Top Michigan high school milers to compete at Gazelle Sports/Adidas Elite Mile January 31st
Annual Gazelle Sports/Adidas Elite Mile Race rescheduled for January 31.
Premier high school distance event sees elite high school milers compete on same day with GVSU Invite and UM vs MSU dual meet for great day of track action at GVSU.
Gazelle Sports and Adidas will be hosting the fourth annual Elite Mile race at GVSU in Allendale, Mich. at 5:00 p.m. on January 31. In 4 short years, this race has quickly become one of the premier high school distance events in the country.
Race organizer, Ted Kushion of Gazelle Sports, attributes the success to the passion Michigan has for distance running.
“The event just has a great energy because so many people in this state are passionate about running,” Kushion said. “We don’t have a $100K plus budget like the Brooks PR Invite in Seattle or New Balance Nationals, but we have an amazing facility, some of the best high school talent in the country and incredibly passionate fans. That’s a recipe for success.”
The talent Kushion references is beginning to garner some attention nationally. Three-time Olympian and Rockford, Mich. native Dathan Ritzenhein has also taken notice since his return to the mitten state.
“High school running in Michigan is at an all-time high,” Ritzenhein said. “I am very impressed with the depth we have in this state and can’t wait to see what our young runners can do this winter and spring.”
On the men’s side, Grant Fisher is the favorite, coming in with a mile personal record (PR) of 4 minutes, 2 seconds. This will be his first competition back since capturing his second straight Foot Locker National Championship in cross country. Typically, Fisher isn’t focused as much on time as he is executing a race strategy and winning. That said, all eyes are sure to be on the clock as this distance prodigy seems destined to be the next sub-four-minute high school miler.
Despite being the clear favorite, Fisher will have to work if he wants to win this one. Mid-distance speedsters Donovan Brazier, the 2014 800-meter NB Outdoor National Champ, and Logan Wetzel, second behind Donovan at Nationals, will also toe the line. Both Brazier and Wetzel are capable of pushing an uncomfortable pace at the start and can close with the best of them.
In the women’s race, Audrey Belf will be looking for her second Gazelle Sports Elite Mile victory in a row. Belf’s 4:45.0 at the Adidas Grand Prix last June was good enough for fifth place in a tight race. One month later, Belf won the 5K at the USATF Junior Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Oregon at historic Hayward Field. Belf will be chased by a handful of other sub-5-minute milers who are poised to take that next step onto the national stage.
This year’s Elite Mile will take place at the beginning of the GVSU Quad Meet, a collegiate scored track meet between GVSU, St. Joseph’s College and Lewis University. Earlier in the day, GVSU will host the UofM/MSU Dual meet.
Come check out a great afternoon of track and field Saturday, January 31 at the GVSU Kelly Sports Complex.
Admission: $7.00 for elite mile and GVSU meet that follows. 10.00 for UM/MSU dual meet and GVSU meet.
Click here for full list of those scheduled to compete in the 2015 Gazelle Sports/Adidas Elite Mile.
Pictured: Top: Audrey Belf leads the way at the 2014 Gazelle Sports Elite meet at GVSU. Bottom: Grant Fisher pulling away to victory in the 3200 at GVSU in 2014. (Photos by Dave McCauley, RunMichigan.com)