Mary Cain Turns pro, by David Monte, Race Results Weekly, note by Larry Eder

Mary Cain's announcement that she will turn pro, and forgo running in US collegiate ranks, was the news on Friday. Responses on social media were mixed. Many were supportive and some were wondering if she should go pro yet. 

The truth is, the decision is hers and her parents. Mary Cain is a bright, thoughtful and uniquely talented young women. With the support of Alberto Salazar, her manager Ricky Simms, Mary Cain will have opportunities that few other athletes are afforded.

How will she do? That is part of the intrigue in this story. At seventeen, Mary Cain looks poised for great things. Know this, Alberto Salazar has access to just about any athlete whom he would want to coach: Alberto picked Mary Cain out among the other 500,000 young American high school women who run track and cross country in the U.S. 

My guess is that Mary Cain will be around for us to watch for the next decade or more....

Mary Cain, photo by
By David Monti, @d9monti
(c) 2013 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved, used with permission. 

(15-Nov) -- After a record-smashing year which culminated in a 10th place finish at the IAAF World Championships 1500m, Bronxville High School middle distance standout Mary Cain has decided to become a professional athlete at the age of 17.  She will continue to be coached by Alberto Salazar and will now be represented by Ricky Simms of PACE Sports Management.

"For the past couple of months, my family and I have been debating whether I should compete at a collegiate or professional level going forward," Cain said through a statement circulated to the media. "I have decided, and am truly excited to announce, that I will be turning pro.  I believe that, in the long run, this is the best way for me continue to develop as an athlete."

Cain enjoyed a magical season in 2013 where she excited crowds on both coasts with her record runs.  She set USA junior records at 800m (1:59.51; later surpassed by Ajee' Wilson's 1:58.21), 1500m (4:04.62), indoor 1500m and mile (4:11.72/4:28.25), and indoor 3000m and 2 miles (9:04.51/9:38.68).  She won the USA indoor mile title in Albuquerque last March and finished second in the 1500m in the USA Outdoor Championships in Des Moines last June to earn her place on the World Championships team for Moscow.  At  the age of 17 , she was one of the youngest-ever athlete to compete in a World Championships 1500m final.

"I'm not even like sad, I'm just like angry," Cain told the media after that race. "And I think that's a good thing. I think that this was all a learning experience this whole meet."

Simms said today that Cain will finish high school as scheduled in the spring of 2014; no plans for college were revealed, except that she planned to continue her education.  Her parents, Charlie and Mary, said that they fully supported their daughter's decision to turn pro.

"How to proceed was always going to be a difficult choice," said Charlie Cain, an anesthesiologist, through a statement.  "Mary is a straight-A student and will be pursuing a college education while competing.  This remains a priority and we think this approach is the best way to balance her educational and athletic goals."

PACE Sports Management represents other important athletes who are coached by Alberto Salazar, including double Olympic Champion Mo Farah, 2009 World Half-Marathon bronze medalist Dathan Ritzenhein, Olympic silver medalist Galen Rupp, and 2009 World Championships 1500m bronze medalist Shannon Rowbury.

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