Another race, another record.
Mary Cain did it again Saturday night. After breaking the national high school girls indoor mile mark the previous Saturday, the 16-year-old Bronxville (N.Y.) junior demolished the national high school girls indoor 2-mile record in finishing third in the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix women's race at Roxbury Community College in Roxbury Crossing, Mass.
Her time of 9 minutes, 38.68 seconds was also faster than the outdoor record. She was just 4.65 seconds off the indoor world record for junior girls, the 9:34.03 Ethiopia's Meseret Defar ran in 2002.
Melody Fairchild's old indoor 2-mile mark of 9:55.92 had stood since 1991. Aisling Cuffe set the outdoor record of 9:54.22 in 2011.
Cain started the race next to one of the greatest women's distance runners in history, Tirunesh Dibaba. The three-time Olympic gold medalist from Ethiopia won in 9:13.17.
"It was a lot of fun," Cain told reporters. "It was cool having her next to me on the line. I was kind of laughing, saying, 'Oh my gosh, I'm competing with an Olympian for like two seconds.' It was really an honor."
Canada's Sheila Reid arrived second at 9:37.97, and then came Cain, having moved up from last.
Her mile record Jan. 26 at The Armory in the New Balance Games came in at 4:32.78. That broke the oldest national record in high school girls track. Debbie Heald had held it at 4:38.5 since 1972. Cain's time in that race was also faster than Polly Plumer's outdoor record of 4:35.24 set in 1982. Cain also reached the 1,500-meter mark at 4:16.11 to set the national high school girls and U.S. Junior girls indoor records.
Her season debut came last month, and she ran the fastest high school girls 3,000 ever at 9:02.12. Cain now runs unattached after leaving Bronxville's program in the fall to train with Alberto Salazar.
"I think she did great," Salazar said. "I told her to forget about the first couple of girls. Your job is to compete for second place. Not necessarily to win, but compete with those girls."
Cain will be competing on The Armory track Feb. 16 in the Women's Wanamaker Mile at the Millrose Games.