It was quite a three days for Kingsway graduate Kylie Anicic, who recorded a grueling triple distance win at the PSAC meet.
Anicic, a sophomore at NCAA Division 2 Edinboro in Northwestern Pennsylvania, won the 1,500, 5,000 and 10,000 at the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Championships at Biemsderfer Stadium at Millersville University from Thursday through Saturday.
Anicic got started Thursday with the 10,000, and she ran 36:48.38 and won by 120 meters over Marianne Abdalah of Slippery Rock, who was 2nd in 37:11.63.
Abdalah led through 7,600 meters with Anicic content to sit in second and wait. She inched into the lead on the 20th lap and then took off with 2,000 meters to go. After 18 consecutive laps between 1:27.77 and 1:31.35 she ran her 22nd lap in 1:22.11, losing Abdalah, building a and taking command of the race.
She built a 40-meter lead within the span of 600 meters and continued to press the pace, closing in 5:40.58 for her final mile.
The way the schedule fell, she didn’t race on Friday but had the 1,500 and 5,000 on Saturday less than 2 ½ hours apart.
The 1,500 was first, early in the afternoon, and she won comfortably in 4:37.92 over Sydney Wolf of Seton Hill, who was second in 4:39.42.
A modest early pace fell into Anicic’s hands, since the last thing you want to do when you’re tripling if you have the ability to sit and kick is run fast.
With two laps to go, 12 women were between 2:15 and 2:16.9, but Anicic stayed near the front and after a 75.92 she closed in 66.97 and won by eight meters. She ran her final 800 in 2:22.89.
After a quick rest and recovery, it was time for the 5,000, which started at about 3:05 p.m. – a little over two hours after the 1,500 ended.
With no additional races to rest for, Anicic took the lead earlier in the 5,000, moving past Hannah Smrcka on the fourth lap and staying in front the rest of the way, winning by 50 meters in 17:21.02. Smrcka was second in 17:30.98.
Anicic and Smrcka stayed together until four laps to go, when Anicic used a 83.91 to build a 15-meter lead. She gradually built on it, closing in 5:31.84, 2:44.16 and 80.49.
Anicic raced a total of 16,500 meters over the course of the meet, which is 10 ¼ miles. Factor in warm-ups, cool-downs and probably an easy shakeout run on Friday and that’s a lot of running and racing over a three-day period.
She scored 30 of Edinboro’s 63 points in the meet.
This was Anicic’s first season of outdoor track since 2019, when she was a freshman at Towson. She ran 5:07.11 and 11:09.09 at Kingsway, then briefly played soccer at Temple before transferring to Towson for track. She finally found a home at Edinboro last spring but was ineligible to compete until this past indoor season.
She won three events – the mile, 3,000 and 5,000 – at the PSAC indoor championships and also anchored the winning distance medley, so she’s now 7-for-7 in conference meets since arriving at Edinboro.
Anicic has PRs of 4:30.52 from a meet in Charlotte, N.C., in March; 16:39.84 from a meet in Morgantown, W. Va., in late April; and 34:37.31 from a meet in Lewisburg, Pa., in mid-April.
She’s ranked No. 11 in NCAA Division 2 in the 10,000 and will race in the NCAA Championships May 26-28 at Grand Valley State in Allendale, Mich.
I spent about 20 minutes trying to find an order of events to tell you what day the 10,000 is but it’s listed anywhere not on the horrible NCAA web site and the Grand Valley web site directs you to the horrible NCAA site, and a meet schedule apparently doesn’t exist, but if they use the same schedule as last year the 10,000 will be on May 26 around 8 p.m.