Mid-Season Mania 1600m Invitational
RESULTS AT BOTTOM OF PAGE
Harriers Hit Track for 1600m Heat Mania
The 2nd edition of the Mid-Season Mania 1600m Invite saw perfect conditions on a windless evening at Bob Wilson Stadium. An unusual break from racing over hill and dale, the meet offered athletes a chance to measure fitness against peers of equal ability in mixed-gender heats around the oval. Wednesday's event was a spectacular success for many of the Cougars as the squad posted a staggering 95% improvement rate for the 4-lap distance.
Topping the list, Toby Barton (23) eclipsed his previous 1600m mark by 1 minute and 8 seconds, finishing in 5:37.96. Max Marino (24), Connor McGhee (23), and Alex Thomasson (24) also showed major development with gains over 50 seconds. McGhee's time of 4:34.67, which made him a contender in the fastest heat of the night, is inexplicably the first under the 5-minute barrier for the rapidly improving junior.
The fastest time of the 19-heat event was dropped in the final race by Rhys Pullen (22), who both led early and charged late to secure a narrow victory over teammate Alex Lodewick (23). The duo's times of 4:28.45 and 4:30.53 were just ahead of those from a quartet from Dougherty Valley.
The wave of success also included impressive marks for several post-season contenders on the girls' side, including a 5:28.09 mark for Caroline McCool (23). The third lap proved critical for McCool and many of her teammates, as Cougar veterans consistently transitioned from a focus on pace to a relentless pursuit of competitors at the half-way point in their respective races. Daisy Penney (24) and Quinn Guthrie (23) also used that strategy to their advantage, with each registering 1st-time sub-5:30 performances.
Significant progress was also demonstrated in the early heats as Cheryl Potter (24) dropped under 8 minutes for the first time, setting a new PR by 39 seconds. Cali Erickson (24) was next best with a 28-second improvement to finish in 6:39.50.
While Ellie Buckley (23) clung to the heels of a streaking Sabrina Noriega of Dougherty Valley to earn the 2nd-fastest girls' time of the day, Shea Volkmer (24) turned in a solid effort to finish just behind Miramonte's Kate Riley in 5:11.66.
RHYS PULLEN 12 4:28.45
ELLIE BUCKLEY 11 5:03.85