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Borchers scorches 1600 finish at Darby

Darby Distance Twilight

Friday, April 27 2007 Hilliard High School

Jeff Hollobaugh

 Running in the Darby Distance Twilight Meet, Nike Indoor mile champ Samuel Borchers of Yellow Springs, Ohio, didn't look like a nation beater at the 400 mark of the 1600, clocking 1:03.7 in second place. He cruised into the lead on the next lap, clocking 2:10.5 at the halfway point. Perhaps, thought some, the light rain and wind combined with temperatures in the low fifties, had taken the edge off the competitors.


Then Borchers started stretching the pace out, covering the third lap in 62.4. That had a dramatic effect on the field. Brian Gallagher of St. Ignatius had been moving up smartly and in third place had been poised to make a move. Then suddenly it seemed as if he were moving backwards. Everything's relative. Borchers continued his extended kick, and he challenged his competition in a way they didn't expect. He passed 1500 in 3:56.7, and hit the finish in 4:10.83, clocking 57.9 for the last lap and 2:00.3 for the final 800. Hayes senior Jake Edwards closed well for second in 4:11.64.


Borchers' performance stunned onlookers but came as no surprise to him. "About 4:10 or 4:09 was what I thought I could do. I just wanted to stay close and kick. The first lap felt comfortable, and the second lap felt slow, so I went."


Perhaps the most impressive thing is that Borchers has barely started on speedwork for the season. "I ran this just off distance," he explained. "I did my first interval workout earlier this week and it was an easy one."


Equally impressive was Dan Jackson. The Dexter, Michigan, senior came to the meet with his parents to run on his own. His team was one of four Michigan schools that were blocked from attending by their state association. However, the association does permit two unattached meets per season, and Jackson showed up to ask the director if he could run the 3200 unattached.


The result proved to be a win-win for everybody. Jackson took the lead at the 100 and never looked back, clicking off his laps like clockwork: 66.5, 68.2 (2:14.7), 67.7 (3:22.4), 67.5 (4:29.9), 68.7 (5:38.6), 68.7 (6:47.3), 69.4 (7:56.7) and 63.2. He hit 3000 in 8:28.2 and the finish in 8:59.91. He won by more than 15 seconds over New Richmond's Eric Finan (9:15.16).


How did that match Jackson's pre-race plan? "Exactly," said Jackson. "I wanted to hit halfway at 4:30. When I hit it at 4:29 and felt great, I knew I had it. I've been running only 800s and 1600s. I feel so much stronger [than indoors]."


Corwin Swint of Massillion Perry blistered a 54.2 opener in the 800, but faded on the stretch as Lakota West senior Heath Gibson sprinted past to win in 1:57.56. Said Gibson, "That's a lot faster than I normally go out. I was worried. I didn't feel confident of winning until about 125 left. My legs were dead." Swint faded to fourth in 1:58.68.


The boys 4 x 800 saw Dublin Coffman take the lead on the third leg of Casey Hague, and win with splits of 2:03.7, 2:04.9, 2:02.3, and 2:03.7 (8:14.56). Lakota West captured the DMR in 11:01.24. That pattern held for the girls races as well. The girls  4 x 800 went to Dublin Coffman in 10:00.00 while Lakota West captured the DMR in 12:45.01.


Emily Pritt won the 1600 in 5:03.91, but admitted she was hoping for a faster time. Originally slated to run against cross country champion Amanda Burger of Lakota West, she had to put together essentially a solo run from the front. "I looked over and thought, 'Man, she's not here.' It was still a good run, though." Burger, meanwhile, concentrated on the 3200, where she held on after a fast start to clock 11:00.01.


Kelley Miller of Dublin Coffman came from behind to win the 800 in 2:23.26. The freshman 1600s were won by home favorite Jay McKenna of Darby in 4:37.93. Kelly Greenzalis of Coffman (5:44.25).


Overall, even the weather couldn't put a damper on the well-run and promising event. When the stadium lights came on, a certain magic came over the field, and fast times came. Dublin Coffman beat Lakota West for the girls team title, 45-34. Positions reversed for the men's race, with Lakota West coming out on top with 26 points to Coffman's 18.

Darby Distance Twilight Index