Indoor Track: Pioneer girls break Michigan High School record in the 4×800 relay

Rachel Forsyth runs the mile in 4:44.20 which is a Pioneer school record

Rachel Forsyth won the mile in 4:44.20 which is a Pioneer school record

By Terry Jacoby/

Now that’s one for the record books.

Pioneer’s 4×800 relay team set a Michigan High School record with a time of 9 minutes, 0.02 seconds on Sunday, Feb. 6, at the Spire Scholastic Showcase meet in Geneva, Ohio.

The team featured Sarah Forsyth, Cookie Baugh, Emily Cooper and Rachel Forsyth. It was the fastest time ever run by a high school team from Michigan.

The previous record was 9:03.74 set by the team from Grosse Point South in 2012.

About an hour before the relay, all four girls ran the open 800 with Rachel Forsyth winning in 2:08.62, just 0.28 seconds off the Pioneer school record which was set by Zofia Dudek in 2020.

Dudek’s time (2:08.34) is also a state record for the 800.

Baugh ran the 800 in 2:13.42 and finished fourth; Sarah Forsyth finished fifth in 2:13.48; and Cooper was 11th in 2:20.17.

Pioneer Coach Nancy Boudreau said this is a “very special group of athletes.”

“These girls have been having a fantastic season this winter,” she said. “We knew they were in pretty good shape at the beginning of January, but we would never have predicted that they would be running so well at this time. They have all been training hard and they just love running relays together.”

Last week, the same Pioneer girls ran 9:05.10 in the 4×800 relay at Grand Valley State University. Again, this was after they all had run the mile about an hour earlier.

At this meet, Rachel Forsyth won the mile in 4:44.20 which is a Pioneer school record (beating Dudek’s record of 4:44.88 set in 2020). Sarah Forsyth was fifth in 4:59.94 and Baugh was sixth in 5:00.22. Cooper ran the 1600 in 5:09.74 and finished second.

The Pioneers have a couple more indoor meets to run in the coming weeks, including the New Balance Nationals in New York City the weekend of March 11-13.  The Pioneer foursome is planning to run the 4×800, 4×1 mile, and Distance Medley Relay (1200-400-800-1600). They currently have the fastest time in the country in the 4×800 and DMR.

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