Wilson, I recently got an e-mail from a friend who has a kid in middle school c-c and shared a similar story. Her son's team has a 6th grade girl who's the fastest kid on the team. She said it's incredible to see her run so relaxed and look back like she's wondering where everyone is.
We see much the same here. At 6th grade girls are as fast or faster than boys, and many girls peak at 9th or 10th grade whereas boys often don't peak until 19 – 26. Often the best women don't peak until later. This must drive college recruiters somewhat crazy.
Back in the old homestead Libbie Hickman was pretty dominant at local races a several years ago, where she won a few and placed very very high in some big races like the Colorado Run when it was still professional. For a while she was running faster than Jon Sinclair when he was still a nationally competitive masters.
What's interesting is that we've seen this resurgence in high school and college-level distance running over the past 7 – 10 years, but unless they are at the very top, many (men and women) don't keep it going at a high level.