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Shaler’s Schwartz sprints to record finish

Shaler junior Brianna Schwartz sprinted across the Baldwin Invitational finish line Friday night and shattered the all-time WPIAL record in the 3,200 meters by almost 15 seconds.

Schwartz finished in 10:10.03. The previous best was 10:25.7 by Baldwin’s Carole Zajac in 1990.

“I knew the record was 10:25, so I think anything under that I would have been happy with,” said Schwartz, who doesn’t typically run the 3,200. “My coach told me to go out at a pretty fast pace just to make sure I had the time that I wanted. I went out way faster than I finished, but I was able to get a good time.”

Schwartz already owned WPIAL records in the 800 and 1,600 meters, the events she’ll run at the WPIAL championship. She skipped those Friday to run the 3,200, wanting to see how she could do fully rested.

“It’s a different race because it’s more strength and you just have to stay relaxed,” said Schwartz, who was aiming for 10:15 but bettered her own expectations.

Zajac, a WPIAL Hall of Fame distance runner, won four NCAA championships (two cross country, two in the 10,000 meters) at Villanova. Schwartz, who broke Zajac’s WPIAL record in the 1,600 last spring, is building her own legacy for younger runners to break.
“It’s really cool,” Schwartz said, ”to think that they’re going to look at my name and strive to beat my record.”

–Chris Harlan

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