She didn’t just break it, she shattered it. At the Seaholm girl’s track league meet, sophomore Audrey Belf broke the Seaholm 1,600 meter record by over three seconds.
Belf’s 4:56 time was enough to put her in the record books, replacing the previous holder Michelle Bues (4:59.7) from 1984. Belf finished first in the race, helping to give the Maples a lengthy lead over their competition. Seaholm finished first with a score of 175, second place Groves finished with a distant 103.
In girl’s track, breaking 5 minutes is an impressive achievement and Belf’s performance puts her in an elite group of runners.
“It’s quite an accomplishment,” girl’s varsity track head coach Jeff Devantier said. “You’re in a different league when you’re running under five minutes”
This record adds to her lists of accomplishments so far this year. On March 10, in Armory New York, Belf placed third at the New Balance Indoor Nationals Competition in the 2 mile (10:22.46), breaking the national sophomore record, and fourth in the 3,000 meter (9:43.98).
Belf credits part of her success at the national race to the high level of competition.
“(The competition) was really good and I don’t think I could have done it without the competition at the meet, because you really can’t slow down,” Belf said.
She even surprised herself with her top three finish at the race.
“I was trying to get sixth place, but I got caught up in the pack and I wasn’t going to quit at the end,” Belf said.
It is this determination and desire that makes Belf such a strong competitor. According to her mother, Stephanie Belf, it is Audrey’s work ethic that allows for her success on the track.
“She is such a hard worker, setting goals with herself, always pushing hard,” Stephanie Belf said. “She is never satisfied. The goals and disciplines she uses for running also translate to her schoolwork, and every endeavor she gets into she gives it her all.”
Belf’s relentlessly fast pace makes her a tough opponent to keep up with in any long race. She specializes in long distance and was a leading runner for the Division 2 state champion Maple cross country team this past fall.
“She’s incredibly effective with pacing, she is very even paced and goes out hard,” Devantier said. “You’ve got to be able to handle her pace, if not, she’s going to be hard to beat.”
She’s not done yet. Belf is competing in the New Balance outdoor National competition running the 3,000 and 5,000 meter as well as the USTAF (United States Track and Field) Junior Nationals over the summer.
Belf said she is looking forward to the level of skill this competition will bring and testing herself against it.
“I don’t know, I feel that with such great competition I will be able to push myself even further,” she said. “And I never have run these events before so I will have a personal best in both.”
Just a sophomore, this runner’s track and cross country future looks bright. Both Belf and Devantier have very high expectations.
“(I want to) to run in more national competitions, hopefully get an opportunity to run in college and I want to break 10:00 in the 2 mile,” Belf said.
“I think she will continue to improve because she has a lot of what I would consider to be tenacity, she’s just one of those really fierce competitors who absolutely loves to compete,” Devantier said.
Although Belf will continue to push herself and drop times, her accomplishments are already something to be very proud of.