Gabbie Bishop: Arkansas' Next Distance Star

When talking about the best girls in Arkansas state history a few names come to mind: Olivia Pielemeier, Maggie Montoya, and now even Haley Loewe.

After a sensational sophomore season, Gabbie Bishop could be headed toward the top of that list.

Before this outdoor track season, much of the attention centered around many of the girls from big-name programs such as Bentonville, Rogers, and Fayetteville. Bishop, who was lesser known at the time, had to earn her spotlight differently than most.

Bishop competes for Providence Classical Christian Academy, a private school in Rogers, which means she can't compete in any AAA state-sponsored events. This has kept Bishop from racing at the Arkansas State Championships in cross country and track.

This spring, despite not competing at the state meet, Bishop won the HCAA Championships in the 800m, 1,600m, and 3,200m while finishing the season with the fastest time in the state in all three events.

Bishop's historic season also included a pair of 3rd-place finishes at the RunningLane Championships and HOKA Festival of Miles in the 1,600m, while finishing 4th at the Texas Distance Festival - three of the most competitive meets in the country.

HUGE shoutout to Bishop's friends who showed up for her walk-out

Bishop's 4:45.01 in the 1,600m and 10:19.96 in the 3,200m both set new Arkansas state records. While her 3,200m finished the season ranked 51st in the US, Bishop ran the 33rd fastest high school 1,600m in the United States this spring.

Looking ahead to cross country, Bishop will be one of many runners to keep an eye on this fall. 

Although in the past she has not been able to compete at the state championships, MileSplit Arkansas recently learned that Providence Classical Christian Academy will be moving to the AAA, competing in Division 3A. This will give Bishop and her teammates their first opportunity to win a state championship.

After the kind of track season she had, Bishop is a serious contender at any national meet she qualifies for. Last season, Bishop ended her season finishing 11th at the NXR South Regional Championships and 32nd at the RunningLane Cross Country Championships.

Bishop's personal best comes from her freshman year at the Chile Pepper Festival where she ran a 17:45.90. Last season, she came just a few seconds short of that time, but ran in fewer races and placed better against tougher competition.

We will have to wait three months before we find out much faster the rising junior can be on the grass, but the Natural State's got it's next star - and her name is Gabbie Bishop.