I've talked a lot lately on this board about being "Team Alexa" in the imaginary battle between Efraimson and the peerless (in her age group) Mary Cain.
I'm ready to admit I was wrong. Mary Cain is, right now at least, the far superior runner. That's not to say anything bad about Alexa, because do you know how crazy it is for a high school JUNIOR to be running at a senior USA Championships?! Plus 4:07 speaks for itself. I think next year she might be able to get near Mary Cain's times from last year/this year.
I think a lot of the reason that I was a big Alexa supporter, as I've noted elsewhere, is that I was not following the sport closely last year, which was "The Year of Cain." I wasn't running at the time, and hadn't followed track/running closely for at least 5-8 years, so I wasn't really aware of who Mary was, only that she had run great times once I started getting back into it this year.
So Alexa was the "runner of the moment," although I now realize this was largely because she was still following a traditional high school schedule, largely peaking in June, whereas Mary has pretty much completely bypass high school by this time (would her times this summer count as HS records?) in her career, peaking in August for the European races (and hopefully peaking for World Juniors in Eugene).
Seeing Mary win a solid silver medal against the best American middle distance miler right now, Jenny Simpson (who is positively world-class, given her 3:58 earlier this year), in a final that Alexa didn't make, made me realize just how badass Mary Cain is. She didn't even look like she was killing herself out there to get that 4:06. That's her second best time ever, right? Probably worth around 4:25 or something for a mile? She beat Alexa's PR in a championship.
Needless to say, I'm impressed by Mary and will keep rooting for her this summer. Hopefully she can get close to sub-4 this summer. Can you imagine 3:59 for a HS runner? That HAS to be more impressive than Webb' 3:53 (hell, any men's distance record?!).
Anyways, I still am hardcore supporting Alexa and can't wait to see what she does the rest of this summer, at World Juniors, and through the coming year. Does everyone think she'll repeat her win at NXN? Will she be untouchable next year?