Sonoma Academy's Rylee Bowen runs second-fastest mile among high school girls

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Sonoma Academy phenom Rylee Bowen ran the second-fastest mile in the nation this year for a female high schooler when she took home the gold medal last Friday at the 58th annual Mt. SAC Relays in Southern California.

Bowen, a sophomore, completed the distance in 4 minutes, 47.26 seconds. Only Caitlin Collier (4:46.63) in the Raleigh Relays in North Carolina has gone faster this season.

Bowen’s final time was a personal best and equates to a 4:45.60 for 1,600 meters.

Mt. SAC was the third meet record Bowen has set this year. The others were at the Texas Relays and Azusa Pacific, also in SoCal.

She is ranked No. 1 in America in the 3,200 meters and 2,000 steeplechase, No. 2 in the mile and No. 4 in the 1,600.

The victory at Mt. SAC earned Bowen a ticket to the prestigious Brooks Invitational in June. The race, to be decided in Renton, Wash., is limited to the eight fastest runners in the nation.

On Friday, Bowen let Amanda Gehrich set the early fractions in the mile and then outkicked her to the finish line. Gehrich’s time was 4:48.34.

Bowen was content to stay in sixth and seventh place early in the race.

“I caught up with the leader with about 200 yards to go,” she said. “Thankfully, I had enough to get past.”

Gehrich is a reigning California state champ.

On Saturday, Bowen competed in the 800 and settled for eighth place after tripping while making her move on the final lap.

“I caught up with the leaders with about 170 meters to go and then clipped heels with someone and almost went down. It was disappointing but the mile race made our weekend.

“These last few weeks have been completely unbelievable. Hopefully, there’s more like these to come.”

Bowen’s next meet is the Penn Relays in Philadelphia on April 29-30.

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