2020 NBNI: Previewing The Mid-Distance And Distance Events

Index: 800m (Boys And Girls) - Mile Preview - 2-Mile Preview - 5K Preview


* Gabriel Moronta of Pleasantville (NJ) is one of the contenders in the boys 800m

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Boys 800m

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Contenders: Hassan Abdullahi (Ontario, BC), Darius Kipyego (St. Raphael Academy, RI), Mahamed Sharif (Westbrook, ME), Alex Fleury (Phillips Academy Andover, NH), Tyler Shue (Ephrata, PA), Gabriel Moronta (Pleasantville, NJ), Nicholas Medeiros (Old Bridge, NJ), Conor Murphy (Classical, RI), Yasin Sado (Gateway, CO), Kyle Lund (Oakdale, MD).

Breakdown: There are a handful of athletes who can contend for a championship in this race, though they'll first have to beat the defending champion, Hassan Abdullahi, of Scarborough, Ontario. The Canadian is back after winning in 2019 in 1:51.91. And his time from last season would enter as the fastest among any of the contenders in 2020, though a few American athletes have run faster outdoors. 

Either way, this could be a difficult race to predict. Five boys in the field have broken 1:53 this season, though none have gone faster than 1:52. Moronta is coming off a personal best of 1:52.46 at his NJSIAA Meet of Champions, while Kipyego -- who ran 1:49 outdoors -- posted a best of 1:522.55 back in December.

Lund (1:52.57), Medeiros (1:52.76) and Shut (1:52.88) could all be in the picture at the end. 

* Roisin Willis ran 2:03.05 in Boston in February, the fourth-fastest 800m performance of all-time in high school

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Girls 800m

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Contenders: Roisin Willis (Stevens Point, WI),  Athing Mu (Trenton TC, NJ), Juliette Whittaker (Mount De Sales, MD), Bailey Goggans (Marble Falls, TX), Sophia Gorriaran (Moses Brown, RI), Victoria Vanriele (Governor Livingston, NJ), Taylor James (Niwot, CO), Carina Napoleon (Thomas Worthington, OH), Makayla Paige (Tewksbury Memorial, MA).

Breakdown: Quite simply, this could be one of the craziest races at NBNI. Will we see a tactical display of racing that comes down to the final lap? Or will an athlete try to break the field early on and hold on? Three girls in this race have broken 2:04 (Whittaker, Willis and Gorriaran), though Mu isn't far behind with her 2:04.08 -- though she's also broken that barrier all-time. Three others (Vanriele, Goggans and Paige) are looking to cross the 2:07 threshold. 

Overall, expect some fun racing in this field. Willis is the defending champion, having won as a freshman in 2019. But there are some particulars to add. Gorriaran is a freshman from Rhode Island who topped Willis' national class record just a few weeks ago. Whittaker posted a US No. 1 and US No. 3 all-time mark of 2:03.01 on Feb. 28 ....by herself. And Mu, well, she lost last year. So expect a fine race from the New Jersey standout. Don't slot in any favorites here. There are a handful of girls who could earn a national championship.