Patrick Casey pulls off another great performance at the Montana Mile. He and John Ricardi (just having finished up at Idaho State) had a great race over about 1400 meters. But, in about the last 200, Patrick put in the big finish and set a new raace record at 4:07.9. This gave him a bit over 3 seconds at the finsh, with John hitting 2nd at 4:11.3. Those are great times for both. Over the last 2 or 3 years; these two athletes have taken the Montana Mile to a whole new level of times and competitive performance.
John's performance comes after a long season of cross country, indoor track and outdoor track. His outdoor track season alone included having to be on top of form all the way to June and the NCAA outdoor championships. Amazing that he could still pull out a 4:11 when he's well beyond his competitive sharpness for the year.
And, Patrick is equally impressive. After hitting a 4:04 mile this indoor season and getting 3rd at the NCAA indoor championships, Patrick reshirted his outdoor season to build some strength and get ready for a big XC season. Well, the work is clearly paying off. To hit a 4:07 in your off-season, with no recent competitions to get you sharp - it bodes well for what we'll see from Patrick in the upcoming year. I dare say that he could be positioning himself quite well to be part of the NCAA middle distance elite over his next two years.
Another big time run came from super master Peter Dan Sullivan of Helena. At 45, he hung right into the pack for a spectacular time of 4:34.3. Just goes to show that you don't have to lose your leg speed when you get old and decrepit. Way to go PDS.
Lois Ricardi Keller also put on a good show for the folks in the stands. Winning by almost 100 meters, and figting off the effects of a pre-race hammy cramp, she set a new race record of 4:58.8. Meanwhile, the Aragon sisters of Billings Senior and Nicole Reitz of Billings West continued their year long "rivalry" with Alexa running 5:17.2, Dani at 5:17.4 and Nicole at 5:17.7.
On the roads, Alan King fought through 97 degree heat on Friday evening to win the opening ceremonies 5K at 16:44. He came back just 12 hours later (when it was already in the mid-70's at 7:00 a.m.) to win the 10K in a new race record of 33:10.
On the women's side, just one week after place 2nd at the Missoula Marathon (3:05 and change if I remember correctly), MSU-Billings' Lisa Minnehan pulled off a double of her own. Winning the 5K in 19:15 , she came back yesterday morning to win th 1/2 marathon in a new course record of 1:30:25.
So, once again - Montana's athletes show great reliliency in the heat of Billings and turn in some great performances at the big sky state games.
See you on the roads, tracks and trails.
The Muddy Buzzard