Anderson & Powell Run PA No. 1 800s At Butler

It was a great night for distance running at Thursday's Butler Invitational, with a pair of PA No. 1s in the 800 meters taking centerstage.

Greensburg Salem's Malia Anderson took over the girls top spot, while right after that Grove City Area's Jonah Powell dropped a state leader in the boys 800.

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In the girls 800 meters, Anderson seized control of the race about 200 meters in and from there she just kept extending her lead. The senior powered home in 2:13.36 for the win, the top time in PA so far this season. She also supplied a leg on G-S's winning 4x8 that started off the meet.

That's also a three second improvement over her winning time from last year's Butler Invite. She eventually ran 2:11.60 at WPIALs last year. Over the winter, Anderson was sixth at indoor states and ran 2:12.58 in the 800 at indoor nationals. She showed on Thursday that she's ahead of schedule and ready for a strong final month leading up to the state meet.

Powell brought the boys 800 meter field through the first quarter in about 56 seconds and continued to roll into the second lap. The senior ran away from a strong Butler field and crossed in 1:54.10. That's a PA No. 1 time and over a second better than his previous PR in the event, which came last spring.

Powell's 800 came after he ran a PA No. 2 time of 4:17.81 to win the 1600 meters earlier in the meet. He's no stranger to pulling off a successful double. At the indoor state meet in February, Powell won the mile and then came back to take fifth in the 800. After taking third in the 1600 at outdoor states last year, Powell is proving he can contend for a state title (or two) at Ship in late May.

Malia Anderson Interview

Jonah Powell Interview