They might not be on the same team - but they are a dynamic duo. Drew Griffith (Butler) and Brian DiCola (Hatboro Horsham) ran the second and third fastest two miles in Pennsylvania state history on Friday, earning All-American status in the process.
At New Balance Nationals Indoors, the two raced in the 2 Mile Championship, placing fourth and fifth with times of 8:48.01 and 8:50.68, respectively. Interestingly, they were in two different heats.
DiCola was snubbed from the fastest heat - though he was fortunate to have Connor Ackley, the Ohio D1 State 3200m Champ, and Jacob Laney, the North Carolina State 3200m Champ, alongside him.
DiCola went out around mid-pack, while Ackley shot to the front after the opening 400m. That got the pack moving, allowing DiCola to remain patient and carefully position himself behind Ackley.
DiCola discusses his late surge.
Then he struck, closing in a lethal 61-second last 400m to claim the heat win.
Griffith's race was similar by nature. Phenom Connor Burns (MO) took the lead early, stringing the field out and forcing a fast pace. Griffith settled into the swift tempo, allowing the field's energy to pull him around the 200m oval.
He closed too quickly, running a 63-second last 400m, but would finish in fourth overall with a stellar 8:48.01.
The race's winner, Connor Burns, ended up running 8:43.24, the seventh fastest time in High School History. More on that finish can be found here.
With the finish, Griffith and DiCola rewrote the history books and continued to test the standing state records. Griffith also snagged the Pennsylvania Junior Class Record, and both boys will finish the 2023 season inside the US Top 30 All-Time in the event.
The New PA Top 5 All-Time
1. Noah Affolder - 8:46.08 (2017)
2. Drew Griffith - 8:48.01 (2023)
3. Brian Dicola - 8:50.68 (2023)
4. Max Kaulbach - 9:02.65 (2008)
5. Gary Martin - 9:02.93 (2021)
Rory Lieberman (Danville) placed 28th in the loaded field. He ran 9:09.85. Matthew O'Brien (Susquehannock) was also in the field, and placed 37th with a 9:12.97.
Lieberman's time will rank as a PA No. 8 All Time, while O'Brien's will rank as a No. 12 All Time.