Athletics News – News – Irene Riggs Finds Way To Another Big Win In Nike Indoor Nationals Mile - News - Irene Riggs Finds Way To Another Big Win In Nike Indoor Nationals Mile

West Virginia Standout Pushes Hard Enough To Take Sting Out Of Sophia Gorriaran’s Kick At The Armory; Hoover AL Girls Win Three Sprint Relays

By Doug Binder, DyeStat Editor

John Nepolitan photos

NEW YORK — Irene Riggs carefully chose her spot to enter a busy weekend of high school indoor track and field. One spot, one race. 

The Nike Cross Nationals winner and member of the bronze-medal winning U.S. U20 national cross country team picked the The Armory and the mile, an event she hasn’t raced since 2022, and won. 

“I was worried that the race was going to be painful, but actually it was so fun,” Riggs said after running 4:38.23 for the fastest time in the country this year. 

The race delivered one of the biggest highlights of the weekend for Nike Indoor Nationals as the NSAF-organized meet moved back into The Armory for the first time since 2019. 


Riggs was joined by fellow U.S. cross country teammates Karrie Baloga of Cornwall Central NY and Zariel Macchia of William Floyd NY.

Wayzata MN’s Abbey Nechanicky, Park Tudor’s Sophia Kennedy and Saturday’s 800-meter champion Sophia Gorriaran of Moses Brown RI gave the race even more contenders.

Gorriaran ran a US#1 time of 4:37.54 last December and was seeking a difficult weekend double. And everybody knew she could not be outkicked. 

Riggs and Baloga, the Champs Sports Cross Country champion, ran up front and Gorriaran tailed them, waiting to make her move. 

Riggs strung together laps of 35 seconds and then closed faster than anyone, in 31.90. 

“My coach told me to take it out pretty hard and through the 800 I felt pretty relaxed,” Riggs said. “In the back half I had to start picking it up because if I let it come down to a kick, I’m not going to win.”

Baloga remained connected the longest and closed in 33.4 to finish in 4:39.96. 

In the boys mile that started slow, Knox Young from Greenville SC closed in 59.5 over his final 400 meters to win in 4:11.49. Will Heslam from Roosevelt OR moved from 12th to second in the final two laps and took second in 4:13.19. 

There was a West Coast flavor to the sprints, where Mia Brahe-Pedersen, a junior from the Inner Circle Track Club (Lake Oswego High) won the 60 dash and led her best friend and club teammate, Sophia Beckmon, to a 1-2 finish in the 200. 

Brahe-Pedersen ran 7.37 to win the 60 meters and then came back to defend her Nike Indoor Nationals 200 title in 23.35. Beckmon, from Oregon City…

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