Pike distance phenom Stanhope excels in rookie season with Red Devils

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Elizabeth Stanhope isn’t just surprising the track and field community, she’s also surprised herself.

“Well, I just didn’t know I’d be able to run this fast really,” the Pike High School junior said with a humble smile.

Before joining the Pike program this season, Stanhope had been exclusively home-schooled, only competing in some track meets with a team of fellow home-schooled athletes.

“We kind of just wanted to be able to run state and just have more competition that’s really why we decided to,” Stanhope said. “With the home school group we were running against other schools but it was smaller schools and we wanted to have better competition.”

With immense raw talent and a hunger for more competition, Stanhope enrolled and started training with the Red Devils, finding immediate success, clocking 2:10 in the 800m at sectional, the sixth fastest 800m in state history.

“With the home school team, I ran 2:25 I think for the 800, so I guess I dropped that a lot,” Stanhope said.

“She has some God-given gifts but she’s improved in her understanding of how to race and that piece of it, but then I also just think her work ethic sets her apart,” Pike girls’ distance coach Courtney Bishop said. “I feel like she’s a 2:05 half miler.”

Coming off her runner-up performance in the 800m at the state meet, Stanhope will run in just her fifth mile ever on Thursday where she’ll toe the line against a competitive field of elites that includes collegiate and professional distance runners in the Monumental Mile.

“She loves running with people, which she didn’t get to do a lot of this year, she was out front in a lot of races so just stay with that lead pack and see what you can do,” Pike girls’ distance coach Lance Garvin said of her strategy on Thursday.

With her first summer of training and cross country season on the horizon, what she can do is only beginning to be seen.

The Monumental Mile offers a variety of races for runners of all ages and abilities. For more information or to register, click here.

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