G-A's Parks wins national mile title

Ben Destefan news@echo-pilot.com
Greencastle-Antrim's Taryn Parks poses with her two PIAA gold medals last spring after winning back-to-back state championships in the girls' mile run during the varsity outdoor track and field season. Sunday, Parks won the girls' indoor mile at the New Balance Nationals in New York City. BOB STOLER/FOR ECHO PILOT

The rivalry between Greencastle-Antrim's Taryn Parks and Northern York's Marlee Starliper has dominated the regional girls' running scene for the last few years.

On Sunday, the two sensational juniors dueled on a national stage, competing to a photo finish at the New Balance Nationals Indoor held at the Armory in New York City.

Ultimately, Parks edged Starliper at the line to win the girls' high school mile run championship, earning a national indoor track and field title in her signature event.

Parks' winning time of 4:39.045 is the fastest in Pennsylvania history, according to PennTrack XC. Starliper's 4:39.048 serves as a very close second.

Starliper and Parks moved into first and second, respectively, with three laps to go Sunday (the indoor mile consists of eight laps). Starliper stretched her advantage with one lap remaining before a blistering surge by Parks erased the cushion down the stretch. The two actually bumped and dove across the finish line in what looked every bit of a dead heat. When the final official times were recorded, Parks won by three one-thousandths of a second.

A video of the race can be found online under the "video" tab at:


Last month, Parks won both the mile and 800-meter run at the Pennsylvania Track and Field Coaches Association Indoor State Championships hosted by Penn State University. There, Starliper did not compete, electing to run in a different meet.

The two rekindled their friendly rivalry on Sunday, adding a thrilling chapter to set the stage for the upcoming outdoor varsity season.

Parks enters as the defending back-to-back state champion in the outdoor mile.

If her recent indoor campaign is any indication, she certainly appears primed for a three-peat.

Parks also has a trio of PIAA medals in her trophy case from cross country, including a gold, silver and bronze.