Just how fast can the St. Benedict's Preparatory School boys go in the 4x800 relay this indoor season?
That's the question we're left asking after New Jersey's top prep squad set a new US No. 1 time of 7:47.60 in the 4x800 on Friday at the Armory Track and Field Center at the NJCTC Winter Relays in New York.
St. Benedict's boys surged past Bishop Shanahan (PA) High School, which previously owned the fastest time ever recorded in December, setting the mark in 2017 at the AT&T Coaches Hall of Fame Invite in 7:49.37.
Here are some of the superlatives of the St. Benedict's winning time:
- Fastest effort in December all-time
- Fastest time at The Armory in December
- It was the No. 32 performance at The Armory all-time
- It was the No. 39 indoor 4x800 effort nationally all-time
- It was a meet record by 10 seconds
- It was a indoor school record
- It was 14 seconds faster than the second place team, St. Peter's Prep
This isn't surprising from St. Benedict's, which arrived in 2019 with dominant mid-distance talent. The squad netted three athletes under 1:56 last year over the indoor season, and two more were hovering around 2:05.
On Friday, some of those same athletes contributed to the winning effort, with the splits going like this: 1:59, 1:56, 1:56 and 1:55.
Where will the team go from here?
St. Benedict's Prep isn't the undisputed favorite to win a national title in the event this season. Much to the program's chagrin, Loudoun Valley (VA) High School will likely put down a very fast 4x800 time at some point this season. A year ago, the Vikings won a national title in the event, running the No. 2 effort all-time in 7:39.30.
But there's reason to believe the Gray Bees will be on Loudoun Valley's heels. Three top-end seniors fill St. Benedict's lineup, including national-class talent Alfred Chawonza (1:52.43), Lewis Ngwenya (1:54.62) and Jackson Burnett (1:55.23).
Stay tuned for more big runs from this high-end New Jersey program.