Cross-country: Julia Stamps Mallon’s daughter Ashlin emerging as top middle school runner
While Hanne Thomsen has been making headlines as the next great female distance runner from Sonoma County, she may have some competition coming up through the local youth ranks.
Ashlin Mallon, the 13-year-old daughter of three-time national cross-country champion Julia Stamps Mallon, has erupted onto the scene this past year.
The eighth-grader at Rincon Valley Middle School has put up some historic times this fall, most recently in a fourth-place finish at the AAU National Cross-Country Championships in at the University of Tennessee last weekend.
Mallon, wearing one of her mom’s United States national team uniforms, finished fourth for her age group and fifth overall for both 13- and 14-year-olds in a field chock full of some of the country’s elite youth runners.
“Just understanding the sport fairly well, we’ve just been really careful with her about how much she does right now,” Stamps Mallon said. “She swims a ton, so she doesn’t have to run as much. But she absolutely loves it and it’s been really fun seeing that she kind of has that thing that you really need in running, that really drives you.”
A prep star at Santa Rosa High in the 1990s, Stamps Mallon went on to run for Stanford, where she was a six-time All-American.
Last weekend was just the latest of a growing list of accomplishments her daughter achieved this season.
Last month, Ashlin Mallon won the inaugural USATF National Youth 5K Championship in New York, running a time of 18 minutes, 24 seconds on a hilly course in Central Park. That time would rank second this past high school season in the Redwood Empire behind only Thomsen, according to Redwoodempirerunning.com.
Weeks later, she won a USATF Regional Junior Olympic Championship in Folsom, earning a spot in this weekend’s USATF National Championship in College Station, Texas.
During the regular middle school season for RVMS, Mallon finished first out of 720 runners at the Mt. Sac Invitational, finishing the two-mile course in 11:42. She also broke the 12-minute mark on Spring Lake’s two-mile course twice in October, most recently running an 11:34 at the Sonoma County middle school championships.
When comparing that time to all-time freshman records, it would rank No. 4 in Redwood Empire history, sandwiched between Thomsen (11:21) and Sara Bei Hall (11:38).
This is only Mallon’s second season of competitive running and her limited training only features a handful of miles every week. Stamps Mallon said she’s sometimes been “shocked” with some of her daughter’s results given her lack of training and added that she’s excited for what her daughter will do if/when she does start to seriously practice.
“It’s been really, really fun,” Stamps Mallon said. “She truly, truly, truly loves running, and I think for me, as long as I know that that’s the case, then it’s really up to her with how far she wants to take it.”
Only time will tell where her talents will take her, but if this past season was any indication, she’ll be a runner to watch in Sonoma County in the coming years.
You can reach Staff Writer Gus Morris at 707-304-9372 or email@example.com. On Twitter @JustGusPD.
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