Three under 1:57? Seven under two minutes? Nine at 2:01 or faster?
The 800-meter run at Saturday’s Burlington County Open was fast and deep, and we searched deep down into the record books to see just how fast and deep it was!
Not surprisingly, we learned it was faster and deeper than any other 800 in the meet’s more than 70-year history.
First of all, let’s take a look at the top 10 finishers, which included juniors in the first four spots and seven underclassmen among the first eight finishers:
1:55.81 … *Isaiah Curbelo (Rancocas Valley)
1:56.51 … *Tyler Davidson (Willingboro)
1:56.81 … *Tom Long (Cinnaminson)
1:57.71 … *Joshua DeJesus (Rancocas Valley)
1:58.99 … Jose Colon-Cruz (Rancocas Valley)
1:59.17 … *Tyler Kurzawa (Cherokee)
1:59.32 … *Harrison Morris (Moorestown)
2:00.86 … **Mark Miller (Shawnee)
2:01.82 … Daniel Forman (Pemberton)
2:04.18 … Chris Martin (Northern Burlington)
Let’s take a look at the field and what they achieved, and then we’ll look at some records for place. We counted six PRs among the first eight across the line.
→ Curbelo became the first repeat winner of the Burlington County Open boys 800 in 16 years, since Aaron Boucher of Cherokee won in 1998 and 1999. His time is an outdoor PR, although he ran slightly faster (1:55.54) when he placed second at the indoor M-of-C this past winter.
→ Davidson took more than four seconds off his PR of 2:00.65, set at the indoor Meet of Champs.
→ Long ran a nearly three-second PR. His previous best was an indoor 1:59.52 at Toms River in the Group 2 sectionals.
→ DeJesus also ran a PR. Two week earlier he ran 1:58.02 at the South Jersey Invitational.
→ Colon-Cruz has a 1:56.86 to his credit from last year’s Group 4 sectionals, when he placed third.
→ Kurzawa is another junior who PR’d in the race, lowering his personal-best time from 1:59.88, set at last year’s South Jersey Invitational.
→ Another junior, another PR. Morris dipped under two minutes for the first time in his life. His previous PR was a 2:00.43 at last year’s Haddonfield Distance Night.
→ Miller was the first sophomore across the line, and he PR’d by more than 2 1/2 seconds. His previous 800 PR was a 2:03.43 at the District Cup.
→ Forman fell a bit shy of his PR of 2:00.12, set at the South Jersey Invitational earlier this year.
→ Martin has run faster (2:00.29), but he was doubling back not long after winning the 3,200.
Where do all these times fit in among South Jersey’s best? Curbelo is No. 2, followed by Davidson (No. 5), Long (No. 6), DeJesus (No. 11), Colon-Cruz (No. 18), Kurzawa (No. 20), Morris (No. 21) and Miller (No. 29).
We wondered if there’s ever been such a deep County 800, so we began researching fastest times by place in meet history.
Here’s what we found: The race produced the fastest times in County Open history for fourth, sixth, seventh and eighth place. Some other spots were very close. Let’s take a look!
1st: Fastest time for first, obviously, is the meet record, which is shared by Clayton Baloche of Lenape (1:53.4 hand time in 1992) and Ian Waterhouse of Rancocas Valley (1:53.58 in 2005).
2nd: Rob Novak won the national 800 title in 2005, but Waterhouse edged him in the County Open, and Novak’s 1:54.14 stands as the fastest second-place time ever.
3rd: Long’s 1:56.81 is second-fastest third-place time ever, behind only Lenape’s Zach McBride’s 1:55.84 in 2003.
4th: DeJesus broke the fourth-place record of 1:57.80 that Waterhouse set as a sophomore in 2003.
5th: Colon-Cruz’s time is third-fastest ever for fifth place, behind the 1:58.10 that RV’s Joel Straker ran in 2012 and a 1:58.65 by Cherokee’s A.J. Valentine in 2009.
6th: Kurzawa broke the sixth-place record set by another Cherokee runner, Colin Merrigan, who ran 1:59.33 for sixth in the 2011 race.
7th: Morris ran nearly a second faster than the previous seventh-place record of 2:00.16, set in 2012 by Derek Gore of Holy Cross.
8th: Miller toppled the eighth-place record of 2:01.04, set in 2005 by Patrick Fox of Holy Cross.
9th: Forman just missed the ninth-place record of 2:01.65, set in 2005 by Shawnee’s Matt Abbate.
10th: The 10th-place record was also set in that fast 2005 race by Cherokee’s Rich Nelson at 2:02.60.
Full results of the County Open are here.