2017 New Balance Nationals indoor 800 meter champion and Villanova recruit Rachel McArthur competed in her first big race of the outdoor season racing against collegiate athletes in the second fastest heat of the 800 at Princeton University's Larry Ellis Invitational on Friday, April 21st.
It turned out to not be much competition for the Patriot High School (Nokesville, VA) senior McArthur as after running with the field thru the first 400 in 62-63 seconds, turned on the jets to drop the field for a resounding win in her heat with a new personal best time of 2:05.42. The time not only ranks US #1 for the outdoor season by two seconds, but also moves McArthur up to Virginia #2 all-time in the event outdoors as she now only trails Sarah Bowman on that list at 2:04.94.
The performance would rank her 6th overall in the meet ahead of all collegiate runners and only behind pro and post-collegiate runners from the top section, who undoubtedly could have helped pull McArthur along to a faster time and potentially a state record if she had competing in the top section which went out 58 seconds thru the first 400.
McArthur had broken Bowman's indoor state record in 2:06.08 last month at New Balance Nationals and also moved into the US top 10 all-time for the 1000 meter run with a 2:47.02 performance at the Virginia 6A State Indoor Meet.
She split 4:42 for her 1600 meter anchor leg in the DMR at indoor nationals last month and will have another opportunity soon to see if she can chase down more runners with the potential and fitness for a sub 4:40 split...