Wingfoot Mile Delights Crowd with Fast Finishes by Student Athletes, Pros

ATLANTA – May 24, 2017 - Despite the threat of storms, racing conditions were excellent for Atlanta Track Club’s All Comer’s Track & Field Meet at Buck Godfrey Stadium in Decatur Tuesday night.  The marquee events of the evening, the Wingfoot Mile heats provided an exciting show throughout all six divisions. 

Middle School Girls

This was the first year of the middle school division of the Wingfoot Mile.  Shani Simon of Sapphite Track Club lead the field through the first lap Then,McKenna Gates took the lead at 400m and never looked back.  Chasing Gates was 6th grader Clara Heppner of Alpha Crush Running Club. The two  held their positions from 600m through the finish line. The real battle was  for third between the Marietta Track Club duo of Hattie Rydinsky and Betsy Gordon, and Camryn Curtis of E-1 Track Club. In the  final lap, Gates increased her lead over Heppner to a 20m, setting Gates up with a new PR of 5:20 in the mile and giving her the #2 time in the U.S. this season. Heppner locked up second and Rydinsky won the battle for third.


RunnerTeamFinishing Time
 Gates, Makena    Unattached5:20.03 
 Heppner, Clara    Alpha Crush5:25.89
 Rydinsky, Hattie   Marietta Middle5:32.61 
 Curtis, CamrynE-1 Track Club5:33.20 
 Heppner, HeidiAlpha Crush5:33.61
Gordon, BetsyMarietta Middle5:40.70 
Walter, JordanPaideia  5:44.54 
Bailey, Ella   Unattached 5:47.96 
Simon, Shani Sapphite Track Club5:50.86 

Middle School Boys

The field was small for the middle school boys, but the contenders packed in plenty of action. Justin Wachtel, current U.S. #2 at 3200m runner (9:55), and Evan Miner of McConnell Middle School lead the pack with Anthony Arredondo of Chapel Hill leading the chase group. The pace was set at 2:25 through 800mAfter the halfway point, the leaders were reeled back in by the chase pack and a large group of runners were packed together fighting for the lead on the penultimate lap. Hayden Marshall of Alpha Crush, under -15 National record holder in the marathon, surged to the front with 650m left attempting to break up the pack. Marshall opened a significant gap over the field with 200m left. But behind him, Wachtel was making a comeback moving from fourth to second and eventually reeling in Marshall in the homestretch to take the win in a new PR of 4:44.90.  Marshall was second. Miner was third.


RunnerTeamFinishing Time
Wachtel, JustinUnattached4:44.90
Hayden, MarshallAlpha Crush4:47.36
Miner, EvanMcConnell Middle4:48.29
Jones, AndrewNorth Hall Middle4:49.80
Arredondo, AndrewChapel Hill4:53.44
McCauley, ElijahPaideia4:53.98
Dayal, AmirE-1 Track Club4:54.00
Watson, CameronCoffee Middle4:56.10


High School Girls

The high school girls race got off to a quick start led by Nicole Fegans of Landmark Christian, running the first 200m in 35 seconds. The top three girls, Fegans, Naima Turbes of Westminster, and Nyah Hernandez of Creekview established themselves as the top contenders through the first lap.  All three have state titles in the 1600m this year . In the second lap, the leaders continued to separate themselves from the chase pack, which was led by Winter Park Junior Rafaella Gibbons. Fegans led through 1200m with Hernandez and Turbes hanging onto every move until the final lap, when Fegans made a push with 300m to go and  broke away. Fegans would go on to win the race in 4:57.94,Turbes was in second at 5:03 and Hernandez finished in third.


RunnerTeamFinishing Time
Fegans, NicoleLandmark Christian4:57.94
Tubes, NiamaWestminster 5:03.01
Hernandez, NyahCreekview High School5:04.01
Ambrose, KateRockdale High School5:04.12
Burnett, AnnaWoodstock High School5:04.13
Addy, JackieHoly Innocents5:05.89
Mihalis, MorganLakeside High School5:07.34
Graves, ElizabethRiverwood High School5:08.54
Wirtz, JosieMarist School5:09.16
Bergey, MilicentSouth Forsyth5:10.08
Gibbons, RafaellaWinter Park (FL)5:12.82
Heller, MaddieBlessed Trinity5:13.21
Kettle, AbbyGreater Atlanta5:16.30
DuPont, KayleeSouth Forsyth5:20.70
Hooper, Haley Lovett School5:31.41

High School Boys

The high school boys had some fast times to chase with the previous fields lighting the track on fire. The race had a pace setter in Quinn Burden of Marist, who took the group out in 2:05. Over the first two laps Burden led Timothy Doyle of North Carolina’s Freedom High School followed by Sam Ellis of Decatur.  Behind them was a thick chase pack led by Joseph Wilson of South Carolina. Over the third lap, Ellis closed the gap on Doyle while Everett Smulders of Lovett made his move to lead the chase pack and fight for third place.  Going into the final lap, it was a battle for first between Doyle and Ellis and a fight for third between five runners led by Smulders.  In the final lap, Ellis showed his 800m foot speed, increasing the gap to 10m over Doyle and barely hanging on as he stumbled across the line in a PR of 4:16.


