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18th Nike Outdoor Nationals
June 19-21, 2008 - North Carolina A&T University, Greensboro NC


Best ever boys 2-mile -- again?
Fernandez, Puskedra, Lowe and Finnerty could top 2007 fireworks

by John Dye

Last year's 8-lapper at Greensboro was epic, with Matt Centrowicz MD winning in 8:41.55 (US#4 all time) and chased by Craig Forys NJ 8:44.53, Elliott Heath MN 8:46.12, Evan Jager IL 8:47.59, and 7 more under 9 minutes. Our Dave Devine called it "A Run for the Ages." Our SteveU said, "Never before. Never again (?)"

Get ready for another epic, with German Fernandez CA, Luke Puskedra UT and Colby Lowe TX ready to toe the line at 8 pm Friday night June 20. Fernandez just smashed the California and National Federation records for 3200 meters in an unbelievable same-day double at the California State Meet May 31 (4:00.29 and 8:34.23). Before that Puskedra dominated the national distance scene from February to April with wins at Simplot, Boston, Nike Indoor Nationals and Arcadia. Texas 1600/3200 champion Lowe gave Puskedra all he wanted at Boston and Nike Indoor. Arcadia was supposed to be a showdown between Puskedra and Fernandez, but Fernandez was a late scratch due to injury, allowing Puskedra to raise his index finger as the #1 distance runner in the nation. Now he will have to win back that title face to face with Fernandez. Then there's Rob Finnerty MN, who like Centrowitz last year, brings in a huge mile PR (4:01.09) but has yet to attempt an all-out deuce with competition outdoors.

Jeff Nelson's record could fall. The US 2-mile record (8:36.3 by Jeff Nelson CA in 1979) belongs to another era, the tail end of the first Golden Age of high school distance running. It has withstood 21st century assaults by Centrowitz, Ritzenhein, Rupp, Forys, Kiptoo and Sage. Unless you count Fernandez' converted time in the California state meet (8:37-8:38 range) no one besides Nelson has ever broken 8:40. With Alan Webb's mile record (3:53.43 in 2001) and this meet as bookends, along with the Hasay-Babcock exploits on the girls side, we can surely assert that we are now enjoying the second Golden Age of high school distance running.

German Fernandez

by Kirby Lee
Luke Puskedra

by John Dye
Colby Lowe

by Bert Richardson

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