Watch the NJSIAA Meet of Champions LIVE on MileSplit
Nationals champions Sean Dolan and Devin Hart are coming off record breaking performances at the NJSIAA Group Championships this weekend at Central Regional, and the distance running stars are now aiming to finish their high schools careers with a bang!
Dolan, a senior at Hopewell Valley, turned in a sparkling triple in Group 3.
On Friday, the Villanova-bound Dolan, the New Balance National champ in the mile last June, repeated as Group 3 champion in the 1,600 by running 4:10.76. He came back on Saturday to run a Group 3 record and PR of 1:50.53 to win his second straight 800, and then split 49.1 on the fifth-place 4x400 relay team.
Dolan's 4:10.76 and 1:50.53 are both NJ#1 times this season.
Dolan is such a unique talent.
After he showed off ridiculous range when ran a NJ#2 9:02.66 3,200 at the Holmdel Twlight Meet last month, he became just the second runner in state history to run under 9:05 for 3,200, under 4:10 for the mile (his PR is 4:08.86), and under 1:51 in the 800. The other NJ runner who did that-the legendary Edward Cheserek of St. Benedict's Prep, who graduated in 2013.
Dolan is also one of just six runners in NJ history go under 4:09 for the mile and under 1:51 in the 800 in his high school career. Robby Andrews of Manalapan, Cheserek, Roger Jones of Ramsey, John Carlotti of Bernards, and Ben Malone of Pascack Valley are the other five.
Dolan heads into the Meet of Champions next Saturday (1 p.m. at Northern Burlington High School) as the big favorite to win the 1,600 (he won't double in the 800) and capture the first individual M of C title of his career. But he's hoping for more than that. Dolan said the meet record of 4:07.31 set in 2012 by Chris Marco of Toms River South is within reach.
Dolan also said he plans to run the mile at the Brooks Invitational in Seattle on June 15th instead of defending his NBNO title in North Carolina, which is the same weekend.
Listen to Dolan talk about the Meet of Champs, Brooks, and his performances at the Group 3 meet in the video above.
The Stanford-bound Hart, the New Balance National 2-mile champ this past winter, is also running at the Brooks meet instead of NBNO.
Hart is coming off his third straight Group 2 3,200m title on Saturday in 9:04.57 to break his own Group 2 record.
Hart, who has won five M of C titles in his career (2 in XC, one indoors/2 outdoors), will head into the Meet of Champions seeking to become just the second boy to ever win three straight titles. Murad Campbell of Overbrook did it from 1997-99.
Hart, who has a PR of 8:53.46 for two miles and has run a NJ#1 9:01.90 3,200 this season, is expecting a tough race from a loaded field that includes Group 3 winner Jack Stanley of Mendham (PR of 9:05.76), Non-Public A winner Connor Melko of Bishop Eustace (PR of 9:06.52), and Group 3 runner-up Liam Murphy of Allentown (NJ#3 9:04.43 this season).
Hart edged Stanley by an eyelash in a epic battle at the XC M of C last fall, and Murphy upset Hart to win the best indoor 3,200 in NJ history at the Meet of Champions in February, 8:54.22 to 8:54.45. Hart avenged the defeat to Murphy when he won the NB National Indoor 2-mile title.
Hart said he feels it will probably take an 8:55 or better to win and he's ready to run as fast as it takes to win his 6th M of C title.
Listen to Hart talk about the upcoming M of C race, his decision to run at the Brooks Invite and much more in this video-