Drew Griffith Seals 2-Mile Masterpiece With Historic Time

* Butler's Drew Griffith clocked the fastest 2-mile in history on Saturday at Notre Dame

Photo Credit: David Nguyen/MileSplit

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There were signs last year that Edward Cheserek's 2-mile national record was in jeopardy. 

In January of last year, Jackson Heidesch clocked a historic 8:42.60 effort at 2-miles to outrun Connor Burns in the final laps at the CYUP Misfits Invitational, registering the fourth-fastest time at the distance in history. He would go on to break four in the mile later that year. Burns, however, would avenge that loss just a few months later, posting the seventh-fastest 2-mile in history with his 8:43.24 from New Balance Nationals Indoor. 

Still, Cheserek's time stood. No athlete in history had gone under 8:40 for two miles.

Maybe Drew Griffith had that on his mind on Saturday when he stepped to the line at the Golden Dome high school 2-mile, a standout race scheduled during the Alex Wilson Invitational at Notre Dame, a collegiate meet held in South Bend, Indiana. 

Griffith, the reigning Foot Locker Nationals winner, was among a prestigious high school field that included Ryan Pajak, Will Conway, Dylon Nalley, TJ Hansen, Brayden Marshall, Colin Whitaker, Riku Sugie and Connell Alford -- all national cross country qualifiers. 

Griffith followed by doing just that, crossing the finish in a historic 2-mile time of 8:38.67 as four others followed under nine minutes and gave the race the country's first, second, third, fourth and fifth performances nationally.

That being said, the efforts were accomplished on a 320 meter oversized track, which prohibits the time from landing on the national record charts. 

Griffith's race was still an all conditions U.S. No. 1 time and passes Cheserek's esteemed mark -- oversized track or not. He also became just the second athlete in history to go under 8:40 indoors. 

On Saturday, It didn't take long for this race to play out like a history-maker. 

Pajak pressed Griffith in the first lap before the Butler High School senior took over from there, holding with Pajak, Conway, Nalley and Hansen through the mile marker.

Griffith would take over from there, separating from the field in the final laps as he made his way toward history. 

The performance improved upon his career best of 8:48 from New Balance Nationals Indoor last year, a national championship race where he finished fourth. 

Pajak clocked a runner-up finish in 8:47.16, while Conway was third in 8:48.18, Nalley was fourth in 8:50.47 and Hansen was fifth in 8:51.12. Hansen, the runner-up in the mile at the Millrose Games on Sunday, was one of two high school juniors in the field, the other being Sugie. 

Griffith's time would have set a new state record for Pennsylvania, while Hansen, in practice, passed Hunter Jones' state record of 8:51.40 from Nike Indoor Nationals.

Griffith and Pajak were racing at their future homes, as both had signed with Notre Dame over the National Letter of Intent period. Conway (Tennessee), Marshall (NC State), Eckerman (Furman) and Alford (Michigan State) had also signed with NCAA Division I colleges. Nalley was the only athlete in the race who remained unsigned.

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