By Kyle Daubs
Megan Garrett is ready to leave it all on the line.
According to Athletic.net, Garrett’s 800-meter Sectional seed time of 2 minutes 14.18 seconds is the No. 1 ranked time heading into the IHSA Class 2A state track meet on Friday at O’Brien Stadium.
Garrett was one of the highest-ranked 1,600-meter runners in sectionals, but a cramp forced Garrett to pull off, which means she will be racing only once at state.
When it comes to motivation, Garrett will focus all of her energy on this race.
“I do have extra motivation in the 800 due to not running 1,600,” said Garrett. “I am glad I can give my full effort in the 800, knowing that that is all I have to run. Running only one event helps me focus.”
Garrett placed sixth in the 800-meter run as a freshman and then sixth again the following year. As a sophomore, Garrett owned the No. 1 ranked 800-meter time from Sectionals, but she ended up behind the pack for the championship.
Garrett is in a similar situation. Only one girl has run a faster time than Garrett all season – Marianne Mihas, a senior out of Chicago Latin, who has run a 2:09.98. But Mihas ran 2:18.26 at sectionals.
Plus, Lincoln’s Becca Heitzig defeated Garrett in the 800-meter run at the Apollo Conference Championships and then clocked 2:15.56 at the Sectional.
“I know that there are five girls with PRs under 2:15,” said Garrett. “They did not do any PR at sectionals, but I know they ran faster. I would not consider myself the number 1 seed. There is one girl whose PR is way ahead of the field. Then, there are four of us who are all within one second of each other. It really could be anyone’s race.”
Finishing higher than sixth has to be the ultimate goal, but all the times and seeds say the same thing: Garrett could win a state championship.
Charleston’s last state champion was Riley McInerney, who set a state meet record in the 3,200-meter run in 2013. McInerney ran with Garrett’s older brother, Taylor, who placed eighth overall in the 800-meter run in 2014.
Garrett already owns the upper hand in the family discussion, but this race will be all about the legacy that she leaves behind.