If you're looking for a fast postseason mile, Music City is the place to be.
A bunch of high schoolers are entered in a couple of elite mile races set for this Saturday night at Vanderbilt. The start lists are ridiculous. In a good way.
The guys mile is going to go out in 3:00 through 1200. The girls are going to be paced at 2:22 through 800.
These races are going to be quick.
Jenna Hutchins is the headliner from the Volunteer state in the high school girls mile. The TN No. 1 won her second and third state championships last Thursday at the TSSAA State Championships. Now she's looking to match up with some of the nation's best runners.
That includes the two best milers from the state of Florida. Valerie Lastra and Parker Valby, both juniors, will toe the line in Nashville to go head-to-head with Hutchins. When you convert their 1600 personal bests to a full mile, Lastra has run 4:48.71 and Valby has clocked in at 4:52.28. Hutchins leads the state of Tennessee at 4:51.87 this season, so she'll certainly be in the mix as well.
But there are 11 girls under five minutes in this field. Take a look at the start list.
Carmen Alder is one of the most outstanding sophomores in the country. She was the runner up at Raleigh Relays and won a state championship in North Carolina last week. Her season best came early in the season at Raleigh, so she could be ready to run sub-4:50 for the first time this year. She was awfully close back in March.
Beth Donnelly has trained with the always talented Brentwood running club this season. The junior has the second-fastest personal best in this field at 4:50.45. She hasn't had a chance to race Hutchins yet, so that's going to be a fun battle to watch. Fellow Brentwood runner Sofia Rutherford is in this race too. She's just a freshman, but she'll be looking to break five minutes again herself.
We could see 13 girls break five minutes in this field. It's going to be an awesome race.
The guys race won't disappoint either.
Anytime we get a battle between Jake Renfree and Cole Bullock, you know it's going to be good. Those two East Tennessee rivals are set to toe the line again after a close finish at the state meet last week.
Better yet, Renfree is going to go up against Sprout -- the two faced off at New Balance Nationals Indoor, and Renfree came out on top in 4:06.39 to 4:06.68.
Bullock still has the top time in the state from the outdoor campaign. Renfree is looking to take the top spot as postseason racing gets underway.