Stellar HS Boys' Field Headlines 2023 Magis Miles

Aden Bandukwala will follow-up his 1600 state title once again trying to hold off Camyn Viger, Trey Sato and Caden Weber. Photo by Jorge Espinosa.

CHICAGO, IL -- On Saturday, June 3rd, the 8th Running of the Magis Miles will take place in the South Loop of Chicago, on the new Saint Ignatius College Prep track on the southwest corner of Roosevelt and Morgan. The first five installments, which were highlighted by Meet Records of 4:39.57 for the Women by Katelynne Hart, and 4:02.05 by Jake Campbell, were held behind the school on the old track, with the three since COVID-19 on the new field. Since its 2015 inception, the mission of Magis Miles has been twofold: firstly, to give all runners of all ages an opportunity to run a fast Mile against fair competition in the warm, early Chicago summer. The second, has been to achieve the first Sub-4 Minute Mile outdoors in the city of Chicago. Tom O'Hara, Saint Ignatius graduate, ran the first Sub-4 Mile indoors in the 1950's, but incredibly, no sub-4 has happened outdoors to this day, even with the flurry of sub-4's recently at the high school and collegiate levels. Is 2023 finally the year this happens? 

Whether that's the case or not, there will be some fantastic races, from the Open Miles, to the Middle School, High School, and Elite Miles. Here are some of the races to watch on Saturday Night. 

Bandukwala Leads HS Boys' Elite Field

By now, you have probably seen Aden Bandukwala's 54.88 final lap that won him his second 1600 title, and won him his first viral internet moment. Those who might be wondering what Bandukwala can achieve going for both time AND the win, don't have to wait much longer, as he joins the Ray Mayer Elite HS Mile field, along with a host of great Illinois athletes that raced him at state, as well as those from other classifications and other events. One notable entry is 3A 1600 state leader Ryan Eddington (Jr., Downers Grove North), who ran 4:08 at conference and did not contest the 1600 at state. (Note: Both Eddington and Bandukwala are joined by many of their teammates, including Michael Skora and Kyle Doorhy for Hinsdale Central, and Topher Ferris, Caden Weber, Asa Gaspar, Grant Schroder, Leo Gartlan and Zachary Bender for DGN). Another runner who did not run 1600 at state but will try his hand at the Mile at Magis is 3A 3200 state champion Evan Horgan (Sr., Belvidere North), who will be a Lewis University Flyer next year. Horgan pulled away from a field that included Bandukwala and ran 9:05 to complete a season of going undefeated at all distances outdoors. His best is 4:18 but looks to improve that immensely. 

Runner-up behind Bandukwala at state was Camyn Viger (Jr., Plainfield South), who runs Magis Miles for the first time. Viger also ran a sub-60 final lap on his way to a 4:11 all time PR. Not far behind was Trey Sato (Jr., Grayslake Central), who finished fifth in 4:12, and then hopped back onto the track to anchor the 4x400 state runner-up Rams group in under 50 seconds. Sato and Viger together were the top Illinois finishers at the Mile at Palatine Distance Night. Up there is Caden Weber (Jr., DGN) snuck ahead of Sato to run his first 4:12 time and will look to better that at Magis. 

The Elite Boys' field is much deeper than just the top six, lead by Dale Johnson (Jr., Sterling), who was runner-up in both distance races in 2A. Watch also for Quintin Lowe (Sr., Batavia), Ethan Reynoso (Sr., Plainfield South), Foster Shelbert (Jr., Naperville Central), Jackson Barrett (Jr., Tuscola), Theo Cunningham (Sr., Fremd), Liam Naughton (Jr., Hersey), Grayden Rill (Sr., Fenwick), Trent Anderson (Sr., Sandburg), Alex Das (Sr., Oswego East), Akili Parekh (Sr., Latin), Will Kozlowski (Jr., Lane Tech), Oscar Dueno-Alda (Sr., New Trier), Jacob Barraza (So., DeKalb), Mohamed Abdullahi (Sr., Mather), and Dalton Lowery (Sr., Whitney Young). 

Catie McCabe won the HS Girls' Elite Mile in 2022 and returns to run the Women's Magis Mile in 2023. Photo by Steve Bugarin.

Elite Women's Field Includes Collegiates and Elite High Schoolers

The Women's Magis Mile has been won by Illinois alum as collegians the last two years. In 2021, it was Ashley Tutt, Minooka alum and NIU runner (prior to Iowa State). In 2022, Emma Watcke, former Hinsdale Central Red Devil and current Wisconsin Badger, took home the title. A few of Watcke's Badger teammates take the mantle this year. Mya Bunke, a Wisconsin native, enters with a 4:23 1500 best, an unattached mark from the St. Francis Fighting Chance meet, and a 4:50 Full Mile best from Chicago's Windy City Invite at Gately Park. Madison native Vivian Hacker also brings her 4:32 1500 PB to the field and will shoot for 4:45 for the full mile. UIC's Emma Creviston is a 4:36 1500 athlete and is quite familiar with the Saint Ignatius track, as the Flames train there. 

The field includes a host of sub-5:00 milers from high school, led by 3A 1600 runner-up Catie McCabe (Sr., Hinsdale Central). McCabe, heading to University of Indiana next year, ran 4:53.3 in that race, being just outleaned by Anna Harden, and hopes to best her all-time personal best of 4:52 set in 2021. Right with her is Annika Swan (Fr., Saint Ignatius), competing on the track she trains on every day. Swan was runner-up in the 3A 800 and 7th in the 3A 1600, but will look to improve on her 4:53.82 best from Top Times. Swan has set every Saint Ignatius distance school record beside the 1600, which is 4:52.66 by Lexi Affolter in 2021. Other sub-5 girls include Mia Pasha (Sr., Warren), signee with Georgetown University, and Liv Phillips (Jr., Naperville Central), who ran 4:59 this April and made the 3A 1600 final. Bria Bennis (Sr., York) finally broke 5 for the first time with a 4:58 preliminary run to make it to the final. She was third in the 3200 running 10:24 and heads to Vanderbilt next year. A few other girls shooting for the 5:00 Full Mile mark include Natalie Quinn (Sr., OPRF), Julie Piot (Jr., Naperville North), Sofia Arcuri (So., Maine South), and Zoe Carter (So., Normal University).

Male Collegians and Illinois Alum hope to trim the gap to 4:00

The top seed in the Collegiate/Pro field is Nicholas Hruskoci, an Indiana local who now runs for university of Wisconsin, and owner of a 3:49 1500 PR. Matt Aho, Grayslake Central and Bradley University grad, makes his debut at Magis Miles too. Aho's focus in college was beyond the Mile running 29:30 for 10k and 14:00 for 5k, but he believes he can trim a significant chunk from his 3:50 1500 PR. Jack Klein, graduated of Lane Tech last year and current Miami (OH) runner, has run 3:55 for 1500. Second City Track Club sends a contigent for the second straight year, headlined by Jared Reckard and Eric Vazquez-Olivas. Georgia Tech alum Jag Gangemi and University of Chicago runner Tommy Donohoe (Lane Tech graduate) also join the field. 

Notable Illinois alum running in other races include Belvidere North legend Paul Zeman (who helped the Blue Thunder to multiple XC state titles), Conant alum Zach Dale (2014 XC Runner-up), and Saint Ignatius alum and coach Chris Korabik (2014 3A 1600 runner-up, DePaul and Georgia Tech alum). 

The Magis Miles Croc record was set last year by Nick Kiley in 4:47.07. It's considered one of IHSA's most unbreakable records to this day.