Sam Ritz of Germantown Academy and John Lewis of Cheltenham have a testy history at the forefront of Pennsylvania middle-distance running. All is well between the two sportsmen at the end of the day, but they have traded big-stage wins and losses back and forth in their senior year.
Ritz, a mile specialist ranked US #17 in 4:09.49, nabbed a surprise win over Lewis, the sprint specialist who currently ranks US #2 in the 800m (1:48.72) and US #3 in the 400m hurdles (52.46), in a move reminiscent of their early December battle at the Marine Corps Holiday Classic.
Lewis won their last contest at the Pennsylvania Indoor State Championship. They met again at the 10th Annual John Hay Memorial Pennsylvania Distance Festival.
Lewis takes the field through 200m in about 25 seconds, with Ritz and Domenic Peretta of Beaver Falls right in tow through 400m in 52 seconds. Ritz pulls even with Lewis as they round 600m in 1:20, and it takes a lean for the Columbia-bound Ritz to edge US #2 Lewis, 1:50.72 to 1:50.93.
Several top Pennsylvanian high school girls also raced in the Elite Women's 800m, headlined by Sarah Walker of Germantown Friends, who won the race in a U.S. No. 4 time of 2:06.43. Caitie Faust of Marist, Ga. took third in 2:09.69.