I thought it was obvious that I wasn't criticizing Tuohy, her coach, or the idea that runners can train like beasts in high school and be great forever -- which I believe is true.
I was criticizing the obsession with relentless linear progress propogated by many, including many on this thread, most notably rojo. I believe that runners like the great pros I cited have suffered from lack of patience.
I think Tuohy is a stud and will stay that way. I wouldn't dream of criticizing her approach to training and racing based on anything I've seen so far.
I don't think running is always linear. When someone has a huge breakthrough year, I always say, "Hey it's really hard to top that as people tend to forget everything went right the year before."
That being said, the reality is most HSers ( particularly boys) are going to improve a ton each year assuming they don't get hurt. As a) you are getting naturally stronger and b) you are generally training more each year.
Now if someone is already training at a high level and physically developed than a pause in PRs can be more likely to occur.
I'm not saying she's finished. All I said is as a fan of the sport and having watched Cain, Efraimson, and even Candace Hill in recent years that this makes me nervous.
Now we don't know all of the story. If there is an an illness or injury, then I'd be less nervous.
The issue isn't burnout - it's female development. We almost should ignore amazing times before 11th grade.