Each indoor season there is always an awkward dance in the distance event as coaches and athletes try to guess which events their competition will do. Especially this year where there are some clear cut favorites followed by a slew of potential medallists, predicting what events will be ran by who is a monumental task. We can save that for outdoor where it is far more obvious who will race which events. Today we will take a look at the distance relay, the 4×800, which will be a bit easier to discuss and predict.
D2 Girls: Great competition has emerged for the podium spots in the girls small school division. We can expect that the three powerhouse programs inhabiting the current top three positions will be ready to roll on race day. Currently Menard is your leader with a great 10:09 performance from Saturday. Less than ten seconds behind them are the EHS Knights led by superstar runner Alicia Stamey at 10:17 and only one second behind them is last year’s state champions, the Lusher Lions, at 10:18. Neither of these teams should be counted out, especially when you remove the D1 teams who helped pace the field to fast times this past week. If EHS can keep the field close they may have the x-factor on the last leg, but if the two others can work the middle of the race and pull ahead earlier than then, they may have what it takes to win the relay.
D2 Boys: The EHS boys are 24 seconds ahead of the next qualified team and the question is not if they win, but rather if they cruise to the title to save energy for those who might be doubling back in the 3200 or 4×4. STA and St. Martin’s are currently the next two program looking to make a serious run at the podium and they stand a second apart at 8:51 and 8:52 respectively. Both teams should will have had run their qualifying times five weeks before the state meet so it will interesting to see how much they improved in that time.
D1 Girls: Lafayette is making the top two teams from the XC season look like JV squads. They are 33 seconds ahead of SJA who sits as the state’s second best team at 10:08. Their 9:35 shatters Mandeville’s record from last season. To remind you, that relay had runners who ran times of 2:15, 2:17, 2:24 and 2:27 last spring in open 800s. What will be in store for Lafayette this outdoor season? We at least know that they should be close to lapping second place at state on the 18th. That being said, Mandeville and SJA are no slouches and won’t go quietly. SJA has some hungry seniors who will want to make their last indoor season worth remembering and Mandeville will proudly represent their program and will want to leave their own legacy after losing so many girls from last year. Expect this race to be fun for those who want to see some of the state’s best put it all on the line.
D1 Boys: What looked like it could have been a runaway victory for Catholic last week looks like a dead heat for the title after Saturday. Brother Martin brought their A-game and stole the show, winning by 3 seconds over the Bears. Not too far behind was a St. Paul’s squad without their big gun too, who could be an x-factor should he choose to run the 4×8 and help his team win the title. All three teams will have a good spread of runners in various events throughout the meet so we will have to see who brings the freshest legs to the race. 4×8 champion Curtis could still be in the mix with an A squad that still hasn’t run yet.