MORGANTOWN, W.Va – Plenty of athletes over the years have written their names into the record books in the state of West Virginia and now Morgantown’s Irene Riggs is making her bid to go down as one of the most impressive competitors the state has ever seen.
With two state records already to her name, Riggs burst onto the national stage in an even bigger way in June, setting the second-fastest outdoor two-mile time ever recorded by a high school girl, just two one-hundredths of a second shy of Dalia Frias who won the race and set the overall record.
Add four Gatorade Player of the Year honors and two cross country state championships to her name and you’ve got one of the most decorated athletes in state history, all with her senior year left ahead of her.
And she’s not done pushing the limits of what a West Virginia runner can accomplish.
This upcoming cross country season, I definitely want to go in and really hammer those bigger races where you go to Great American and definitely want to perform well there and my championship race will be either Eastbay Nationals or Nike Nationals and go there and really try to perform well there,” she said, “That’ll probably be training and then obviously we have a great team. I’m excited and we’re going to go down and try to get the state title again.”
While she still has a year of high school competition left ahead of her, Riggs has already settled on where she will be running in college. Earlier in June, she announced that she will be returning to the West Coast and running at Stanford University, joining another Mountain State distance champion in Ripley’s Tori Starcher.
“At Stanford, I just felt like I really fit in really well with the girls there and I loved the coaches,” she said, “Coach Clark and Coach Addy. They really are just great coaches and I know that they’re going to take me where I want to be and like I said, the girls were so nice and I kind of felt like it was just the perfect fit.”
With a summer filled with national accolades in the rear view mirror and a college decision made, Riggs is back in Morgantown and ready to focus on adding to her already jam-packed trophy case.