Wilson Georges Sets The Weekend Tone At VA Showcase

Several Illinois boys performed well in the 1600m, most notably Wilson Georges

Virginia Beach, VA

Desperate times come desperate measures. With stubborn Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker toeing his hardline stance of not allowing indoor activities in the state, track and field athletes have had to scrape up every nickel and dime and travel to odd places like Ft. Wayne IN, Youngstown OH, Birmingham AL, and Virginia Beach for competition. 

There were nearly two dozen athletes from Illinois signed up to compete for the biggest meet of the season in Virginia Beach- the VA Showcase- which is a backdrop of a city known for its proximity to the Chesapeake Bay and for naval military activities.

On the third day of the competition, a late arrival by the name of Wilson Georges entered the boys 1600m field. He would be in the fastest section and already a fellow Illinoisian senior Peter Walsdorf of Woodstock Marian High School had busted out a 4:27.90 to win his section.

Like most distance runners, the standout junior from Bartonville High School in Limestone took just a week off after winning the 2A Shazam cross country championship. "I've done some workouts at goal 1600 pace, so around 65 for 400, as well as a decent amount of tempos, thresholds, and some nice long runs," said Georges.

The late arrival to the start list, Georges wasn't sure of the outcome that preceded him. Said of his race, "

I wasn't sure if I was ready to go sub 4:20 coming into the weekend, but I was pretty certain I could beast my previous PR of 4:28. I'm a bit surprised by how smooth the 4:18 felt but I think it's a combination of having confidence from the past xc season as well as making sure to put in enough strength work rather than just running those workouts at goal pace."

Needing just a win to secure the open 1600m title (assuming section #15 would follow in succession in terms of getting faster: 4:24.36). Georges hung back behind the leaders early on, hitting splits of 64.8, 2:11.3. On the third circuit, he moved into a striking position and it appeared as though he would be a candidate for the win. Just off the pace at 1200m in 3:17.0.

Georges looked strong and just before the bell lap he took off in express mode and opened a slight gap on Sam Rich of Catawba HS in South Carolina. It was big enough where Rich could not reel in Georges surprising last lap finish that was sub 30 seconds and an IL#1/US#5 4:18.13.

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