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Taylor Ewert recorded an outstanding first-place effort on Saturday at the Greater Western Ohio Conference Championship at Northmont High School, becoming just the third girls athlete from Ohio to break 17 minutes all-time in cross country.
The junior from Beavercreek went 16:57.90, putting a forty-five second gap on Centerville's Emma Bucher, who was the runner-up in 17:42.30.
Ewert's effort represents an Ohio No. 1, a US No. 8, a school record and a new PR.
But Ewert's latest showing ranks her behind only Connie Robinson and Lois Brommer on the state's all-time list. Robinson and Brommer posted times of 16:40.40 and 16:43.20, respectively, way back in 1981 at Foot Locker Nationals.
Ewert, who also excels at the race walk, the steeplechase and various distance events on the track, has collected five wins in as many outings this season.
MileSplit spoke with Taylor to gain further insight on her performance.
It was a new course and it looked like it would be a slow race so my goal was to run between 17:20 - 17:30. Breaking 17 minutes was on my mind as a goal to possibly achieve later down the line, maybe on a really fast course and with elite competition.
I went through the first mile really quick, which made me nervous because I knew the course was more difficult in the second half. I felt very relaxed through two miles and at that point, I was focused on winning and by as much time as possible. I didn't think I was on pace to break 17 minutes until there were about 300m left and I heard someone yelling splits.
Once I finished, I was so excited. Going sub 17 was a goal, but I didn't expect to reach it so early - I am beyond happy with this result!
I can't wait to see what the future holds for the rest of the postseason. For now, I'm concentrating on staying healthy and getting through one race at a time. Also, my team won the GWOC today which really added to my excitement!