LEXINGTON - South Laurel High School senior Phoebe McCowan made it three in a row after closing out her high school career with her third straight 800-meter state title on Saturday in the Class AAA Track & Field State Championships at the University of Kentucky.
And just like she had done in her state meet record performance her freshman year in 2018, McCowan ran away from the field in her final individual race as a high school runner.
McCowan, who will be running her collegiate track at the University of Kentucky, gapped the field going into the gun lap en route to her 2:12.08 winning time – which was just a second off her state meet record clocking of 2:11.06 in 2018.
McCowan won her second 800 state title in 2019 with a 2:13.28 clocking. The COVID pandemic was the only think that kept her from winning four straight ‘two-lapper’ state titles.
“It is awesome to be able to run my senior year and I am very thankful and excited,” McCowan stated.
“I am just super thankful to be able to compete whether I won a state championship or not. I love being out here on the track competing with all these girls and it has made my senior year a lot better.”
Also, for the second straight state meet, McCowan turned in a state runner-up finish in the 1600-meter run with a 5:02.83 clocking.
With the heat index soaring into the 90’s, McCowan was concerned that running in the 1600 might affect how she did in the 800-meter race.
“Running in the mile affected me and it affected everybody else,” McCowan stated. “This heat is something that takes everything out of you and you have to just push through it. I know everyone else was experiencing the same thing I was, so I just tried to do my best.”
“This was my last high school race and I wanted to give everything I had,” McCowan stated.
McCowan, who ran one of the state’s fastest 400-meter times this season, anchored her Lady Cardinals 1600-meter relay team to a fifth place finish. McCowan was one of the meet’s top scorers with 19 points.
“I wanted my relay team to do well, and I know we could do well,” McCowan exclaimed. “We have an awesome group of girls.”