Manassas Journal Messenger 02-16-01


Milot making her run at regional meet


Brian Hunsicker



MANASSAS – A time like 5:17 might not mean much to most people.

Maybe it’s the time they have dinner, maybe it’s the time they get home

from work.

But for Stonewall Jackson freshman Kristen Milot, the time – not as

a moment in a day, but as five minutes and 17 seconds – was a source of


That’s the time needed to qualify for the 3,200-meter run in the state

AAA indoor track and field meet. And when Milot’s indoor season started,

she admits that she was a long way from a time like that.

“I remember we first looked at the qualifying times for regionals,”

Milot said. “And they were so fast. I was like, ‘Five-thirty, wow!’

And then for states it was 5:17 to qualify. And I’m a lot closer to there

than I originally thought I’d be.”

Even if she doesn’t break 5:17, she still has a chance to qualify for

states. All she has to do is finish in the top six at the Northwest Regional

meet, and she’s in. The regional starts this Saturday at VMI, when Milot

will be running the 1,600, in addition to the two-mile.

Milot said that when her indoor season began, she was disappointed to

see her times were closer to six minutes than to the state-qualifying standard.

But a strong work ethic and some changes in her technique helped bring down

her time.

A good dose of talent didn’t hurt, either.

“Especially at her age, we’re trying to find where she is,”

said Raiders’ head coach Beth Moss. “She keeps improving so much, eventually

she’s going to get to a point where she’ll probably plateau. Things will

even out. But with her, it’s like there’s no end. Every race there’s something

new and exciting.

“Normally, I don’t really start shoving form techniques into them

until their sophomore or junior year, because I just want them to get comfortable

running, and a lot of times, things correct themselves over time. After

they’ve run a couple seasons, they naturally correct the problems that they


“But with her, she’s such a great runner, you’ve got to find things

to do to help her improve in every component. She was right behind [Gar-Field

district champ] Dionne Evans, [so] I’ve got to work on things like form

with her.”

Those things were arm technique. Keeping the arms close to the body

and in controlled movements are what runners, whether they’re sprinting

or jogging a mile, strive for.

Milot’s times kept dropping through the season, although she didn’t

have much of a chance to run outside of practice. Limited to invitational

meets that are usually relay-only, one of the first chances Milot had to

run against different people came in the informal meets with Stonewall,

Osbourn, Osbourn Park and Brentsville.

Those meets helped, but for Milot, they usually ended in a victory.

The Cardinal District meet, she said, was another story altogether.

“When we went to districts, there were so many more people, especially

in the two-mile,” Milot explained.

Not surprisingly, Evans won both the 1,600 and 3,200 at the Cardinal

District meet two weeks ago. Milot, however, finished second in both races:

she was two-tenths of a second behind Evans in the mile, and two and a half

seconds behind Evans in the two-mile.

“I was a lot closer to Dionne than I thought I would be,”

Milot said.

Along the way, Milot hasn’t taken her talent for granted. She works

at practice each day, and that work ethic is important, according to the

coach. “Anything that she can do to improve herself, she does,”

said Moss. “She’s extremely positive, and she’s at practice every day.

If she has to make up work, she does that and immediately comes to practice.”

Now, heading into regionals, Milot is again dealing with thoughts of

what it will be like, just like she did heading into the district meet.

Those thoughts, she acknowledges, have been consuming her. “Yeah, I’m

really nervous,” she said. “It’s all I think about.

“I think if I run the same race I did at districts, there’s a definite

chance I can do it. And I know that I want to do it, and I won’t give up.

If I don’t do it, it’s not because of a lack of trying, because I’ve tried

so hard. And I think it’s definitely doable.”

Even if a trip to the state meet isn’t in the cards this year, she’s

a freshman; she’ll have three more shots at states – and that’s just in

the indoor season. “She may get to states based on coming in the top

six at regionals,” Moss said, “and I see no reason why she can’t

do that.

“But I think next year, the following year, she’ll get the qualifying

time and she won’t have to be so stressed about, ‘Am I going to come in

top six at districts and regionals?’ She can do it.”



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