Malone Eyes Old Millrose Mark
Ben Malone not only wanted to make the Millrose Games mile but do something special when he gets there.
Malone, who set the high school track world aflame last year when he dipped under 1:50 indoors and won the New Balance Indoor Nationals 800, said he'd like to break the long-standing Millrose Games high school mile record. Kevin Byrne of Paramus Catholic (N.J.) ran 4:08.0 in 1977 and nobody has run faster since.
On Wednesday, Malone of Pascack Valley, N.J., kicked to the lead with 200 left and sped away to win in 4:17.89.
"I'm good friends with Kevin Byrne and friends with his son. (Kevin) ran against my dad," Malone said.
That personal connection to the record-holder could serve as motivation over the next month.
Is he ready to chase after the 36-year-old mark?
"Right now, no," Malone said.
The Villanova recruit didn't turn out for cross country last fall, but he said he is hoping to run faster than ever this winter.
"I had a lot of illness and injuries in the fall," Malone said. "I took some time off but now I'm hopefully ready to have the biggest season of my life."
It was the third appearance of the season for Malone at the Armory. He competed with his teammates on a sprint medley relay at the Hispanic Games and then ran a somewhat relaxed 400 meters on Sunday in New Jersey's Big North Championships.
He was gearing up for his Millrose qualifier.
"I didn't know what to think when Millrose left the (Madison Square) Garden, but now I think that moving it here is making it better than ever," Malone said. "I definitely wanted to run Millrose so that I could be a part of it."
Saratoga Springs (N.Y.) junior Jay Navin charged past North Babylon's Kris Moran to take the second automatic qualifying berth, clocking 4:18.49.
Weiser Goes Wire to Wire
Kennedy Weisner travelled from northwestern Pennsylvania to vie for her spot in the Millrose Games girls high school mile.
She was the top seed, wore hip number 1, jumped into the lead at the very start and then slowly pulled away from everyone in the last half of the race to win it in 4:54.14. Marissa Sheva, a sophomore from Pennridge, remained strong late in the race and finished in 4:54.70. She outkicked third-place finisher Sara Sargent of Pennsbury (4:55.87) as the Keystone State swept the top three places.
Weisner, of Elk County Catholic, runs in Pennsylvania's small-school Class A classification. But that didn't stop her from qualifying for the Foot Locker Cross Country championships after winning her state title.
And it didn't stop her from setting her sights on New York City and the Millrose Games. "I just wanted to get in a really good race and qualify (for Millrose)," Weisner said. "It worked out really good. I felt good."
Weisner has been to the Armory the past two years for New Balance Indoor Nationals. She placed fifth in the emerging elite mile last year and was fourth in 2011 in the freshman mile.
Wednesday's race was an indoor PR. She ran 4:48.69 for 1,600 meters last spring, placing second to Angel Piccirillo at the Pennsylvania state meet.
Unofficial Qualifiers to the Millrose Games:
NYRR boys' 4x200m relay
Bronx Tigers TC (1:53.62)
NYRR PS 126 (1:57.46)
Metro Eagles (2:00.95)
East NY Impalas (2:01.16)
NYRR girls' 4x200m relay
Ruff Kutz (1:50.89)
Metro Eagles (1:54.33)
Medgar Evers (1:55.24)
NYRR MLS (2:14.40)
CHSAA girls' sprint medley relay
St. Anthony's (4:16.58)
Sacred Heart (4:16.70)
Holy Trinity (4:17.39)
Mary Louis (4:18.04)
St. John the Baptist (4:21.67)
PSAL boys' 4x400m relay
Samuel J. Tilden (3:26.17)
Boys & Girls (3:28.75)
Medgar Evers (3:29.40)
Mott Haven (3:30.89)
South Shore (3:31.76)
John F. Kennedy (3:32.98)
PSAL girls' 4x400m relay
Benjamin Cardozo (3:54.27)
Port Richmond (3:56.42)
Dewitt Clinton (4:00.75)
Medgar Evers (4:01.17)
Benjamin Banneker (4:02.74)
CHSAA boys' 4x800m relay
St. Anthony's (7:55.58)
Monsignor Farrell (8:01.53)
St. John the Baptist (8:02.12)
Girls' 55m dash
Iana Amsterdam, Newark Tech (7.29)
Brenessa Thompson, Medgar Evers (7.33)
Melissa Michels, Sachem North (7.34)
Brittany Steele, Spence (7.41)
Boys' 55m dash
Christopher Belcher, Sayville (6.43)
Justin Guerre, St. Francis (6.50)
Dellon Peters, James Madison (6.58)
Brandon Gooden, John Bowne (6.60)
Girls' mile run
Kennedy Weisner, Elk County Catholic (4:54.18)
Marissa Sheva, Pennridge (4:54.90)
Boys' mile run
Ben Malone, Pascack Valley (4:17.96)
Jay Navin, Saratoga Springs (4:18.49)
CHSAA boys' 4x200m relay
Mount St. Michael's (1:30.65)
Cardinal Hayes (1:31.30)
Cardinal Spellman (1:32.92)
St. Anthony's (1:33.41)
St. Francis Prep (1:33.97)
Long Island girls' 4x400m relay
Garden City (4:02.48)
North Babylon (4:03.02)
Half Hollow Hills East (4:03.97)
Bay Shore (4:05.68)
Long Island boys' 4x400m relay
Half Hollow Hills West (3:27.00)
Half Hollow Hills East (3:29.19)
Suburban girls' 4x400m relay
New Rochelle (4:01.37)
Suburban boys' 4x400m relay
Union Catholic (3:20.38)
Warwick Valley (3:26.64)
New Rochelle (3:30.21)