PARKERSBURG - Kaylee Williams used the cool weather at the start of the News and Sentinel women's 2-mile Saturday morning to knock almost a minute off her winning time from last year to again finish ahead of everyone else in the 2012 race.
Williams, 16, of Vienna and a member of the Parkersburg High School cross country and track teams, captured her second straight 2-mile title in a time of 12:25.0, bettering her 13:22.89 mark from last year by just under 58 seconds.
It was Williams' fourth 2-mile event, but she ''was really surprised last year. I wasn't expecting to win. But since I did it last year, I wanted to try again, to defend my title I guess.''
2012: Start of two mile race
And defend it she certainly did, but when it came down to the end, ''it was definitely interesting because it was a close race,'' said Williams, who crossed the finish line just 2.2 seconds before Parkersburg South cross country runner April Kirk, 17, of Washington, W. Va., who was clocked at 12:27.2.
Rachel Morris, 16, of Parkersburg was third in 13:00.2 after coming in second in the women's 2-mile last year in 13:23.27.
Williams said Kirk ''is one of my friends, and she helped me a lot. She's really good and I figured she'd be up front, so I just was keeping an eye out, seeing how I would be able to do.''
Photo by Jeff Baughan
Kaylee Williams crosses the finish line to win the News and Sentinel women’s 2-mile title Saturday.
Williams explained she ''started out in the back, so had to do a lot of catching up, but I think April was leading for the most part.''
But ''once I realized what my placing was,'' she said, ''I tried to catch up, I'd say, in the last half-mile.''
A senior at PHS this fall, Williams is ''hoping to run in college. I'm not sure where I want to go yet, but it'd definitely be great if I could run cross country and track in college.''
She ''was really happy to win it (the 2-mile) again. I think that's great that I could win it two years in a row because there's guys who have won it five or six years in a row.''
And Williams thinks ''the temperature has a lot to do with how well you run because I personally can't run in the heat, it's exhausting and I get dehydrated. So I like running when it's not hot.''