TSSAA State Meet: Distance Dilemma

-- Distance Depth --

Beginning with the Brentwood Academy Early Bird Endurance Invitational on March 29th, where David Ahlmeyer and Silas Winders ran National Top 25 1600m times to the Volunteer Track Classic where Jenna Hutchins and Sasha Neglia battled their way to National Top 20 (including conversions) Two Mile times, to this past Tuesday where Gabriel Robinson and Jake Renfree simultaneously ran 1:53 and change 800m runs in separate events... the depth of distance talent in Tennessee has been on full display.  Not to mention that also within that month timeframe, Cole Bullock posted a sensational distance double of National Top 10 performances of 8:50 and 4:10. Needless to say, Tennessee distance running has been impressive and had mother nature cooperated, it could've been even better.

Last year in the 3200m at Eastern Relays, in ideal conditions Titus Winders ran an 8:52 in the 3200m while Silas ran 9:01 and David Ahlmeyer ran 9:03. This year, Silas and David returned as the first and second seeds with Jake Renfree and Davis Bove slated to start as well. Outside of the state cross country meet, this was the first time we ever saw these four runners in the same race. To put it gently though, the conditions this year were less than ideal. Renfree and Bove posted 9:14 and 9:16 respectively while the weather got the better of most of the field. Had the conditions been better, I believe all of these runners would've joined Bullock under the nine-minute mark. 

Meanwhile, in the Girls 2 Mile at the Volunteer Track Classic, after some weather delays and in colder than normal temperatures, they did not have to trudge through a monsoon on their way to completing eight laps. Instead, Hutchins and Neglia ran the 3rd and 4th fastest times even in Tennessee (including conversions) in the event in our databases.

Just two-weeks prior at the Tri-Cities Track Classic, Hutchins ran a 4:51 Mile (US #12 including conversions) while Leigh Walters won the Two Mile posting a US Top 50 time beating Neglia in the process.

It's been an exciting season so far but as we approach state qualifying season, there may be more questions than we currently have answers for.