Danny Simmons Puts His Foot Down, Wins Electric 3,200m Race

* American Fork's Daniel Simmons earned a decisive win in the 3,200m on Saturday at the Arcadia Invitational

Photo Credit: Raymond Tran/MileSplit

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ARCADIA -- There might not be another race at 3,200 meters like it again this season. 

So with Daniel Simmons winning the distance on Saturday at Arcadia over the likes of Nathan Neil, Drew Griffith, Ryan Pajak, Ethan Edgeworth, JoJo Jourdon, Josiah Tostenson and others, did he put foot his foot down? 

You could make the argument. 

Simmons went 57.52 seconds over the last quarter-mile, fighting off an impressive surge by Bozeman's Neil -- who went 57.12 -- to take down the field in 8:34.96. 

A total of 37 boys broke nine minutes in the invitational race on Saturday, while 62 in all took down that threshold across various races, 20 of which came in the seeded race preceding the hot section. 

The time wasn't a national record. But it didn't have to be.

Simmons beat the nation's top distance runners straight up on Saturday -- including the NXN champ Jourdon and the Foot Locker Nationals winner Griffith -- in the best race of the year.

His performance stands at U.S. No. 7 all-time. A cacophony of state records went down over the performance, too. 

And it was a slugfest. 

Cherry Creek's Daniel Hruska took out the first 400 meters in 63.37 seconds, then it was Griffith at the 800m mark, Simmons at 1,600m. 

Jourdon made a surge with 800m left, but Griffith stuck on him like glue and Simmons' teammate, Ben Jaster, wasn't far off. So did Simmons, Emmanuel Perez, Neil, Pajak, Edgeworth and Tostenton. 

Remarkably, three American Fork runners -- Simmons, Jaster and Kaden Evans -- all broke 8:50 in the race.

It was a wild last 400 meters. 

In the end, it was Simmons, less than a month removed from his national high school indoor record of 13:37.91 for 5,000 meters, whose last open 400 run came in 2022 -- he ran 56.51, by the way -- took down the field in 57-point. 

Simmons had last run the 3,200m on March 23, doing so in 8:42.47 -- which was a new state record. His performance on Saturday once again re-upped it. 

Final Results: 

1. Simmons, American Fork (UT), 8:34.96

2. Neil, Bozeman (MT), 8:35.32

3. Griffith, Butler (PA), 8:37.43

4. Pajak, Ringgold (PA), 8:38.02

5. Jaster, American Fork (UT), 8:38.34

6. Edgeworth, Cold Springs (AL), 8:38.49

7. Tostenson, Crater (OR), 8:39.89

8. Jourdon, Olympus (UT), 8:40.46

9. Perez, Los Angeles Cathedral (CA), 8:40.47

10. Owen Powell, Mercer Island (WA), 8:41.03