Tue, June 25

Aftershocks' Arellano holds her own at Mesa Classic

Arellano poses for a photo after her performance at the Mesa Classic. (Courtesy Photo)

Arellano poses for a photo after her performance at the Mesa Classic. (Courtesy Photo)

MESA - In a track meet highlighted by collegiate athletes, Aftershock Distance runner Allyson Arellano showed that she can succeed at all distances, turning in great performances in both the 800 meter race and the 1500 meter race. Aftershock Head Coach Micah Swenson said they have been trying to focus on these two events and the 3000 meter race for track season.

"The last several years, she's run in the 5000m at this meet, but with all the 5K racing we do in Cross Country, we've decided to let this track season focus on the 800, 1500, and 3000m," Swenson said.

Arellano, competing against mainly college athletes, set a new personal best, by .77 seconds in the 800 meter race with a clocking of 2:18.25, earning herself a 15th place finish. Titania Markland, a junior from Minnesota, took home the top spot in the event with a time of 2:08.52. So far in their track season, Swenson said Arellano hasn't had too much luck with the weather and structure of the event.

"Friday night wasn't the most ideal with wind and a waterfall start rather than a 1-turn stagger, but she was able to overcome it and still race to a new personal best of 2:18.25," Swenson said. "It was very congested and physical over the opening 300 meters. A lot of athletes were elbowing and jockeying for position. Ally was able to remain controlled but assertive, never compromising her position on the track."

After a physical race, Arellano had a quick turnaround time at the Mesa Classic and had only two hours to recover before running in the 1500 meter event. Swenson said his junior runner was feeling pretty "decent" on her way to pulling off a successful double.

"They had 20 athletes on the track for the 1500 meter race, so space was very limited and at a premium," Swenson said. "For the opening half of the race, several athletes were out in lane 3 on the straightaways. Allyson was again able to maintain a really consistent tempo in large part because she stayed in the mix near the front and made some savvy moves at key moments."

She took home a 4th place finish with a time of 4:45.70, just six seconds off the pace of New Mexico State sophomore Cristina Amberg, who won the event with a clocking of 4:39.11. Swenson said they are shooting for the USATF age group record, which is 4:44.

---Follow Sports Reporter Greg Macafee on Twitter @greg_macafee or you can reach him at, 928-300-1376