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By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian
BY ZACH EWING Californian staff writer firstname.lastname@example.org
The high school sports world in the Central Section took a much-deserved breather this weekend, with only a couple of postseason golf tournaments and the CIF State Track and Field Championships next weekend in Clovis to go before we hit summer break.
But not everyone was resting. Stockdale junior phenom Blake Haney was in New York City, running in an adidas Grand Prix event that hosted the Dream Mile, a collection of the nation's finest high school distance runners. Besides the great competition, the event is in part put together to let the top guys (and gals) in the country run their best times — just a couple of years ago, it produced just the fifth sub-four minute mile by a high schooler in world history.
For the second straight year, Haney was in the race, and for the second straight year, it produced a personal record. This one, 4:07.78, was the fastest mile ever run by a Central Section high schooler, and when converted to the more common 1,600 meters (which is about nine meters shorter than a mile), the time of 4:06.35 is also a Central Section record.
So here's the race. It didn't go totally according to plan, mostly because windy conditions slowed the whole field down in the first half of the race, but winner Ben Saarel of Park City, Utah, produces a nice kick at the finish to win in 4:02.72, and three other runners, including Haney, earned PRs despite the conditions. Haney now owns section records in both the 1,600 meters/mile and the 3,200 meters, and he'll race for gold in both distance events at state starting Friday.
If you're looking for Haney, he starts fifth from the top of the screen (hip number 5, though it's tough to see that). He makes a nice move toward the front on the homestretch of the first lap, then stays with the lead pack for most of the race (he's fourth after two laps, fifth after three) before falling a few seconds behind when Saarel and the leaders make their move midway through the final lap.