As each of the five laps went by, her lead grew larger and larger. Ballowe, a sophomore, raised her arms in victory by the time she crossed the finish line, clocking in at 2:57.22. It’s her third win (in three tries) in the 1,000 in the St. Christopher’s field house this season, and it ranks as the fourth-best time in Virginia.
“It was a goal she had worked so hard for,” said Judith Isbell, the distance coach for St. Catherine’s. “She was relieved, and she was proud she was able to achieve it.”
Ballowe broke out during indoor season last year, when she won a thrilling 1,000 race at the indoor LIS meet over two of the state’s best seniors, then finished third behind them in the 1,600.
While she does field hockey in the fall — as 2015 graduate Libby Parrish did for three years — she dedicated herself to working out with the cross country team during the summer and keeping up mileage on her own time through the fall.
Many of her best races in her freshman year revealed an aggressive nature that allowed her to stick around with more experienced runners. This year, she hasn’t held back at all, even while out in front.
“She wanted to break three minutes. … She knew what she needed to get, and nothing was going to stop her,” said Isbell.