I don't think he could've EASILY gone under 4 without that group but it certainly shows where a little time can be taken off. But the reality is, in races, he will always have to deal with other people getting in the way. Every race he runs will have certain things that could be "ironed out" for a faster race. But as soon as you fix one thing something else pops up in the race that you didn't expect (well we worked on staying in closer to the rail this race but then ended up getting boxed in for the first half and getting out to slow). There's always going to be something.
Could he run under 4 this year (or the 1500m equivalent)? It certainly looks like he is right on that threshold at the moment. But will he get the chance to actually do it this year? Probably not. Those types of race are RARE. Look at 90 % of the world records and American records set and you will see a Time Trial type race. Where 3 rabbits pull the runner through 75% of the race at an extremely fast pace and stay the heck out of his way. If he had something like that that with a smaller field to not clog up the track then I would say it isn't unreasonable to think he could run .06 seconds faster a lap to sneak under. If he goes to USA Nationals the next few weeks then it is highly doubtful that we will see that sort of race in the prelims and finals. They are usually more strategic and focused on place as opposed to just ripping a fast time. If the Grand Prix meet was his last horray at chasing a big PR then I think he ended things on the perfect note. Happy with a big PR and the confidence to mix it up with the best runners in the country but in end knowing deep down that he had a better one in him. That will keep him hungry and ready to go after things next year.
Also a huge congratulations for his Coach Chris Parsons who has been thinking outside the box with allowing his athletes to think bigger than just being good in this state (or what constitutes as being good in this state at the high school level) and seeing what they can do at a National level. Maggie Drazba and her coach as well, along with Kirtner and the Jefferson crew. There is a lot of criticizing when it comes to these Coaches taking their kids out of state or not racing them as much as the fans would like. Keep doing what you are doing!! The thing about dumb people is they don't know they're dumb and don't mind being vocally critical of something they don't know anything about. These people know nothing. There is also a silent majority of people who know what you are doing is right and wish more people did things this way. You know you're athletes and what's best for them. KEEP DOING WHAT YOU KNOW IS RIGHT. Set the example. If every Coach in this state isn't trying to figure out what these coaches are doing it to apply it to their own distance crew then they are already obsolete.
Congrats and keep up the hard work.
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