Flowers

Flower Mound breaks national record in girls 4×1-mile relay in indoor track

After a historic cross country season, Flower Mound senior Natalie Cook added a national record and a state record in track to her collection of national championships on Saturday.

Cook ran the anchor leg as Flower Mound broke the national record in the girls 4×1-mile relay at the New Balance Nationals Indoor in New York. Cook, who has signed with Oklahoma State, teamed up with sophomores Nicole Humphries and Samantha Humphries and freshman Alexandra Fox to run 19:37.78.

Cook ran a 4:43.72 anchor leg, according to RunnerSpace. How fast is that? The state record for 1,600 meters is 4:38.61 (a converted mile time), according to the Texas Track and Field Coaches Association.

Flower Mound’s record-breaking run came one day after Saratoga Springs (NY), running as the Kinetic Track Club, set a new national record of 19:49.10 in the 4×1-mile relay at the Nike Indoor Nationals, according to Texas MileSplit. Going into the weekend, the national record of 19:59.24 had stood since 2005.

The 4×1-mile relay isn’t run at traditional meets in Texas, so there are few opportunities for the state’s best to compete in the event.

Cook nearly broke another national record in winning the two-mile run in 9:44.44 at the New Balance meet. That is the second-fastest girls high school indoor time in national history, according to Texas MileSplit, trailing only the 9:38.68 run in 2013 by Mary Cain from New York.

Cook’s time would convert to 9:39.00 for 3,200 meters, according to the Texas Track and Field Coaches Association, and would be a new state record. It would surpass the converted two-mile time of 9:47.57 that was run indoors in 2021 by Denton Guyer’s Brynn Brown.

The state-meet records of 4:40.97 in the 1,600 and 9:58.77 in the 3,200 certainly seem within reach for Cook this spring.

Cook was named the Gatorade National Girls Cross Country Player of the Year this fall after winning national championships at the Eastbay Cross Country National Finals and Garmin RunningLane Cross Country Championships. Cook won the Class 6A state title by 56 seconds, ran a nation-leading five-kilometer time of 16:03.93 at the Garmin RunningLane meet and became the first girl from Texas to ever win the Eastbay (formerly Foot Locker) Cross Country National Finals .

No high school girl has ever won the two culminating national championship races in a single cross country season, according to Gatorade.

Cook has already started her outdoor track season, running 2:12.52 in the 800 and 4:44.70 in the 1,600 at the Coppell Relays. Samantha Humphries beat Cook in the 800 at that meet, winning with a time of 2:11.55. She also placed second behind Cook in the 1,600, running 4:54.24.

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