Becky Lopez-Anido and Tia Tardy both dazzled track and field fans throughout Maine with some incredibly fast performances last winter.
Fans should expect more of the same from the senior distance running stars from Orono and Mount Desert Island High Schools when the indoor track season gets underway later this month.
Lopez-Anido and Tardy, who were teammates last year at Orono, are both among the top middle distance runners in the country, according to Milesplit U.S.’s preseason rankings.
Lopez-Anido’s 800-meter clocking of 2 minutes, 16.25 seconds from last winter has her ranked 17th nationwide among schoolgirl 800-meter runners this preseason.
Tardy is ranked nationally in several events, the 600 meters, the mile and the 800 meters.
Tardy comes into the season ranked ninth in the mile (4:55.20), 10th in the 800 (2:13.80) and seventh in the 600 (1:35.50).
Both runners had excellent seasons for the Red Riots last winter in leading them to Eastern Maine Indoor Track League and Class B state championships.
Tardy wound up running the first sub-5 minute mile in the long history of the EMITL, breaking a record that was 13 years old in clocking a 4:55.23.
Later that winter, she’d go on to win the mile in the Emerging Elite competition at the New Balance Indoor Championships (4:55.57). Tardy is also the reigning Class B state champion in the mile and the 800.
Lopez-Anido is also a talented soccer player, and has helped lead Orono to back to back Class C state championships on the pitch. She capped off her soccer career with 74 goals.
Tardy recently signed to attend Bucknell University on a track and field scholarship, and is coming off a strong cross country campaign for MDI.
Tardy was the individual champ at the Maine Cross Country Festival of Champions, the Penobscot Valley Conference championships and the Northern Maine Class B . championships. She would go on to lead her Trojans to team titles at PVCs and regionals.
The EMITL season will get underway on Saturday, Dec. 17 at the University of Maine.