If Efraimson is in the type of shape that she was in last October at the Dellinger Invitational cross country meet, that'll indicate a pretty fair showing. In that meet, Efraimson beat a collegiate field that included NCAA All-American Emma Bates of Boise State. In December, Efraimson won a much-anticipated showdown with Sarah Baxter and Elise Cranny -- both seniors -- at NXN. 

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3 comment(s)
Looks like Efraimson is going to get her warm-up for the race this weekend, getting a rematch with Boise State's Emma Bates (and going up against a Flood of others) in the 3k at the UW Invitational.
The interesting thing will be which of the two has improved the most this year. Of course, Cain is likely to be more race sharp.

Cool. Pretty awesome test for Efraimson. It should be a positive step forward.
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