Friday, June 09, 2017

Alex Miley Wins the Class AA 3200

Alex Miley wins the Class AA 3200. Photo by Gene Niemi
Maple Grove's Alex Miley doubled in the 1600 and the 3200 in April at the Hamline Elite Meet.  Miley's objective then was to run against tougher competition than he had encountered prior to that meet.  His investment paid off on Friday.

The favorite going into the State Meet was Hopkins' Seth Eliason, who won the 3200 at the Hamline Elite Meet, but also had a bond of sorts with Miley.  The pair had gotten to know one another as they traveled together to Nike Nationals.  "We got to know each other's strengths and weaknesses," said Miley

Thus it was no surprise that Miley took off early in the race after an opening quarters of 72 and 73 seconds.  Eliason, who is known for his speed and ability to out kick his opponents, likes to save his energy for his kick.  Miley is adept at neutralizing that finishing speed by attempting to tire his opponents with a solid early pace.  So, neither Eliason and Miley were surprised that Miley opened up a large gap between himself and the field early on.

Eliason was surprised that the 72 second first lap seemed  harder than normal.  He could see the gap Miley had, but wasn't able to close it.  "You had it today," Eliason said to Miley as the two got together after the race. Eliason had been passed late in the race by Como Park's Innocent Murwanashyaka, who said that he didn't have the confidence to try and catch Miley. He didn't want to lose what he'd already gained if he miscalculated and blew up attempting to challenge  Miley and lost what he'd gained.

Alex Miley separates himself from the rest of the field. Seth Eliason left behind
Photo by Gene Niemi
For Eliason the attempt of Antonio Judson-Red Elk to pass him triggered a new surge of energy.  "I didn't want to finish fourth again," said Eliason.  I was fourth in cross country and I didn't want that to happen again.  Being able to hold off Judson-Red Elk boosted his spirit some and Eliason set another goal.  He wanted to make up for the loss of the 3200 by setting his mind on winning the 1600 on Saturday.

The top four in the 3200 are scheduled to resume their rivalry on a day that is predicted to be more hot and humid than Friday, leaving all the participants with another obstacle. Miley said he was pleasently surprised that he seemed to be recovering well from his efforts in winning the 3200 and optimistic that he might be able to complete a distance double in the 1600.

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