Huntington North High School student Addison Wiley continued her excellence on the track over the weekend of March 27, competing in the National Scholastic Athletic Foundation (NSAF)’s Meet of Champions in Myrtle Beach, SC, against other high school runners from across the country.
According to Huntington North girls track coach Matt Ditzler, the plan was originally for Wiley to compete at the NSAF’s indoor meet in New York City in early March, but the meet was canceled. Once the Meet of Champions was announced as the replacement, Wiley was entered to run in the 5k run on Friday, March 26, and the mile run on Sunday, March 28.
Wiley raced in the meet unattached, meaning she was not representing a school or team in the meet.
Since the meet was outside of Indiana, she had to receive a waiver from the IHSAA in order to compete at the meet, which she was granted.
According to Ditzler, Wiley’s training has been going well and the duo thought it would be advantageous for Wiley to run a 5k on a track, as that is an opportunity that does not present itself regularly for Wiley since she is in season for soccer when the majority of those opportunities exist.
Wiley opened in third place after 200 meters and advanced to second place following the 600-meter mark. Though trailing the leader’s heels through the first half of the race, Charlotte Bednar of New Jersey distanced herself as the race progressed, opening up a significant gap by the end of the race to win with a time of 16:44.21. Wiley held her second-place position at the finish line by stopping the clock at 17:16.15, nearly 20 seconds ahead of the third-place finisher.
Ditzler noted that even though the 5k did not go as Wiley had hoped, it was still a valuable learning experience. Wiley’s time also established a new personal record in the event.
Come Sunday, Wiley was able to focus purely on the mile run. Despite winds gusting around 20 miles per hour, Wiley was able to execute her race plan, responding to moves throughout the race to put herself in the best position to win the race entering the final 400 meters. Wiley did just that, passing then-leader Audrey DeDamio of Michigan before fending off a late push from Heidi Nielson of Texas, stopping the clock at 4:48.23 to claim the victory, just 0.27 seconds ahead of Nielson.
Wiley’s winning time in the mile converts to a 4:46.50 for 1,600 meters, the distance raced for the event in IHSAA competition. That mark ranks as the second-fastest time for Wiley behind only clocking in at 4:45.77 earlier this year.
“I’m proud of her for believing in herself and competing at a high level on a national stage,” Ditzler said. “Although unattached, she did a great job representing our track team, our school corporation and our community.”