Adidas Indoor Nationals - PA Boys Distance Preview
Championship 800m - Sunday, 1:05 P.M. (Final On Time)
Garnet Valley's Eric Albright hasn't raced the 800 meters (officially) since the indoor state meet almost a full year ago. He placed fourth in that race. Now a senior, the recent University of Maryland commit will return to the 800 meters on Sunday afternoon. He is the lone PA entry in the Championship section.
Albright's one race of the season came in the 1K, where he ran a very fast time (more on that below). There are a lot of unknowns heading into this race, but Albright will be in the third and fastest section of the 800 and based on that 1K performance, he'll have a good shot to compete with some of the nation's best, including top-ranked Alex Leath from Alabama.
Invitational 1,000m - Friday, 6:15 P.M. (One Section)
Opportunities have been sparse this winter, but Eric Albright made the most of his. Albright went US No. 1 and PA No. 6 all-time in the 1K at the 757 Showdown at Virginia Beach in his only race of the indoor season so far. His time of 2:28.96 still stands as the national leader heading into Friday's evening's invitational 1K back on that same VA Beach track where he first raced this season.
Albright will face a good field, including Maryland's Isaiah Schulties (who he narrowly edged out to win at 757) and NJ's Nick Medeiros (a 1:52 indoor half miler from last year). This will be a good one!
Championship 1 Mile - Sunday, 3:10 P.M. (Final On Time)
The mile is packed with talent from Pennsylvania, and it's a another reminder how much of a shame it is that we couldn't see some of these big names battle it out for a state title.
But anyway, at the top of this list of entries is Archbishop Wood's Gary Martin. The AA XC state champion has kept the momentum going from the trails to the track. He dropped a huge performance of 4:12.56 for the mile at a chilly polar bear meet at LaSalle College, which outside of Hobbs Kessler's indoor national record, is the fastest mile by a high schooler (indoors or outdoors) all winter long. Kessler is not entered in AIN. Martin will be coming off racing the 2 mile a day before, but will certainly be someone to watch in this field. His 4:12 could be setting the stage for a big race on Sunday afternoon.
Knoch's Mike Formica is also enjoying a big season. He went 4:16.77 for 1600 meters at SPIRE earlier this winter, which was a massive PR for him at the time. We'll see if he can drop even more time this weekend as he goes to the full mile. Grove City's Gabe Nichols has been consistently strong during the month of February, running three sub-4:20 1600s in as many weeks. His fastest was a 4:17.89, and he too, will look to keep it rolling into this weekend in VA Beach.
Carson McCoy of Deer Lakes is also in the field. He went 4:18.57 for 1600 meters earlier this season and has the state's quickest 800 at 1:56.05. As for the heats, Nichols and McCoy are in the first section, while Martin and Formica will be in the second section of the mile.
Championship 2 Mile - Saturday, 4:00 P.M. (Final On Time)
Before he races the mile on Sunday, Gary Martin will race the 2 mile on Saturday afternoon. He'll be in the third and fastest section of the 2 mile, along with Butler's CJ Singleton. Singleton has the state's fastest 2 mile of the season at 9:10.86 from the VA Showcase. Martin went 9:13.85 for the win at the East Coast Invite. Both boys will be returning to that VA Beach facility.
It will be interesting to see what both of these boys can run. Singleton is entered in the 5K on Friday evening, while Martin will be coming in fresh. Expect both to go after fast times in this fast field
Championship 5,000m - Friday, 7:00 P.M. (One Section)
Butler's CJ Singleton is the lone PA entry in the 5K, set for Friday evening. He has run a pair of 2 mile races this winter at VA Beach, but this will e his 5K track debut. He went 15:30 in an XC dual meet back in the fall. There's perhaps no clear-cut favorite in this race, so we'll see how Singleton can perform in this field.
Championship 4x800m Relay - Saturday, 6:20 P.M.
A pair of Pennsylvania squads will line up in the Championship 4x800. Twin Valley is one of them and the other is the Western PA all-star squad known as WPIALs Finest.
WPIALs Finest owns the nation's fastest 4x8 time this season with a 7:50.60 at Youngstown State from earlier this indoor season. The team consists of PA#1 800m runner Carson McCoy of Deer Lakes, Riverside's Colby Belczyk (PA#5 800m), Knoch's Mike Formica (PA#1 1600m), and Greensburg Salem's Quintin Gatons (PA#4 1600m). This could be the team to beat!