Index: 800m (Boys And Girls) - Mile Preview - 2-Mile Preview - 5K Preview
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Contenders: Matthew Farrell (Loomis Chaffee, CT), Aidan Puffer (Manchester, CT), Caleb Brown (Shelby, OH), Philippe Morneau-Cartier (Quebec, BC).
Breakdown: Farrell enters as the top seed and the only boys athlete to break 15 minutes indoors. But Brown is the highest-returning finisher from 2019 with his fourth-place finish. So this could be interesting.
Farrell's prior performance is pretty incredible, though. The Connecticut teen ran 14:28.63 in Boston on Dec. 7 -- at the very beginning of his season and off a great cross country base. That time was actually sixth in MileSplit database history, though it's 22 seconds shy of Lukas Verzbicas' meet record of 14:06.78 from 2011.
But there's room to suggest he will have challengers in 2020. Puffer has been rolling as of late, scoring two sub-9 performances at 3,200m and 2-miles in Connecticut in recent weeks, while Brown is currently ranked US No. 2 in the 3,200m with a time of 8:54.86. Puffer also owns a freshman class record at the 5K distance, going 14:47.66 in April of last year.
* Katelynne Hart ran the No. 4 all-time fastest effort for 5K in February in Boston
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Breakdown: Quite Simply, Hart is the person to beat in this field. She ran the fourth-fastest 5K in February, going 16:09.56 on a fast track in Boston. That performance only trails two others in New Balance Nationals history. So will Hart go after Brie Oakley's meet record of 1:55.75 from 2017? The Michigan signee certainly is capable of achieving that mark, given the right racing strategy. Few girls will be able to push Hart, a Glenbard West (IL) senior, toward that mark, so expect her to pick her moments wisely.