Rhys Hammond of Stonington might be one of the fastest runners in the country who does not run cross country. A soccer play in the fall, Hammond won the CIAC State Open title in the boys 1000 meter run on Saturday with the nation's fourth fastest time in the event in a 2:28.66 personal best.
Hammond had been knocking on the door of breaking 2:30 all season long in victories at the Yale Track Classic (2:30.66) in January and CIAC Class M Championships (2:30.02) last Saturday.
The senior from Pawcatuk, Connecticut was the not the only runner to break 2:30 in the race as Hammond also helped pull along Haddam-Killingworth junior Matt Jennings in second place with a US #8 time of 2:29.56. Jennings will certainly be looked as the State Open favorite next year at the start of 2011 season returning.
Hammond also owns a personal best of 4:19 in the mile run this season as well and should be a favorite if he choses to compete in the 1000 meter run at the New England Championships next week, but likely will have to contend with US #5 ranked Shane Grant of Walpole (2:29.01), who just won the Massachusetts All-State Meet on Saturday in the 1000 as well.
At New Balance Nationals, expect to see Hammond in the 800 which he ran a best of 1:54 last spring, but with his improvements this indoor season, the middle distance star for Stonington may be ready to approach a time in the low 1:50's when he steps on the banked track of the Armory. If that time comes, Hammond could possibly earn his first All-American honor in track.
Not bad for only a part-time runner.