Tuesday Highlights: Emerging Contenders In Boys 1600m

Chasing Good Weather

Initially, the Shelby County Jamboree was supposed to start tonight I believe and straddle two nights into Thursday but after seeing the weather forecast last week they flexed their schedule to start on Monday and Tuesday meaning a lot of teams that competed on Saturday at Rumble in the Jungle would double back a day or two later and take to the track once again. Similarly, Overton Pre-season Time Trial was supposed to take place last Thursday but due to the forecast was moved to Tuesday as well. Other meets like HVA 1, Sumner County District Debut, and Dobyns-Bennett Early Bird were initially scheduled to take place Tuesday from the start. While the weather was fair, by the time most of these events ended the temperature had dropped significantly over the course of the day but that didn't stop some athletes from running some significant times. Coach Ted will recap the action from Memphis later this week and while I don't have time to cover every meet and event that occurred on Tuesday, the winners of this event stuck out.

Emerging Contenders In the Boys 1600m

Gabe Allen, Sophomore - Hardin Valley

It's hard to stick out in the distance events when it comes to the Class of 2025 especially in Knoxville but it's even harder when you're struggling with an injury. Shortly after Gabe Allen won the 1600m at the Farragut Invitational in early April of 2022 with a 4:34 (Ninth best for freshman last year) he suffered a stress fracture that ended his season. His recovery would carry over into the start of the following cross country season but after getting back on track with two flat 800m and 4:28 Mile he opened outdoor with a win at his home track with a new PR of 4:25. 

This performance sandwiches him between Farragut's Matteo Tonnos' (4:24) and Braden Ebbert's (4:26) performances from Saturday's Jamboree in the rankings which just points to how hard it's going to be to advance out from Section 1 yet again. It's a solid start however for a runner making up for lost time and one that will require our attention moving forward. 

Tennessee Boys 1600m Overall Rankings

Garrett Tunks, Sophomore - Beech

Moving East to West across the state and staying with the Class of 2025, Beech's Garrett Tunks notched a victory at the christening of the new Liberty Creek facility on Tuesday night running a new PR 4:34. While this is likely just a feeler race for him in the event as his focus is the 800m, it still adds options moving forward depending on how far he can drop his time before sectionals. It took 4:21 just to get out in Section 3 last year and all of those runners are returning but with the way sub-section qualifying has changed this year in bringing sixteen per event to the Section Final vs. just eight, Beech could realistically qualify 3 from the north with times like this. 

Tobias Tanui, Junior - Germantown

While the previously mentioned athletes come from prominent distance programs, Tobias Tanui of Germantown does not but that didn't stop him from beating three runners (Brent Lyons, Christian Patterson, Stewart Brown) who ended their seasons in an open distance event in Murfreesboro last year. Tanui's 4:34 was a 20 second PR and only his second time under five minutes in his career. Twin brother Titus Tanui finished 4th with a 4:45. The duo also led Germantown to a dominant victory in the 4x800m with an 8:22. With Kylon Higgins running 2:03 at this same competition for Germantown High School, it'll be exciting to see what these athletes can do this year especially if this is what they're opening with.