RunnerTeamFinishing Time
Sam EllisDecatur High School4:16.11
Doyle, Timothy  Freedom High (FL)4:16.89 
Smulders, Everett   Lovett School4:18.57 
Graham, NoahBrevard High School (NC)4:19.05
McCoy, BenBlessed Trinity4:20.23
Galimah, JallahHeritage High School4:20.84
Willette, DaxRockdale High School4:21.66
Turko, ChrisBlessed Trinity4:23.34
Davies, BenHoly Innocents4:23.86
Pittman, KnoxMarist School4:24.32
Wilson, JosephCarolina Homeschool4:24.53
Andersen, LeifMarist School4:27.56
Cragin, JamesArcher High 4:27.999
Pinheiro, AcasioUnattached4:28.37
Foley, TrevorCitrus Park (FL)4:35.96
Cantrell, ZacCreekview High School4:40.18
Burden, QuinnMarist SchoolDNF

Elite Women

The elite women’s field featured Atlanta Track Club Elite’s top women Bridget Lyons, Janel Blancett and Sonja Friend-Uhl. Lyons is a 2016 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials competitor and graduate of UGA while Blancett was a graduate of Georgia State University and entered the race coming off a fourth place finish at the Main Street Mile in Columbia, SC. Friend-Uhl would be attempting the beat the world record of 4:48 in the mile for women 45-49, which was set in 1997 (the U.S. record is 4:56). The women were paced through 800m by Atlanta Track Club Elite’s Megan Malasarte and Tia Wilson in 2:21.  Blancett and Lyons led the women on the third lap. Over the last 600m, Lyons reeled in Blancett, winning in 4:46. Friend-Uhl struggled in this race, finishing in 5:03, well off her personal best performance.


RunnerTeamFinishing Time
Lyons, Bridget  Atlanta Track Club4:46.61 
Blancett, Janel Atlanta Track Club4:53.89
Friend-Uhl, Sonja  Atlanta Track Club5:03.04 
Malasarte, Megan  Atlanta Track ClubDNF

Elite Men

The elite men’s field featured Atlanta Track Club’s top elite men looking to get the U.S. standard of 3:56.50.  The race was headlined by Georgia natives: Brandon Lasater, fresh off his 800m PR and national qualifying time of 1:47 on Friday in the Dream 800 run at the Georgia HS Meet of Champions and Grayson High School standout Kirubel Erassa, fresh off a season best 13:36 5K at the USATF Distance Classic in Los Angeles. Also in the race was 2016 Olympian Rob Mullett (steeplechase) and Stanford standout Jim Rosa. The race was paced by Matt Rice, who went through 800m in 1:58. Right behind him was Lasater, Errasa, Mullett and Rosa.  After Rice stepped off the track, Erassa took the third lap hard and surged past the field. Lasater and Rosa responded and tucked in behind him. Lasater and Erassa pulled away from Rosa with 300m to go, making it a two-man race. With a sub-four-minute mile in sight, Lasater and Erassa ran side by side as they came through 1500m. Lasater showed his 1:47 speed in the last 25m, passing Erassa to win the race in 3:59.46. Erassa was just shy of breaking 4, missing the mark by .01.


RunnerTeamFinishing Time
Lasater, BrandonAtlanta Track Club3:59.46
Erassa, KirubelAtlanta Track Club4:00.01 
Rosa, Jim Atlanta Track Club4:03.90 
Mullett, Rob  Atlanta Track Club4:07.68 
Dwyer, James  Atlanta Track Club4:08.60 
McDonald, MattAtlanta Track Club4:09.05 
McLain, Andrew  Atlanta Track Club4:19.10
Lafleur, MarcusAtlanta Track Club4:24.03 
Reich, NateAtlanta Track Club4:24.10
Peterson, Patrick   Atlanta Track ClubDNF
Rice, Matt Atlanta Track ClubDNF

You can view all Wingfoot Mile results here.

Members of Atlanta Track Club Elite will run with high school and middle school all stars again at Atlanta Track Club's Cross Country Camp hosted by Berry College July 23-28. Registration is open now. You can find more details here.