Lucas Guerra and Drew Rogers discuss their epic battle that will one day be legendary
CHICAGO- Who knew? Who knew coming into the Cabin Fever Invite that Lucas Guerra and Drew Rogers had a conversation that eventually led them to run the two-mile. "I texted him because I thought we were going to do the mile again.... we decided [eventually] to do the 2-mile," said Guerra.
In a field that was set up by a pacer (former Chicago Whitney Young's Anthony Tuman) whose job was to take the guys through the first mile in 4:29, Guerra from Highland IN and Rogers from Herscher IL formed a bond that's familiar in distance running.
Tuman's setup only lasted 1200m as he stepped off the track around 3:18. From there was Peter Walsdorf (Woodstock Marian) picked up the slack and pushed Rogers and Guerra up to the 1600m in around 4:29.
Rogers and Guerra quickly departed from a fading Walsdorf and realizing they needed to get a move on things. They hit 68 and 69-second circuits that brought kept them through in 5:37 and 6:47- nine minute two-mile pace.
The crowd was on its collective feet now with just a quarter-mile remaining at 7:56. Rogers and Guerra traded several heavyweight power punches and they survived the bell at 8:31.xx.
In order to break the magical barrier, the runners would need an amazing finish of historical big portions.
Guerra slingshotted himself into the lead and surged hard on the backstretch. Rogers was still there and but could not get an angle to take the lead. On the final turn, they appeared to pull even but had to veer right of two lapped runners with less than 50m remaining.
Rogers pushed a turbo button and cross the line first in... 9:00.21!! Guerra was 9:00.66. The loud roar of the crowd and spent they gave each other congratulatory pats. The reward was personal bests as well as US#2 and US#3 marks. Looking back perhaps the lapped runners prevented sub-9:00s. Who knows. The main thing was the supreme efforts of two of the top runners in the country.