With the 2022 Texas high school track and field state championships taking center stage this weekend in Austin (May 12-14), SBLive is highlighting the top boys and girls track and field athletes in the state.
Earlier we took a look at the top girls sprinters in the state. Now we turn our attention to the top girls distance runners.
There are hundreds of outstanding distance runners in Texas, and these lists are not intended to be comprehensive. Tag us on Twitter or Instagram @SBLiveTX and let us know about other distance runners worthy of fans’ attention.
TOP 20 GIRLS DISTANCE RUNNERS IN TEXAS HIGH SCHOOL TRACK
(The list is in alphabetical order)
Abi Bass, Jr., Melissa
Personal bests: 1600, 4:59.46; 3200, 10:43.26
Bass came into the track season fresh off winning her first UIL 4A state cross country title in a course-record time, and she hopes to finish it with state titles in the 1,600 and 3,200 after posting the top qualifying times while winning the Region II titles. She finished second in the 3,200 and third in the 1,600 at state last spring.
Sasha Crawford, Jr., Keller
Personal bests: 400, 57.01; 800, 2:10.76
Crawford qualified for the UIL 6A state meet for the first time, needing a wild card to make the field in the 800 after placing third in a deep field at the Region I meet.
Isabel Conde de Frankenberg, So., Cedar Park
Personal bests: 800, 2:06.53; 1600, 4:49.31; 3200, 10:31.22
Conde de Frankenburg won a UIL 5A state cross country title and 3,200 state title as a freshman while also placing second in the 800. This fall, she took third at the state cross country meet. Last week, she ran the fifth-fastest 800 time in state history as part of her sweep of the Region IV distance titles. Now, she’ll look to make history again in two weeks when she tries to become the first 5A girl to win the 800, 1,600 and 3,200 at the same state meet — she comes in as the top seed in all three.
Natalie Cook, Sr., Lewisville Flower Mound
Personal bests: 1600, 4:36.96; 3200, 9:52.45
Cook might just be the best high school distance runner in the country. The Oklahoma State signee followed up her UIL 6A cross country title in the fall by becoming the first girl ever to win the national double of the Garmin RunningLane Championships and Eastbay Championships. She set a state record in the 3,200 in winning the Area 5-6 title, then broke the 1,600 state record to win the Region I title. She’ll run both in two weeks at state looking for her first title on the track — she placed second in the 3,200 and third in the 1,600 as a freshman, then took fourth in the 3,200 as a junior.
Emily Ellis, Jr., Bridgeland
Personal bests: 800, 2:15.39; 1600, 5:03.22; 3200, 10:38.04
Ellis qualified for the UIL 6A state meet in all three distances last spring, finishing sixth in the 3,200, seventh in the 800 and eighth in the 1,600 as a sophomore. This spring, she only advanced in the 3,200 after winning the Region II title last weekend.
Alexandra Fox, Fr., Lewisville Flower Mound
Personal bests: 800, 2:17.69; 1600, 4:57.94; 3200, 10:30.58
The fourth member of the Jaguars dynamic distance corps focused on the 3,200 for the postseason, running a personal-best and grabbing a wild card to the UIL 6A state meet with her third-place finish at the Region I meet.
Anastacia Gonzales, Sr., Boerne Champion
Personal bests: 800, 2:09.33; 1600, 4:47.66; 3200, 10:46.69
Gonzales hopes to defend her UIL 5A state title in the 1,600 and improve upon her third-place finish in the 800 in two weeks’ time before she heads to the University of Arkansas in the fall. She also qualified for state in the 3,200 after narrowly missing out on a medal at the state cross country meet in the fall with an 11th-place finish.
Taytum Goodman, So., Springlake-Earth
Personal bests: 400, 59.48; 800, 2:16.67; 1600, 5:06.78
Goodman is one of the top middle distance runners at the smaller classifications. She won UIL 1A state titles in the 800 and 1,600 last spring while placing third in the 400, and she won Region I titles in the 800 and 1,600 and qualified for state in the 400 last weekend. She also has won back-to-back 1A state cross country championships.
Nicole Humphries, So., Lewisville Flower Mound
Personal bests: 800, 2:08.30; 1600, 4:49.73
Nicole and twin sister Samantha have pushed each other in the middle distances all spring after Nicole had the faster start to her career, winning a UIL 6A Region I title in the 800 as a freshman and placing fifth at state. She didn’t make it out of regional in the 800 this spring but will toe the line in the 1,600 after a runner-up finish behind teammate Natalie Cook during her state-record run.
