Pennsylvania Milers Look to Keep Penn Relays Streak Alive



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Pennsylvania has four heavy hitters set to race in the championship boys mile at the 2024 Penn Relays presented by Toyota.

PA standouts Drew Griffith (Butler), Ryan Pajak (Ringgold), Colin Whitaker (Lampeter Strasburg) and Ian Johnson (Perkiomen Valley) will toe the line in the prestigious event, alongside talented runners from throughout the country.

What can we expect to see on Friday? 

For starters, we need to acknowledge Griffith's line-to-line 4:00.77-mile race at the Butler Invitational last weekend.

His solo effort is a strong testament to his current state of fitness. Griffith has the potential to etch his name among the few high schoolers to have ever run sub-four minutes in the mile.

Unless another runner sets the pace for Griffith, odds are that we will see him going after the legendary barrier in a solo effort. 

Griffith holds the current US No.1 rank in the mile nearly seven seconds ahead of the US No. 2 Corbin Coombs (Organ Mountain High School) at 4:07.15. Tennessee's Colin Eckerman (Webb School of Knoxville) is the closest seeded athlete in Friday's field to Griffith at 4:08.84. 

Regardless of what time Griffith runs, he has the opportunity to continue PA's Championship Boys Mile win streak at the Penn Relays. 

We caught up with Drew after last week's solo effort.

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Gary Martin (Archbishop Wood/University of Virgina), PA's only high school sub-four-minute miler, won in 2022 clocking a 4:01.04 to beat fellow PA runner CJ Singleton (Butler). 

As for last year, Brian DiCola (Hatboro Horhsam/Penn State University) won a tactical race in rainy conditions, running 4:11.23. 

Fellow University of Notre Dame commits Pajak and Whitaker will be joining Griffith in this years mile race. 

Pajak, who recently ran 8:38.02 in the 3200 at the Arcadia Invitational, is showing strong signs of being able to improve upon his 4:10.81 indoor mile personal best. He raced down in distance last weekend and clocked a 1:54.16 at the Butler Invitational. Pajak hitting the one-two punch with Griffith wouldn't come as a surprise. 

Whitaker will be making his 2024 outdoor season debut. The 4:13.90-miler is no stranger to big races. He last competed in the two mile at New Balance Nationals Indoor where he finished 12th in 9:03.09. Expect to see Whitaker in the mix Friday. 

Johnson also has the potential to compete for a top place. The Georgia Tech commit showed a lot of potential as a miler after finishing fourth at the indoor state meet in 4:13.86, just beating Whitaker. A rematch between Johnson and Whitaker could drive both boys to new personal bests. 

Colorado's Will Brunner (Battle Mountain High School) and West Virginia's Drew Zundell (University High) are other out of state runners to be on the watch for. 

Brunner brings a 4:09.70 personal best to the table, while Zundell ran 4:09.95 last year.  

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