(c) 2013 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved. Used with permission.
November 15, 2013 -- After a record-smashing year which culminated in a 10th-place finish at the IAAF World Championships 1500m, Bronxville High School middle-distance standout Mary Cain has decided to become a professional athlete at the age of 17. She will continue to be coached by Alberto Salazar and will now be represented by Ricky Simms of PACE Sports Management.
"For the past couple of months, my family and I have been debating whether I should compete at a collegiate or professional level going forward," Cain said through a statement circulated to the media. "I have decided, and am truly excited to announce, that I will be turning pro. I believe that, in the long run, this is the best way for me continue to develop as an athlete."
Cain enjoyed a magical season in 2013 where she excited crowds on both coasts with her record runs. She set USA junior records at 800m (1:59.51; later surpassed by Ajee' Wilson's 1:58.21), 1500m (4:04.62), indoor 1500m and mile (4:11.72/4:28.25), and indoor 3000m and 2 miles (9:04.51/9:38.68). She won the USA indoor mile title in Albuquerque last March and finished second in the 1500m in the USA Outdoor Championships in Des Moines last June to earn her place on the World Championships team for Moscow. At age 17, she was the youngest-ever athlete to compete in a World Championships 1500m final.
"I'm not even like sad, I'm just like angry," Cain told the media after that race. "And I think that's a good thing. I think that this was all a learning experience this whole meet."
Simms said today that Cain will finish high school as scheduled in the spring of 2014; no plans for college were revealed, except that she planned to continue her education. Her parents, Charlie and Mary, said that they fully supported their daughter's decision to turn pro.
"How to proceed was always going to be a difficult choice," said Charlie Cain, an anesthesiologist, through a statement. "Mary is a straight-A student and will be pursuing a college education while competing. This remains a priority and we think this approach is the best way to balance her educational and athletic goals."
PACE Sports Management represents other important athletes who are coached by Alberto Salazar, including double Olympic Champion Mo Farah, Olympic silver medalist Galen Rupp, and 2009 World Championships 1500m bronze medalist Shannon Rowbury.
Photo: Mary Cain (right) finishing second at the 2013 USA Outdoor Championships in Des Moines, Ia., in the 1500m behind Treniere Moser (photo by David Monti for Race Results Weekly). Used with permission.