* Dylon Nalley clutches his watch as he nears the finish line at the Richard Spring Invitational.
PEORIA, Ill. -- Last year, everyone got excited when Missouri prep standout Connor Burns announced that he would compete in the Richard Spring Invitational. There was tremendous hype because Burns had run sub-4 for the full mile.
Burns did not achieve his goal of smashing the Detweiller record of 13:49.86, held by Josh Methner (Hersey, '20). The record lived on.
But this past weekend, there was another round of hype-building with the resurgence of Dylon Nalley, a high school senior from Marion. The buzz among the massive crowd was stirring as Nalley bolted ahead of the 600-plus field size. He hit the opening half-mile around 2:10 and the first mile in 4:29.
The chase pack checked in just under 4:40 and appeared content for the moment.
With his father barking out instructions to keep the pressure on, Nalley entered the "Bermuda Triangle" with his foot squarely on the gas pedal. He was on sub-14 minute pace at the halfway mark with an unofficial time of 6:55.
Unlike the Peoria Invite last year, there were no intruders in his pathway -- not yet, anyway.
The pursuers were on their way to having great efforts if they could hold form. Dylan Ybarra (Sr., O'Fallon), Zac Close (Sr., Neuqua Valley), Joe Bregenzer (Jr., Barrington), and several out-of-towners were attacking.
Still, Nalley was well ahead of the fray at two miles in 9:16. He was still on sub-14 pace, but trouble in the way of race congestion was about to make things difficult.
With less than 400 meters to go on the "S" snake turn, he had to weave through a slew of lapped runners.
Nalley streamed home in a new personal best and meet record 14:00.20.
Illinois No. 3 ranked Hersey ran a terrific team race, leading at each mile checkpoint.
The Huskies have two front runners in Frayder and Liam Naughton (Sr) and a solid closer. They, along with Oak Park-River Forest and O'Fallon, are going to be hard to beat in November.
Oh yeah, and that Detweiller record still stands another day.
|1||Arlington Heights (Hersey)||127||7+12+19+37+52 (122+143)||0:49 1-5 Split | 14:51 Avg|
|2||Oak Park (O.P.-River Forest)||135||17+20+22+34+42 (78+84)||0:22 1-5 Split | 14:56 Avg|
|3||O'Fallon (H.S.)||141||2+8+36+38+57 (95+130)||1:02 1-5 Split | 14:53 Avg|
|4||Mason||154||6+13+29+33+73 (75+91)||0:59 1-5 Split | 14:54 Avg|
|5||Naperville (Neuqua Valley)||240||3+15+62+68+92 (109+151)||1:12 1-5 Split | 15:06 Avg|