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Should Teen Star Mary Cain Turn Pro?

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published Jun. 26, 2013
  • Updated Jun. 26, 2013 at 10:33 AM UTC
Mary Cain could possibly make seven figures as a pro now. Photo: www.photorun.net

One of the most-promising American runners could stand to make a lot of money.

She’s just 17 years old, but American middle-distance phenom Mary Cain is catching a lot of attention. After all, Cain, who heads into her senior year of high school this fall, is running some of the best times in the history of American women’s running.

At last weekend’s U.S. Track and Field Championships in Des Moines, Iowa, Cain booked at ticket on the U.S. team that heads to Moscow in August for the World Championships.

In light of these performances, Forbes Magazine asks the logical question: Should Mary Cain turn pro?

Her coach (who mentors her from the West Coast), Alberto Salazar, says that whatever college Cain decides to attend, she will most likely retain her amateur status as an athlete.

Were she to turn pro now, a flood of money and endorsements would surely follow, which would be the compelling reason for Cain to do it.

An argument against turning pro would mirror the path of American swimmer Missy Franklin, who gave up endorsements so that she could swim with her teammates at Regis Jesuit High School in Aurora, Colo. Franklin will swim for the University of California starting in the fall.

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Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin is the news editor at Competitor.com and a freelance journalist who’s been covering the sport of running for over five years. He’s run 2:32 in the marathon and won the Himalayan 100-Mile Stage Race in 2007. His first running book, RUN SIMPLE, was released last July.

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