The Oregon and Washington Track Finals are going on this weekend. The best of the best are all going to be there have earned their way to the top. All of them that is but two. By now most people know that the incredible Thomas Tyner of Aloha High School (OR) is out for the year with a nagging hamstring injury that has hobbled him for much of the year. So he will miss this years finals at Hayward Field in Eugene to defend his State Records.
But another sprinter is going to miss out this year as well and she is even a hotter track prospect then Tyner. That would be Nationally Ranked Seattle area sprinter Hannah Cunliffe. No Track and Field insider has missed this as they all know the story. But for the rest of us it is worth noting that the fastest girl in the entire Region will not be out there.
If she was she would now doubt be atop the podium raking in the Medals. Maybe next year for that.
We interviewed Hannah yesterday and are working on an in depth story on her and her amazing skills but felt we needed to mention her absence. Not to detract from what others are doing but rather to celebrate her as one of the many terrific athletes the Region is producing.
Just 15 years old Hannah is home schooling this season and due to differences with her Track Coaches is just competing privately. Something not that uncommon for Nationally ranked Track athletes. The Sophomore is currently rated #3 in the Nation for the 100 Meters and is in the top 15 in the Nation for the 200 Meters.
Her 100 Meter PR is 11.72 and her 200 Meters a blazing 23.91. Both would be the fastest times in the State of Washington going into this weekend. The favorite this weekend is Junior Kennadi Bouyer of Curtis who is holding a PR of 11.84 in the 100 M and 24.78 in the 200 meters. Times that are also very fast by National standards.
But things could change and next year these two may be headed for a blazing showdown as Hannah has applied to Seattle Prep and hopes to enroll there in the Fall where she would compete for the school.
By now most people are also aware of her Father Mike Cunliffe who is a Track coach and who is developing some of the fastest kids in the Country. Going into the weekend his Seattle Speed Track Club has several athletes competing and they include #1 Ranked Tatum Taylor of O'Dea and #5 Ranked David Fan of Shorewood High School.
"Coach-Mike" as she calls her Dad is gaining a reputation as a master technician and skills coach for any athlete trying to gain that elite speed and he is also a great motivator.
"He is the best at that. Getting the most out of all of us is what I give him really high marks for. He can be tough but he is honest with you as an athlete. He explains where you are at, where you can get to, and how to get there and then holds you accountable for making it happen," said Hannah as we spoke at length by phone.
Is she missing out on the weekends events?
"Yes I really want to be there competing but this year I will just be there supporting all the athletes…all of my friends," said the young lady with Olympic hopes.
Look for more on her emerging story this week at WashingtonPreps.com as we go in depth with her on her plans for the future and her life in general. It is sure an intriguing story.