2020 NBNI: Previewing The Mid-Distance And Distance Events

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

Boys 2-Mile

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Contenders: Matthew Farrell (Loomis Chaffee, CT), Gavin Sherry (Conard, CT), Aidan Puffer (Manchester, CT), Caleb Brown (Shelby, OH),  Larry Josh Edwards (University, WV), Liam Murphy (Allentown, NJ), Patrick Anderson (Mount Lebanon, PA), Evan Bishop (East Grand Rapids, MI), Owen Johnson (Toronto).

Breakdown: Can Gavin Sherry complete his incredible year with a national title? No one has been as consistent as him for 2-miles. The Connecticut sophomore has posted three sub-9 performances at either 3,200m or 2-miles, going a career best 8:53.25 for 2-miles at the New England Indoor Championships on Feb. 29. And no one, outside of Aidan Puffer (8:58.10), has broken nine minutes for 2-miles directly. 

But eight athletes have achieved that feat across the slightly shorter 3,200m distance, like Caleb Brown, who went 8:54.86 in February. There's also Josh Edwards, who, like Sherry, is also sophomore and has run a US No. 3 time of 8:56.41. New Jersey standout Liam Murphy is coming directly off a US No. 5 effort of 8:58.16. And there's also Bishop, who finished second at the Pan American U20 Cross Country Championships in Canada just a week ago. 

Sherry might be the favorite, but he's not the overwhelming odds-on to win. Which means, even if he's had the best season at the distance, he's got to still earn that national title. 

* Marlee Starliper ran the third-fastest high school 3K of all-time in February

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 Girls 2-Mile

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Contenders: Marlee Starliper (Northern, PA), Taylor Ewert (Beavercreek, OH), Jenna Schulz (Liverpool, NY), Katelynne Hart (Glenbard West, IL), Jenna Hutchins (Science Hill, TN), Sydney Thorvaldson (Rawlins, WY), Charlotte Bednar (Lawrenceville School, NJ), Ava Parekh (Chicago Latin, IL).

Breakdown: This should be good. Without two-time defending champion Katelyn Tuohy not entered in the field, her meet record of 9:51.05 could be up for grabs.

And Marlee Starliper could be the most capable of potentially going after it. The NC State signee's time of 9:07.14 in the 3K in February converts roughly to 9:50.91. But it's an incredibly tight margin. What could help, though, would be potential contenders going for the sub-10 mark around her. 

But that's also another big if. While Zofia Dudek broke that mark for 3,200m in February, her conversion to 2-miles is slightly over that barrier; she's also not in the field. Meanwhile, no girls athlete this indoor season has run faster than 10 minutes for 2-miles.

But who hasn't done it and who's capable are two different questions. Thorvaldson holds a US No. 2 time of 10:06.58 in the 3,200m. Ewert has gone 10:18.94 for 2-miles. Hart hasn't even run a 2-mile this season, but she remains a candidate to eclipse that mark -- after all, she ran 9:56.13 outdoors in 2019. 

Other athletes to watch out for include Bednar, Hutchins, Parekh and Schulz.