Friday night in Zurich at one of the years hottest meets world record holder Hicham El Guerrouj ran the 1500 in 3:26.89, the fifth-fastest time in history for the metric mile distance. I will argue that this is the toughest event in track or running, especially when this kind of effort is expended. The blend of speed and endurance required to run the mile sets it apart from any other event. On Saturday morning at Maclay High School’s track Lee Willis adopted a more leisurely attitude in running the third fastest time ever in the Breakfast on the Track event to win heat number one in 4:35.07, but lots of other runners had to do some real gut checking. Lee also has the second fastest time, while the record belongs to Ryan Deak who was watching while lending support to some of his Maclay teammates. Sarah Docter-Williams ran 5:10.33 to capture the women’s title. Sarah now owns the three fastest times in this event, with the 2002 race time being number three.
Tim Unger took the masters title with a 5:04.38, while Carrie Weyant was the first female master with a time of 6:03.48. As demonstrated by Ryan’s record time, there are a number of high school runners who shine at this meet. Maclay’s Ross McMillan was this year’s star with a time of 4:39.39 good enough for the sixth fastest time ever and second fastest on this day. Brennon Clayton and Alex Brickler both broke the five minute barrier with times of 4:49.35 and 4:58.50 respectively. Thirteen year old Adrianna Piekarewicz was the top female in a time of 5:45.64. Allie Hunter was only a couple steps back in 5:48.16. At the “other end” of the spectrum, Karl Hempel and Bill McGuire burned the track up in the battle for the top grand master. Karl ran an excellent tactical race saving plenty for the last lap to finish in 5:08.14. Bill was no more than a full step behind at 5:10.59.
Felton and Bonnie did an outstanding job taking over for the absent Jamie Wright who elected to party instead of race direct. Music by Bill McGuire, pancakes and watermelon for all, and a poolside awards ceremony helped to keep this event one of the best of the year.