Thursday, June 11, 2009

13 Under 4:10 in Mile!!!

Wouldn't this be a great headline Sunday morning. Well, there are 13 boys entered in the Midwest Distance Gala mile on Saturday night that can go under 4:10 on a perfect day. The pacer for the race will be taking them through at 4:00 pace. Can anyone break 4:00?

Gala Boys Mile Field (Fastest Section)

Jeff Thode (Sr., Conant, IL) - Thode enters Saturday's mile race ranked US#1 in both the 1,600m (4:05.17) and 3,200m (8:51.30). All season long Thode's focus has been on breaking the four minute mile barrier, and on Saturday he'll have that opportunity. The University of Iowa-bound senior also won the state title in cross country last fall.

Michael Atchoo (Jr., Troy, MI) - Ranked US#4 for 1,600m, Atchoo's winning 4:07.71 performance at the Michigan State Meet, not only gave the junior a new personal best, but also shattered the state meet record, held by Olympian Dathan Ritzenhein. Atchoo placed second in the NSIC mile during the indoor season.

Patrick McGregor (Sr., Hoover, AL) - All year, McGregor has tested himself against the country's best milers time and time again at very prestigious meets. After a great indoor season, which saw him dip under the 4:10 mile mark, McGregor competed at the Arcadia Invitational, placing second overall in 4:09.13 for the mile.

Andrew Springer (Sr., Westerly, RI) - Last weekend, at the Rhode Island T&F Championships, Springer produced perhaps the most thrilling performance the state has ever seen. Springer won the 800m, 1,500m and 3,000m races, while guiding his team to a 4x800m relay state title, not to mention the fact that the 4x8 set a state record, and his 1,500m and 3,000m performances were state records as well. Springer's goal Saturday to is to push the four minute mile mark.

Drew Shields (Sr., Fishers, IN) - One of the most experienced Gala veterans ever, Shields returns as the top Gala mile finisher from 2008. Last spring, Shields ran one of the fastest times in the country for a junior, placing third in the Gala with a 4:09.64 effort. The University of Wisconsin-bound senior has had a big senior year thus far, but he's far from finished. Last weekend at the Indiana State Meet, Shields won the 1,600m run in 4:11.36.

Zach Dahleen (Sr., Sandburg, IL) - After running a solo 4:11 1,600m race a few weeks earlier, Dahleen seemed poised for a big performance at the Illinois State Meet. The senior closed out his regular season with a new PR of 4:10.25, placing second behind Thode.

Andrew Nelson (Sr., Geneva, IL) - Few athletes surprised more at the Gala in 2008 then Nelson. The Geneva H.S. senior placed sixth overall in a big PR of 4:14.43. At the Illinois State T&F Championships two weeks ago, Nelson helped his team's 4x800m relay squad place second in 7:45.86, then came back later in the day to earn all-state in the 1,600m run.

Lukas Verzbicas (Fr., Lincoln-Way Central, IL) - The national indoor 5,000m record holder, and NIN two mile champion, will compete in the two mile and the fastest mile heat at the Gala on Saturday. Sitting out most of the spring season, competing in triathlons instead, Verzbicas is hoping to push the 4:10 barrier.

Walter Schafer (Jr., Cherry Creek, CO) - Schafer's future looks very, very bright. The junior placed second behind Foot Locker all-American Evan Appel in the 3,200m and 1,600m events at the Colorado State T&F Championships. Schafer is poised to push the 4:10 barrier Saturday.

Chris Hayek (Sr., Prospect, IL) - After guiding his team to a fourth place finish in the 4x800m relay at the Illinois State T&F Championships, Hayek came back later in the day to place fourth in the 1,600m with a time of 4:13.57.

Anthony Manfrin (So., Dundee-Crown, IL) - As a freshman, Manfrin came to the Gala and placed second in the "B" heat of the mile, running a great mark of 4:19.98. He then went on to win the Nike Outdoor Nationals freshman mile. This season he's showed he's one of the top milers in the Midwest.

Peter Callahan (Sr., North Shore Country Day, IL) - Few athletes have had a better state meet this season. Callahan's Illinois State T&F Championships went quite well. First, Callahan helped his North Shore Country Day teammates earn all-state in the 4x800m relay. Then, Callahan broke the Class A state record in the 800m with a 1:51.22 performance, while coming back shortly after to win the 1,600m race in 4:15.30.

Moise Frisch (Sr., Whitmer, OH) - Focusing more on the 800m this season, Frisch will be running his second mile race of the year. The first time around, the Ohio senior won in 4:15, while also earning a top mark in the 800m with a 1:51 performance. He placed fourth in a highly competitive 800m race at the Ohio State T&F Championships.

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