Arcadia Boys 3200 Preview: Can anyone stop Cerake?

It seems that there is a lot of talk about the Girls 3200m run that will be awesome this weekend in Arcadia. Can Alexa Efraimson break Kim Mortensen's record of 9:48.59 from 1996? Can anyone else even hang with Alexa (maybe Baxter, Maxwell)?

Though, to be fair, the Boys 3200m is going to be just as exciting. Why? Because it'll feature 
Cerake Geberkidane. 

Every year at Arcadia, the hype is all about the 3200m on Saturday night. Besides the 4X400s and the random DMR, Arcadia leaves the best for last. Last year it was all about the Ben Saarel v.Bernie Montoya v. Jake Leingang battle. It was epic. Saarel took the lead with a little more than 400 to go and out battled Montoya to run the fastest time in the country--8:45.74.
Of the top-15 finishers from last years invited 3200m, only three return. One of that trio is Blake Haney of Stockdale, California, who is the highest touted runner in the country right now coming off of his great summer at World Youths, where he was 5th and ran 3:44.69. Blake was third at Arcadia last year.

Along with Haney, there is Joe Hardy of Seattle Prep, who placed sixth and has been a stud for quite some time now (is he really still in high school)?

Finally, the last returner from the top-15 is Noah Kauppila of Missouri. 
Of these three returning athletes, I can see Hardy or Haney winning this race. 
I could see the 2013 NXN Champ Kai WIlmot or his teammate from North Central Spokane Tanner Anderson win this. Don't leave out Ian Milder of Mt. Tabor in North Carolina, who just ran a blistering 8:53.99 at Raleigh Relays a few weeks ago.  
But let's be real. The story of the high school distance scene this school year has been all about Geberkidane of Denver East High School in Colorado. The seemingly enigmatic talent that has burst onto the scene is coming off of a dominating performance in the 3200m indoors at Simplot Games, where he put away two very talented athletes in Elijah Armstrong (Pocatello, ID) and Conner Mantz (Skyview, UT). His final time there was 9:01.13 beating Armstrong by 9.5-seconds and Mantz by 12.5.
Geberkidane has lost one race all year and that was at Nike Cross Nationals, where he finished 4th. To be honest, Portland Meadows is a total crap shoot--not taking anything away from Wilmot and his ballerness.

But three weeks ago, Cerake ran 9:02 at the Chandler Rotary Invite and that was after he ran 4:06 for 1600m.
The future Oklahoma State Cowboy will have a challenge on his hands with Haney and Hardy--who both set legitimate 3200m PRs from Arcadia last year--back to battle for the title.
Geberkidane is setting the track on fire and is a flat out winner. He is my favorite to win the 3200m at Arcadia this Saturday night. 

Here are the entries: 
- Austin Tamagno 10 Brea Olinda (CA)- 9:08.07
- Joe Hardy 12 Seattle Prep (WA)- 8:51.01
- Ben Huffman 12 Providence Day (NC)- 8:58.84
- Tanner Anderson 11 North Central (WA)- 9:01.79
- Philip Hall 11 Terry Sanford (NC)- 9:03.03 
- Conner Mantz 11 Sky View (UT)- 9:04.05
- Tal Braude 12 Torrey Pines (CA)- 9:05.26
- Devon Grove 12 Lake Washington (WA)- 9:07.28
- Stephen Mugeche 11 Blue Springs (MO)- 9:07.89
- Andrew Rafla 12 Timberline (ID)- 9:07.04*(conversion)
- Alec Thomas 12 Brentwood (TN)- 9:10.41 
- Benjamin Barrett Norman North (OK)- 9:44.18
- Blake Haney 12 Stockdale (CA)- 8:48.58
- Aaron Templeton 12 Hardin Valley Academy (TN)- 8:54.29
- Taylor Caldwell 12 Brentwood (TN)- 9:17.83
- Cerake Gerberkidane 12 Denver East (CO)- 8:51.63
- Garrett O'Toole 12 Middlesex (MA)- 9:02.01
- Patrick Perrier 12 O'Fallon (IL)- 9:03.21
- Jesse Reiser 11 McHenry (IL)- 9:05.40
- Blair Hurlock 12 De La Salle (CA)-9:06.80 
- Patrick McDermott 11 Ingraham (WA)- 9:07.42
- Sydney Gidabuday 12 El Modena (CA)- 9:06.24
- Nathan Wadhwani 12 Terry Fox (BC)- 9:21.33* (conversion)
- Levi Thomet 11 Kodiak (AK)- 9:09.36
- Ian Milder 12 Mount Tabor (NC)- 8:53.99
- Noah Kauppila 12 Marquette (MO)- 8:54.45
-Garrett Corcoran 12 Villa Park (CA)- 8:58.01
-John Dressel 11 Mt Spokane (WA)- 9:02.36
-Steven Fahy 12 La Costa Canyon (CA)- 9:02.61
-Elijah Armstrong 11 Pocatello (ID)- 9:04.78
-Nicholas Doan 11 Great Oak (CA)- 9:05.86
-Andrew Foerder 12 Nathan Hale (WA)- 9:15.59
-Brian Zabilski 11 Saugus (CA)- 9:07.70
-Austin Sprague 12 St. Pius X (GA)- 9:07.80* (conversion)
-Fred Huxham 12 Redwood (CA)- 9:10.73
-Zach Dale 11 Conant (IL)- 9:10.20

More coverage from the Arcadia Invitational found on MileSplit US