All throughout her legendary high school career at Gov. Livingston High, Victoria Vanriele won just about all her races from the front, blasting out to huge leads and controlling races from wire-to-wire.
But she showed on Saturday that she's also capable of winning in come-from-behind fashion as the freshman at Penn State used a punishing kick to rally for a dramatic victory in the women's 800m at the Big Ten Championships at the SPIRE Institute.
Vanriele's victory extended Penn State's streak to five straight conference titles in the women's 800m.
Vanriele, who was 7-0 in the 800m at the NJ Meet of Champions (4 indoor titles/3 outdoor), was in fourth place coming off the final turn, but she swung out wide into lane three as she hit the final straight and outkicked the three runners in front of her before stopping the clock at 2:05.59 for the heart-pounding victory. Vanriele just missed her PR of 2:05.15, which she ran to to place second in the Brooks PR Invitational in June of 2019.
After moving into third-place with about 40 meters to go, Vanriele passed junior Madison Mooney of Wisconsin and the leader Mallory King, a senior at Iowa, with around 15 meters to go and charged across the line with the win. Mooney took second in 2:05.79. King was battling Mooney for second when she fell just before the finish and wound up in eighth place.