National Champions - Episcopal Wins its First of the Week

We spoke about it earlier this week. The Episcopal Academy boys' were considered one of the favorites to win the 4x800m National Championship in Boston on Sunday.

But who would've thought they'd check off a National Championship before the weekend could even begin.

I'll admit it. When I first saw Episcopal Academy enter the boys' DMR at Nike Nationals - I assumed one of two things. They were either entering both events to see which field would be more competitive - or entering a second squad. Both were wrong.

Episcopal Academy brought their A-Squad to bring a National Championship home to Newtown Square - stealing the show from the New York contingent, Monroe-Woodbury.

The EA Boys discuss their momentous victory

A 3:06.95 opening 1200 from Aidan McHugh put EA in second after the opening leg. Abaas Hunter would maintain the position with a 50.13 leg. He doubled back - from a freshman class national championship at New Balance in Boston on Thursday night.

Then it was Dakin Ebmeyer's responsibility to take control of the race. He moved Episcopal into the lead with a stout 1:56.92 800m leg - providing Michael Woolery with a comfortable 6.4-second lead heading into the last 1600m.

With that lead - Woolery felt comfortable to relax and save his energy for a lethal last 400m. Several of the best milers in the country reeled Woolery in. Collin Gilstrap of Monroe-Woodbury won his state title in the two mile, while Micah Lawson of Rahway (NJ) won the 1600m at the NJ Meet of Champs in 4:10.

But Woolery is a 1:52 800m runner - and he knew what he was capable of. He moved into position with 400m to go and laid down a lethal 58-second last quarter - holding off Gilstrap at the line.

Episcopal Academy crossed the line in 10:08.93 - winning the National Championship.

The program has been electric all year - and their weekend will continue in a big way. Several of their athletes are still slated to compete in individual championships - while their boys 4x800m will still compete for the National Championship on Sunday at New Balance Nationals Indoor.