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Kennedy Weisner, Luke Gavigan Win Trials Miles To Advance to Millrose - 2014 DyeStat

Published by
DyeStat   Jan 16th 2014, 5:56am

Weisner, Gavigan rule the invitational miles


By Doug Binder, DyeStat Editor

Kennedy Weisner and Luke Gavigan weren't the most popular choices coming into Wednesday's NYRR Millrose Games Trials at The Armory, for different reasons, but they both showed that they probably should have been.

In the strongest high school mile fields so far assembled in 2014, Weisner of Elk County Catholic (Pa.) and Gavigan of Tappan Zee (N.Y.) both won and moved to US#1 in the process.

In a boys field that produced five of the top 11 times in the mile this season, Gavigan bided his time and then stepped on the accelerator in the final 150 meters to cruise past Mike McClemens of Christian Brothers Academy (N.J.) and Sean Kelly of Chaminade (N.Y.).

It was a ferocious kick that shoved Gavigan into the lead and to a personal best 4:15.68.

"The first half of the race I was trying to go out relaxed because I knew it would be a fast race," he said. "I tried to go with (the leaders) and the last 100 metesr I tried to take a shot and see what I had left."

Apparently, there was plenty left.

Gavigan, a junior, ran 4:17.45 for the mile last spring at Penn Relays and enjoyed a reasonably good cross country season. But he is finding that he is a miler. Just three days earlier at the Section 1 League meet at The Armory, he ran a US#1 4:18.8.

This has become the week that boosts him onto the national radar. He could be one of the leading contenders for the boys mile title at the Millrose Games on Feb. 15.

"It's great to qualilfy. I've been dreaming about this for so long," Gavigan said.

Kelly, who has been on a roll lately, controlled the pace from the front much of the way. He was second in 4:17.65 and is assured of getting an at-large spot at Millrose. McClemens was next in 4:18.03, barely ahead of Northport's Tim McGowan in 4:18.04.

Weisner, on the other hand, is a veteran of the Millrose Games and a top recruit headed to Georgetown.

But she was injured at the Manhattan Invitational in October and was forced to stop running for a month. Wednesday's race was her first of the indoor season.

"I didn't lose too much fitness because of cross-training," said Weisner, who broke away from the pack with 600 meters to go and won her second consecutive Millrose Trials mile in 4:55.37. "I've been feeling really good lately and wanted to race hard and win."

Weisner placed seventh in the Millrose Games mile last year, fading late after leading a significant chunk of the race. She wants a better result in front of the big crowd this time.

"I definitely wanted to qualify again so I could reverse that (outcome) this year," she said.
Pennsylvania girls swept the top four spots. Behind Weisner was Marissa Sheva of Pennridge, Mady Clahane of Cumberland Valley and Foot Locker champion Tessa Barrett of Abington Heights. They were the only four to break five minutes. One of the pre-race favorites, Maddy Berkson of Classical (R.I.), was fifth. Erin Jaskot from Tappan Zee (same as Gavigan) was the top New Yorker, in sixth place.

Although Gavigan and Weisner nailed down automatic berths on Wednesday, it's a safe bet that a handful of other finishers from the trials races will advance on time. What's unknown at the moment is how many.

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