Might have to double check, but can confidently state that we witnessed history on Saturday in New Haven, Connecticut. At the CIAC State Indoor Open, a pair of high school sophomore boys in Conard's Gavin Sherry and Manchester's Aidan Puffer both broke 9 minutes for 3200 meters in the same race.
It was a state record and national leading for Sherry in his 8:54.47 victory, while Puffer ran a personal best and US #6 time in his runner-up effort of 8:59.25.
But it likely is the first time that ever not just within the state of Connecticut and the New England Region, but the entire nation that we have seen two sophomores break 9 minutes indoors in the same race indoors.
The Sherry versus Puffer rivalry has been well documented as both gained notice running fast times last year which ranked among the very fastest nationally among ninth graders. Sherry has simply owned the series this year in cross country and indoor track without a single loss to Puffer, but he can certainly credit the familiar footsteps behind him as part of a reason to pushing him to some outstanding performances.
The pair went through the first 1600 meters in approximately 4 minutes and 30 seconds, right on 9 flat pace before Sherry was able to drop it down with a last 1600 meters finished in 4 minutes and 24 seconds.
The mind boogling fact to note is that both of these runners still have two and a half years to continue to develop upon the benchmark that they both achieved together in the same race going sub 9 minutes indoors.
With the New England Championships and New Balance Nationals still left on the Connecticut high school indoor track schedule, we could see them elevate to even higher levels of performance before this season is officially wrapped up.