Samantha Humphries, So., Lewisville Flower Mound
Personal bests: 800, 2:09.56; 1600, 4:57.91; 3200, 10:28.39
Humphries could not have had a better mentor during her first two seasons than teammate and state record-holder Natalie Cook. She qualified for the UIL 6A state meet in all three distance races with a pair of second-place finishes at the Region I meet (800, 3,200) while earning a wild card in the 1,600.
Katarzyna Kwiatkowski, Sr., Episcopal
Personal bests: 400, 57.04; 800, 2:09.46; 1600, 4:55.31; 3200, 11:03.19
Kwiatkowski won her third consecutive Southwest Preparatory Conference championships in the 800 and 1,600 last week while adding a runner-up finish in the 400 to her resumé. The University of Texas signee was runner-up in the 800 at the TTFCA Meet of Champions last spring.
Kailey Littlefield, So., Lucas Lovejoy
Personal bests: 800, 2:07.50; 3200, 11:28.21
If there’s anyone capable of derailing Isabel Conde de Frankenberg’s bid at sweeping the UIL 5A distance titles at the state meet, it might be Littlefield, who looks to defend the 800 state title she won as a freshman. She won Region II titles in the 800 and 1,600 last week and has a pair of top-10 finishes at the state cross country meet under her belt.
Allie Love, So., Colleyville Heritage
Personal bests: 800, 2:14.09; 1600, 4:55.73; 3200, 10:34.98
Love is both an outstanding distance runner and soccer player. Last spring, she focused on track, where she finished second at the UIL 5A state meet in the 1,600 and 3,200. However, after posting a second-place finish at the 5A state cross country championships in the fall, she turned her focus to the soccer pitch, where this spring, she was second-team TASCO all-state and co-District 6 offensive player of the year after scoring 40 goals.
Cameron McConnell, Sr., Randall
Personal bests: 800, 2:09.18; 1600, 4:53.29; 3200, 10:45.27
McConnell transferred to Randall over the summer from Cherokee Trail in Aurora, Colo,, where she took second in the 1,600 and third in the 800 last spring. The Oklahoma State signee won the UIL 5A state cross country title in the fall and took home Region I titles in the 800 and 1,600 last week.
Aubrey O’Connell, Sr., Prosper
Personal bests: 800, 2:08.52; 1600, 4:49.09; 3200, 10:24.30
The Oklahoma State signee has medaled four times at the UIL 6A state championships during her career — sixth in the 1,600 as a freshman, and winning the 800 title last spring as a junior to go with another sixth in the 1,600 and fifth in 3,200. O’Connell will have only the 800 to go after this final go-round after going out in the 1,600 at regionals — she won the Region I title in the 800 and has the top seed for state.
Emma Rodriguez-Wade, Fr., Cedar Park Vista Ridge
Personal bests: 1600, 4:55.65; 3200, 11:00.13
Rodriguez-Wade is coming on strong to close out her first high school season. She broke 5 minutes for the first time in winning the UIL 6A Region IV title in the 1,600, and she missed breaking 11 minutes in the 3,200 by 13-hundredths of a second. She qualified for state in both races.
Hannah Spears, Sr., Holliday
Personal bests: 800, 2:16.42; 1600, 4:57.91; 3200, 10:57.56
The Texas Tech commit has had a strong 12-month period, starting last May when she won UIL 3A state titles in the 1,600 and 3,200. She followed that up in November by winning the 3A state cross country title — her third podium finish in her career — and now she heads to the state meet in two weeks as an overwhelming favorite to repeat as state champion in both events.
Margaret Thompson, So., Hockaday
Personal bests: 800, 2:17.89; 1600, 4:57.75; 3200, 10:58.18
Thompson won her second 3,200 title at the Southwest Preparatory Championships last weekend while finishing second in the 1,600. She also won the SPC cross country title in the fall. Thompson could also have a future as a steeplechaser — she won the 2K at the Clyde Littlefield Relays.
Micaela Villarreal, Fr., Antonian College Prep
Personal bests: 1600, 5:00.18; 3200, 10:57.53
Villarreal heads to the TAPPS 6A state championships as the top seed in both the 1,600 and 3,200 after winning the South Regional titles last weekend. In the fall, she was runner-up at the TAPPS 6A state cross country championships and took fourth at the USATF National Junior Olympic Championships in the 15-16 age division.
Abree Winfrey, Jr., Canyon
Personal bests: 800, 2:10.72; 300 hurdles, 44.34
Winfrey might do the most unique double on the track, winning UIL 4A state titles in the 800 and 300 hurdles last spring while anchoring the Eagles 4×400 relay to a second-place finish. She won the Region I titles in both races last week and will take the No. 3 seed to state in each.