Senior, Mount de Sales
During the 2019 outdoor track season, Mount de Sales’ Isabella Whittaker was excellent, winning the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland 400-meter dash championship and helping the 800- and 1,600-relay teams to wins.
This past fall, to improve her times on the track, Whittaker ran cross country and, while the experience wasn’t her favorite, it was beneficial.
“I had a lot of struggles during the cross country season,” Whittaker said. “ ... The mental aspect of getting up and doing the running and doing the runs taught me to be disciplined in that aspect, so I think it definitely was very helpful.”
For Mount de Sales coach Steve Weber, it added another dimension to Whittaker’s skill set.
“She ran cross country for the conditioning. It adds strength,” Weber said. “ In specific races she had the speed but now she can carry through to the end of races.“
Whittaker won the IAAM indoor title this past winter in the 55 dash, 300 and 500 and was the third leg of the Sailors’ winning 1,600-relay team.
Most impressive was her ascension up the state and national time rankings in a variety of events. Whittaker owns top-10 times in the state in five individual events, including the fastest time in the 300 and 500 dashes.
Her win in 1 minute, 12.67 seconds in the 500 at the IAAM championships was the fourth-fastest time in the country this year. Her second-place finish in the 300 in 37.76 seconds at the Millrose Games in New York is also the fourth-fastest in the country this indoor season. It is also the 10th-best time ever for a high school female athlete in the 300 dash.
“She made a gigantic leap forward from a year ago,” Weber said. “ It’s nice for Bella to get the recognition.”
Whittaker remains hopeful she has another opportunity to show how far forward she has come in this outdoor season, where she will be ready to shine ... if the time comes after the delay from the coronavirus pandemic.
“I think this outdoor season was going to be a good chance, but maybe it’s canceled, maybe it’s not,” Whittaker said. “I was really hoping to kind of finish strong. I feel like all my training has been leading up to outdoor so I definitely think I have more to show and more to leave behind.”