* Boys 800 Meter Video from the Illinois Meet of Champions
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Monday turned into a crazy night of 800 meter races across two separate states.
In Illinois, the much-hyped up matchup between John Burroughs (MO) graduate Brandon Miller and Eastview (MN) grad AJ Green took shape in exactly the way most envisioned, with the duo battling it out from the gun over a race that saw the winner go sub-1:50.
Like all great matchups, it came down to the final steps.
In the final meters it was Miller, in his first race of 2020, securing his third sub-1:50 performance of his high school career, and an all-time career best of 1:49.35, a time that now stands at US No. 4.
He found Green an apt competitor. The future University of Kansas runner made his way down from Apple Valley, Minnesota, and matched Miller almost step-for-step, following in 1:50.62.
That performance secured Green his second straight 1:50, netted him a new US No. 5 performance, and gave him his best race of 2020.
Photo by Jorge Espinosa/MileSplit Illinois
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BUT ... those performances were not even the fastest of the night.
That honor ultimately was bestowed upon St. Raphael Academy's (RI) Darius Kipyego, who lowered his overall Rhode Island state record to an all-time best and US No. 3 time of 1:48.82 at the Track is Back series.
In West Hartford, Kipyego lined up along a field of professional runners who all held personal record times under 1:48.
And the objective wasn't easy, as the rising senior found himself in last place after one lap in just a shade under 55 seconds, according to Ocean State Running.
Kipyego, however, was nearly dead-on even in the final lap and fired home an incredible last 200 meters of 27 seconds, and he finished with the country's third sub-1:49 effort of the season.
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Top 6 Results From The Men's 800m At Track Is Back
Finals Place Name School Result 1 Colby Alexander UNATTACHED 1:47.50 2 Samuel Ellison UNATTACHED 1:47.68 3 Rob Napolitano UNATTACHED 1:47.79 4 Johnny Gregorek UNATTACHED 1:47.96 5 Jeremy Hernandez UNATTACHED 1:48.55 6 Darius Kipyego UNATTACHED 1:48.82
Ironically enough, Kipyego was in that previous rrace in Arizona which also featured two sub-1:49 runners in John Lester and Cruz Culpepper, though the Connecticut half-miler came away frustrated from that perfromance after he finished in a time of 1:51.59.
However, he vowed to return to the track with better performances and on Monday ultimately proved that statement correct, hitting on the best race of his career.
Kipyego will return to the track in August at the Music City Distance Carnival in Nashville, Tennessee.
Meanwhile, in Illinois, Miller didn't get the record he hoped for, as the future Texas A&M Aggie was hoping to dip under 1:48 and go for the all-time Missouri-state record.
But what Miller did find was quite the matchup with Green, a future University of Kansas runner who was on his fourth race of the season and was particularly sharp.
Both young men could potentially see each other at the next level.
"It was a great race," Miller said.