Star-Bulletin Sports


Monday, May 10, 1999


H A W A I I _P R E P _ S P O R T S





Victoria Chang has a 9-minute, 38.94-second
time in the 3,000-meter run.



Chang sets
U.S. best
in 3,000

The Punahou runner's time
in the ILH track and field
championships takes her
to another level

By Pat Bigold
Star-Bulletin

Tapa

Punahou junior Victoria Chang's stunning 3,000-meter time on Saturday catapulted her to the highest level of girls' prep distance running in America.

With the state meet only three days away, a Track and Field News prep editor said last night that Chang is comfortably at No. 1 among 3,000-meter runners and is only four-tenths of a second behind the leader at 3,200 meters.

Chang's 9-minute, 38.94-second time in the Interscholastic League of Honolulu 3,000-meter final at Punahou's track swept aside the former No. 1 time of 9:42.41 set at the Penn Relays by Jennifer Donovan of Half Hollow Hills High School of New York on April 24.

"That (Chang's time) might be the fastest time in a league final ever run in the country," said Doug Speck, one of the nation's premier experts on high school track and field. "You don't know what you've got out there. It's scary."

Mike Kennedy, editor for girls' results in Track and Field News, confirmed Chang's national standing.

Converted to the 3,200-meter distance, which is run in most states, Chang's time is 10:21.7. The current national leader is Lauren Fleshman of Canyon Country (Calif.), who clocked 10:21.3 earlier this spring. Between Chang and Fleischman is Sara Bei of Santa Rosa (Calif.), whose best is 10:21.4.

The best 3,200-meter girls' prep time in the country last year was 10:29.00 by Caroline Annis of H.B. Plant High School in Florida.

The Hawaii state prep meet record for 3,200 meters is 11:04.5, set in 1981 by Tammy Cartwright of Radford. There are no state records kept for times set outside of state meet competition.

Kennedy said that Chang's 1,500-meter time of 4:35.06, which she ran in the ILH qualifying trials the middle of last week, ranks among the nation's top 10.

Both Kennedy and Speck said they were amazed at Chang's ability to run such a fast time without being pushed. The second-place finisher in the ILH final (Kristin Shinkawa of Iolani) came in nearly two minutes later.

Chang's effort on Saturday slashed more than 18 seconds off her previous personal best (9:57.6) for 3,000, which she set on April 3. That race gave her the first sub-10-minute girls' prep time in the country this year and established her as one of the nation's elite prep distance runners.

Chang has only run the 3,000 three times in her career.

Her distance coach, Duncan Macdonald, said the Punahou track was hot on Saturday. But Chang's next 3,000 will be held on Thursday at 8:25 p.m. in the Hawaii High School Athletic Association qualifying heat at Maui's War Memorial Stadium track.

Colleen DeReuck, the two-time South African Olympian and world record holder at 10 miles and 20 kilometers, is in town and learned of Chang's time last night.

"That's really awesome," she said. "I struggled to get under 10 minutes when I was in school."

DeReuck, who was flown in by Nike to host "The Mayor's Sports Challenge Day" in Mililani on Tuesday, said she's sorry she missed seeing Chang run.

Chang has been invited to compete in two major national postseason meets. She will run in the Golden West in Sacramento, Calif., on June 12 and in the U.S. Junior Nationals in Denton, Texas, June 19-20.



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