While they were setting Colorado prep records at high schools separated by just six miles, former Silver Creek star thrower Valarie Allman and Niwot High School’s recently-graduated distance phenom Elise Cranny didn’t know that their paths would converge quite the way they have.
At this past weekend’s USA Junior Track & Field Outdoor Championships at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore., Allman and Cranny solidified themselves as teammates even before Cranny joins Allman and Stanford University in the fall.
Both Allman and Cranny turned in performances worthy of a spot on the American national team for the International Association of Athletics Federations World Junior Championships. From July 22-27, the soon-to-be Cardinal teammates will reunite back at Hayward Field to compete for Team USA.
“She holds herself with such grace and passion for her sport and I can’t wait to be her teammate,” Allman said. “I’m so excited that we can represent our country together. We’ve always followed and supported each other. We were cheering for each other and one of the biggest things is that everyone at Stanford is so excited for her to become a part of our team and our family. So, it’s awesome to be able to get to be on the same team at Worlds.”
At the Junior National Championships, Allman threw 188 feet, 6 inches on her first attempt to take first place. Michigan State’s Katelyn Daniels took second with a throw of 174-9.
Colorado’s all-time prep record-holder in the discus (183-03 in 2013), Allman capped her freshman season with a 21st-place finish at the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships in June. Though it wasn’t her best meet, she still threw 158-9.
Being that it is her final year of eligibility for the Junior Worlds team, Allman rebounded at the USA Junior Track & Field Championships to seize an opportunity she has been waiting years for.
“It was something that I’ve been preparing for mentally and physically for a while and something that I felt was bigger than myself,” Allman said. “Being the last year that I’m eligible to make the Junior Worlds team, I felt like I had one shot to go big or go home. It was awesome to be able to do it and I’m really looking forward to being on our home soil in a couple weeks and having the USA on my chest.”
Running unattached, Cranny placed second in 1,500-meter run with a time of 4 minutes, 17.40 seconds. Alexa Efraimson, who will be a senior at Camas High School in Camas, Wash., held off a final-lap surge from Cranny to win in 4:16.87.
“I’m really excited to be on the team,” Cranny said. “It’s going to be a great experience and it’s awesome that it’s going to be in Eugene. It’s awesome to be on the team with Valarie since we’re going to be on the same team next year. I can’t wait for us to be teammates because she’s obviously an incredible athlete and she’s a really sweet person.”
Cranny took first in the 1,500-meter preliminary race on Saturday with a time of 4:35.43.
All athletes who have met the qualifying marks and placed top two in their events at the USA Junior Track & Field Championships are eligible to compete at the World Junior Championships.
Follow Brad on Twitter: twitter.com/BradCochi