Kaylee Flanagan must have had a solid summer of training because she has come flying out the blocks this fall. This past weekend, Flanagan broke the course record for the girls three mile (previously 16:22) at the fabled Detweiller Park in Illinois with a time of 16:20.3.

This is not the first course record that Flanagan has taken down this fall. A week earlier, she ran 16:27.70 at the Harvy Braus Invitational to break the previous record set on the Lake Park course.

Already two for two, Flanagan is on pace for an Edward Cheserek-esque type of season. While course records may be rewarding, Flanagan’s ultimate goal should be to obtain All-American status at either Foot Locker Finals or Nike Cross Nationals this December.

A first Illinois state title for Lake Park High School wouldn't be bad either.

But championships races are some time away. They do not crown champions in September, but in December. If Flanagan is able to maintain her current form in a few months, she will be able to enjoy the fruits of her labor.

Flanagan, who is from Lake Park High School in Roselle, IL, is a very tough competitor. Morgan Uceny said it best when she told USATF after her 2012 Olympic Trials victory in the 1500m when she said, “I like making other people hurt, I like making other people hurt a lot...”

Perhaps Flanagan uses less of the “hurt” in her racing strategy and more of the “catch me if you can” mindset. At Lake Park, she went out in 5:09 for the mile and at Detweiller this past Saturday, she went out in 2:29 for 800m and 5:07 for the mile.

Flanagan's improvement can be marked by both an increase in mileage and consistent training. Lake Park XC coach told Flotrack, "We worked on consistency and running more miles.  She has increased her mileage from track and we have worked on tempo runs - trying to increase these and having Kaylee run at a consistent pace from the beginning.  She is a great athlete to work with as she only wants to keep improving and she also is very committed to the team improving."

Listed below are all of Flanagan’s race results from the 2011 cross country season.
 

Race

Place Time Date

Footlocker Finals

31 18:19.4 12/10/2011

NXN Nationals

18 18:20.0 12/3/2011

Footlocker Midwest

10 17:44.0 11/26/2011

NXN Midwest Region

4 18:37.8 11/13/2011

Illinois States-AAA

3 16:43.0 11/5/2011

IL 3A Niles West Sectional

2 17:10.39 10/29/2011

IL 3A Fenwick Regional

1 17:00.40 10/22/2011

Upstate Eight-Valley Division

1 17:31.00 10/15/2011

Wheaton North Falcon Classic

1 16:48.00 10/1/2011

Palatine Invite

1 16:51.3 9/24/2011

Richard Spring Invitational

1 16:44.00 9/17/2011

Lake Park Invitational

1 16:41.92 9/10/2011

Fenton Earlybird Invitational

1 17:31.00 9/3/2011


In any case, her current course records put her in good company.

The previous course records holder was high school All-American and now University of Iowa athlete Kayle Beattie. Beattie finished 12th at both FL and NXN during her 2010 senior year.

The past has also favored the Flanagan family in terms of cross country running. Kaylee’s sister, Lindsay, finished ninth at Foot Locker Finals and fifth at Nike Cross Nationals in 2008. Lindsay has found great success at the University of Washington as the Huskies placed second at the NCAA XC Championships this past year.

The younger Flanagan has the potential to capture the same double All-American awards as both Beattie and her sister Lindsay.

Coach May also reiterated the seasonal goals for Flanagan this fall. "Kaylee's goals for the season are to keep improving and keeping her 2nd and 3rd miles down.  At the beginning of the season she wanted to break 16:40 on the state course and just ran a 16:20.3, however, now she would like to break her own record at the state meet and come home with an individual state championship along with a team trophy.  Another goal is to work on the mental aspect of the sport, visualization before meets, and keep growing her confidence levels."

Flanagan should have the desire to achieve the same level of success (or higher) of her predecessor. George Santayana said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Kaylee Flanagan is not ignoring history, but is trying to make a mark of her own.