Some very talented fields are coming together for Friday's John Hay Pennsylvania Distance Festival at West Chester Henderson.
The twilight meet has always served as a good opportunity for some of the top Pennsylvania distance runners (and sprinters, too!) to get in some fast times while still on that postseason fitness. The meet features the 200m, 400m, 800, mile, 3K, and 5K.
The mile has the chance to be very special, as four of Pennsylvania's top milers on the boys' side are slated to toe the line. Germantown Academy's Robert DiDonato, who set the outdoor 3200 meter state record earlier this season with a time of 8:44.98, is entered. Gary Martin of Archbishop Wood, who was second in that race in 8:49.96 (PA No. 3 all-time outdoors), is also slated to compete. Martin went on to win the 3200 and 1600 at the PIAA State Championships this past week.
Also entered in the mile for John Hay are Downingtown West's Declan Rymer and Aiden Barnhill. Rymer was a close second to Martin in the state 1600 and has a season best of 4:09.62 for 1600. Barnhill has a 1600 PR of 4:09.29.
Keep an eye on the all-time Pennsylvania state records in both the 1600 meters and the mile. Paul Vandegrift of Archbishop Kennedy holds the 1600 record at 4:03.22 from 1987. Ken Lowry of Wissahickon has the mile state record at 4:05.24 from 1982. Both of those records could be in danger. There will be an FAT camera at the 1600 meter mark for the two fastest sections of the mile, so there will be official times for both the 1600 and mile.