Cayla Hatton debuts over 10,000m: 33:17.28 (2nd fastest Prep time), courtesy of Doug Binder/Espn.go.com, note by Larry Eder

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If you want an uplifting story about a young runner who perseveres over misdiagnosed injuries, regains her fitness and, in her debut, runs faster than all but one American women prepster, then, please, dear readers, you must read Doug Binder's blog on Cayla Hatton.

Cayla was a good runner her freshman year in high school, running a swift 4:38.8 for 1,500m. During her sophomore year, Cayla was injured playing soccer. The injury was first though to be a glute injury, but it did not heal. She was injured in 2010 track season. She did not finish track season in 2011 with a hip injury.  First doctor told her that she should not run anymore. She had a skeletal problem.

Cayla Hatton was grief stricken. Her parents and Cayla found another opinion. This expert, a physical therapist.  The therapist suggested that there were muscular imbalances that affected her running. It was suggested that if Cayla worked on building her quad strength, that she could run pain free once again.

Repeating exercises, day after day, week after week, for months, must have driven Cayla crazy, but, after several months, she was healthy again!

Hatton_Cayla-NBin12.JPgCayla Hatton, 2012 NB indoor GP, photo by PhotoRun.net

Some hard work later, and Cayla was running injury free. Last Fall, Cayla tried a 5k on the road on Sept. 5, and blasted a 17:34, two minutes faster than the next women and 17th in field of 2,000! This was her first injury free race in nearly three years, as her injuries dated back to her freshman year.

Between September and February, Cayla did her physical therapy and ran. From nice, gentle, to long, strong miles, Cayla, under the watchful eye of her coach, Boston Running Center's Joe McConkeyran 55-65 miles a week, with a long run of 13-15. Healthy again, and for the first time in nearly three years, Cayla Hatton must have felt like a runner again.

When I saw Cayla run a fine 4:51.37 at the New Balance Indoor GP on February 4, I still had no idea who she was. Obviously, Cayla Hatton was someone to consider, as she had held off the top prep miler in the country until the final turn of the race, finishing second.

At the US XC Champs, one week after that, Cayla entered the senior women's race, running against the likes of Sara Hall and Molly Huddle. She placed a respectable 13th, running 28:26 for the chilly 8,000 meter course in St. Louis, Missouri.
 Hatton_Cayla-USAxc12.JPGCayla Hatton, 2012 USA XC Champs, photo by PhotoRun.net

 Then, on April 1, at the SnowFlake Invitational, Cayla Hatton was entered in a mixed race 10,000m at Tufts University. Hatton went out in 82 seconds for the first lap, and noted that she ran 79 seconds a lap, focused on a group of men running together, in front of her...twenty five laps later, Cayla Hatton had used that strong distance base, and some nice mile speed to a distance six times the mile, and then some.

Her 33:17.28 for 10,000m is the second fastest time ever run by a prep woman. The only prep woman faster is none other than Mary Shea, who ran 32:52.5 in 1979. Cayla Hatton is ahead of the likes of Cathy Schiro (then she was Cathy O'Brian), Lesley Welch, Erin Davis, and yes, Melody Fairchild!

Already accepted at Stanford, the Andover Phillips Academy senior is looking to qualify for the 5,000 meters (15:50 is B standard).

We think she can do anything now!

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