If one thing is for certain in this time of abundant uncertainty, it is that Audrey DaDamio is a pretty darn good distance runner. Not only is she one of the best in the state, but in the nation as well.
DaDamio is a senior at Birmingham Seaholm High School in Metro Detroit and she has continued to build on her already impressive distance running résumé in recent weeks during indoor track and field meets across the country. So far this winter, DaDamio has claimed two Michigan high school indoor state records, according to records kept by michtrack.org, including a U.S. No. 1 time among them.
First, she clocked a new state indoor record time of 10 minutes, 7.46 seconds in a two-mile (3,218 meter) race on Jan. 30 at the 757 Showdown meet in Virginia. Although there was no clock at the more common 3200-meter mark, DaDamio’s time for the longer 2-mile distance bettered the old 3200 record anyway.
Then on Feb. 7 at SPIRE Academy in Ohio, DaDamio put her name in the state record books once again in the 1600-meter run as her time of 4:40.65 was the fastest in state history on a 300-meter indoor track and the second fastest overall. Indoor meets are usually conducted on 200-meter tracks, so records between standard 200-meter tracks and oversized 300-meter tracks are usually kept separate. Overall, however, DaDamio’s 1600-meter time is second only to the 4:39.35 clocked by Hannah Meier in 2013, which was en route to a state record 4:40.97 one-mile (1,609 meter) time.
DaDamio’s 1600 meter time was also good enough to make her the fastest high school girl at that distance in the country for the current indoor season.
“It’s been really exciting,” DaDamio said. “Also, I just wasn’t really expecting to run as fast as I did, honestly. I was pretty confident that I would be able to get there eventually. That actually was one of my goals, to run 4:40, but not necessarily in that race. So that was very exciting. I was really honestly just trying to win.”
Of course, she won both of her record-setting races.
While impressive, DaDamio’s records were not entirely surprising. Last fall, DaDamio was the Division 1 cross country state champion with a 5-kilometer time of 17:46. She extended her cross country season further to win the Michigan Meet of Chmapions (17:10.9) and place third at both the RunningLane Cross Country Championships (17:03.4) and the AAU Cross Country National Championships (17:18.4).
Pior to her record-setting races, DaDamio clocked personal-best times of 10:13.57 in the two-mile and 4:53.13 in the mile at the Virginia Showcase on Jan. 17. At that point, she knew she was on the right track for some great times this winter.
In setting the records, DaDamio moves into elite company, surpassing efforts of past distance running greats such as Meier of Grosse Pointe South, Erin Finn of West Bloomfield, Megan Goethals of Rochester, Audrey Belf of Seaholm and Zofia Dudek of Ann Arbor Pioneer.
“It’s really crazy,” DaDamio said. “Especially being from Oakland County, you hear Erin Finn, Megan Goethals and Audrey Belf a lot. So, I’m always really inspired to run times to what they’ve been able to do and to be able to compete nationally like they’ve done. To be in such great company as that has been really meaningful to me.”
Coincidentally, Dudek and DaDamio will be teammates at Stanford next year. Dudek graduated from Pioneer in 2020 and was a Foot Locker Cross Country Nationals champion in the fall of 2019.
“It’s kind of cool to see our names next to each other on the all-time lists,” DaDamio said. “It gives me a lot of confidence to know how well those women were able to do on the national stage… It’s just really exciting to be part of that.”
Despite not being able to compete on some of her favorite indoor tracks at Saginaw Valley State and Grand Valley State this winter because of coronavirus restrictions, DaDamio said she has competed in her usual amount of indoor races, usually ranging between five and seven races. In the coming weeks, she intends to run an 800 meter race before competing in the Adidas Indoor Nationals at Virginia Beach Sports Center to cap the season on Feb. 27 (two mile) and Feb. 28 (one mile).
“It’s always been a goal of mine to win a national title,” DaDamio said. “I think having seen so many Michigan girls ahead of me doing those things, it’s definitely always seemed like an attainable goal, although obviously a very lofty one. I think ever since going into high school, I’ve always wanted to definitely contend for it and there is a lot of good competition and tons of girls that have run under 4:50 and girls under 10:20 that are right up there with me and I know will challenge for it.