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The story of Izaiah Steury was well documented this cross country season.
Boiled down to its core, it kind of went like this: The Angola High School junior went from being one of Indiana's top talents to a legitimate national stud over this past fall.
Among the handful of truly crazy leaps athletes made in 2020, the 18-year-old was near the top of the list, at one point winning 10 straight races in cross country before finishing off the year with a 5K best of 14:47.86 and an All-American finish at the RunningLane National Championships.
Over that span, he also won his first Indiana state cross country title at Terre Haute.
But with the track and field season approaching, Steury -- who was a little disappointed in that national finish -- set his sights on making a big landfall again. In two weeks, he's a big name to watch at Adidas Indoor Nationals as he's entered in both the mile and two mile.
"We came here to run really fast and get a better place," Steury said in November at RunningLane. "For me, next year it's going to be a bigger jump than it is this year. So I'm just super excited to keep my head up and see what the future has for me."
While he's the current top seed in the 3,200m, Pennsylvania native Gary Martin owns a faster overall time at the mile -- he ran 4:12.56 outdoors in January.
Still, Steury will be a contender. Over the last few weeks, the Indiana native has begun to quietly accumulate the necessary tune-ups to start sharpening his races.
On Jan. 30, he set a PR in the 1,600m at the SPIRE Ohio Championship Preview Meet, dropping a time of 4:16.01, which netted him a second-place finish to Columbus St. Charles' Owen Karas (4:14.18).
A week later, he became the second high school boy to nab a sub-9 in the 3,200m, dueling Larry Josh Edwards at the SPIRE Scholastic Showcase before finishing second again 8:59.49.
His entry onto a banked track in February at Virginia Beach could yield even bigger gains.
According to the MileSplit database, only one athlete in Indiana history has gone faster than Steury in the last decade (and possibly all-time) in the 3,200m -- Martinsville's Jace Lowry, who produced a time of 8:58.95 in 2011.
In the 1,600m, meanwhile, Steury has the all-time state lead -- again, according to our records -- with his recent PR.
However, Steury likely has aims on finishing faster than that.
- Inspired by the past, Izaiah Steury beckons a strong future
- Indiana State 1,600m records
- Indiana State 3,200m records