Here is a look at the individual distance runners for the Bedford girls in the 800, the 1600, and the 3200.
800 Meter Run
As discussed in previous article on the boys, the 800-meter run is rarely run at full speed during the season. “Run to win in the duals” is the typical motto. Most of the time, girls on this list stayed healthy and ran well at the end of the season. Most 800 races are tactical during the regular season.
At the top of the list is Amy Gould. Gould has held the record for 36 years, which is a true testament to her accomplishment. There have been others that were in hot pursuit, but no one have been able to top her mark of 2:23.14 (converted to FAT). Amy was one of the great ones from the early era of girls track and won districts in 1984.
Carrie Baker had Gould in her sites, but didn’t break the school record in 2012 when she ran 2:23.21 FAT at the end of the season. Baker ran this time as a junior and was on pace to approach the record again her senior year, but she was injured with a high ankle sprain. Baker was the district champion in 2012.
Bev Suhrie comes in third on the list. Another of Coach Kathy Heinze-Criswell’s protégés, Suhrie was really good in other events as she made the list in the 1600 also. Suhrie held the record before Gould came along, but is still near the top of the list. Suhrie was the district champion in 1977 and 1980.
Jalissa Snyder comes in fourth on the list and was the district champion in 2013, unseating Baker as the district champion from the year before. Snyder attended HOPE for Hyndman, but came to Bedford to run track via co-op between the two schools. The two were a tremendous duo in the 3200 relay.
Allison Pittman comes in fifth on the list, and I will write more about her later. Other district champions include: Brittany Beland in 2006, Marsha Whitfield in 1987, and Kristi Dunkle in 1985. The 1980s built a tradition of strong mid-distance runners at Bedford.
The 400 list from last article and this week’s 800 list have some crossovers in Beland, Baker, and Chelsea Diehl. Diehl and Baker teamed together in making up some very good relay teams.
1600 Meter Run
This record has changed hands may times over the years, and it recently end up in the hands of Allison Pittman. Pittman is the only girl appearing on all three of today’s lists. Pittman was a tremendous runner.
I remember the classic battles she had against the Central Cambria girls in the 800 and 1600. I can still see Central Cambria coach Randy Wilson (the 2013 Brooks National Coach of the Year) shaking his head in disbelief during duals and LHAC meets. He finally came to respect Pittman because the Central Cambria tactics of running did not intimate her.
Ashley Wilson is another of the girl that would not be intimated in a race and who was also well respected by Coach Wilson. She broke the school record in 2006. She made the list in both the 1600 and 3200.
Fanny Klimekova, a foreign exchange student from Slovakia, is third on the list, while Nicole Zack is fourth on the list. Zack and Klimekova were both district champions in 1999 and 1995, respectively.
Two-time district champion Gould (1983 and 84) comes in fifth on the list, while another two-time district champion, Whitfield, comes in eighth. Suhrie won districts in 1980 and is seventh on the all-time list.
3200 Meter Run
When you talk about the distance races for Bedford, the Zack family is royalty. The three sisters all made the list for the 3200 with the queen being Nicole. Nicole could power through a race. She was a two-time district champion in 1999 and 2000. Melanie and Lindsay were also very good runners and come in eighth and 10th, respectively. Melanie made both the 1600 and 3200 lists.
Second on the list is Marissa Buterbaugh. Marissa chased her way up the ladder of all-time best in the 2006 season, but she fell just shy of Nicole’s record. Many people do not understand the honor of being second, but second is pretty good in this situation.
Pittman is third and is current running at Seton Hill College. Wilson is fourth and Klimekova is fifth. Valerie Mehle finished up on both the 1600 and the 3200 lists.
Patty Fyfe and Ginger Zembower were district champions in 1982 and 1977. Fyfe and Zembower both set the bar high for the girls to come. Zembower held the record from 1977 to 1995 until it was broken by Klimekova.
Beland ran for Bucknell University, Nicole Zack ran at St. Francis, and Wilson ran for Stetson University in Florida. Baker did pole vault for Campbell University for one year. All are Division I schools.
I would like to recognize Coach Gary Washington, Coach Jeff “Hammy” Hamilton, and Coach Bill Clark for helping many of these girls on the lists achieve their goals in the distance event. They were instrumental in training in track and cross country.
Bedford Girls’ Track Top 10 Lists 800 Meters (880 Yards)
Rank Year Runners Time
1 1984 Amy Gould 2:23.14 ©
2 2012 Carrie Baker 2:23.21 FAT
3 1980 Bev Suhrie 2:25.24©
4 2013 Jalissa Snyder 2:25.25 FAT
5 2017 Allison Pittman 2:26.01 FAT
6 1985 Kristi Dunkle 2:26.34 ©
7 2008 Brittany Beland 2:28.43 ©
8 2004 Mandy Hampson 2:29.24©
9 2011 Chelsea Diehl 2:29.94 FAT
10 2008 Richelle Lashley 2:31.08 FAT
1600 Meters (1 Mile)
Rank Year Runners Time
1 2016 Allison Pittman 5:28.73FAT
2 2006 Ashley Wilson 5:30.54 ©
3 1995 Fanny Klimekova 5:36.44©
4 2000 Nicole Zack 5:37.44©
5 1984 Amy Gould 5:40.84©
6 2008 Brittany Beland 5:44.24 ©
7 1980 Bev Suhrie 5:45.64©
8 1986 Marsha Whitfield 5:47.84©
9 2005 Valerie Mehle 5:50.99©
10 2004 Melanie Zack 5:53.24©
3200 Meters (2 Miles)
Rank Year Runners Time
1 2000 Nicole Zack 12:08.84 FAT
2 2006 Marisa Buterbaugh 12:12.24©
3 2017 Allison Pittman 12:17.51 FAT
4 2006 Ashley Wilson 12:23.80 FAT
5 1995 Fanny Klimekova 12:25.84©
6 2005 Valerie Mehle 12:31.39 FAT
7 2013 Emilee Fierro 12:32.35 FAT
8 2004 Melanie Zack 12:41.24 ©
9 1977 Ginger Zembower 12:53.73 © y
10 2002 Lindsay Zack 13:01.24©
©- Hand held converted to FAT by adding .24 seconds
y-ran in yards converted via Milesplit
FAT-Fully Automated Time