May 29—SHIPPENSBURG — Mia Cochran’s legs went numb during the final three laps of the PIAA Class AAA 3,200-meter run Saturday morning.
But it didn’t stop the Moon junior from running away with the title. Cochran pulled away West Chester Henderson junior Jenna Mulhern during the final 800 meters to capture her first state track title.
Cochran finished in 10 minutes, 20.04 seconds to beat Mulhern (10:31.85) during a rainy and windy first event of the day.
But she didn’t stop there. Cochran later breezed to a win in the 1,600-meter run with a time of 4:51.01.
“Jenna gave me a gap so I took it,” Cochran said describing her 3,200 race. “Going into the last two laps, I knew I needed to make a move at some point if I wanted to get around. In the last lap I went full gear and went for it. I finished with a good kick, and it was probably my best kick of the season.”
Cochran followed her game plan. She allowed Mulhern to get out fast and did some calculations during the first few laps.
“I stayed on her back, and going into the final two laps I wanted to see what happened.” Cochran said. “I wanted to stay right on her back and once I got to the final lap I put it into a different gear.”
Her game plan in the 1,600 later in the day didn’t go as planned. But the result was the same.
Cochran said she hoped someone would set the pace because she doesn’t like to lead early. But no one did, so Cochran decided to go with it.
“I was hoping someone would set the pace and I’d pick it up at the end like the first race,” Cochran said. “No one did. I kind of jumped into first and said well, I’m going go for it now.”
Cochran could hear the pack closing on her after she jumped out to the lead.
“I heard all the commotion behind me,” said Cochran, who was named the state’s Gatorade Cross Country Runner of the Year after winning WPIAL and PIAA Class AAA cross country titles in the fall. “So I decided to go for it and empty the tank because I had a lot left. I surprised myself that I had so much left.”
She had a personal best in both races.
“It was crazy adrenaline all day,” Cochran said. “To get that first state title was amazing.”
Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Paul by email at email@example.com or via Twitter .