Derek Gess chased Ken Little to the finish line in the 1,600-meter run at the Freedom Games at the Ocean Breeze track Saturday and although he finished a step behind Little, he still managed a second-place finish, a personal-best 4:20.54 and the No. 1 time in New Jersey this year.
Little, a senior at Derby (Conn.) High School, won the race in 4:20.21. But Gess closed in 2:09 for the second 800, 61.5 for his final 400 and 29.2 for his final lap on the 200-meter track on Staten Island, N.Y.
Gess just missed his overall PR of 4:20.51, set at Group 2 states last year at Northern Burlington in Mansfield Township.
His previous indoor PR was 4:23.12 from Group 1 states his freshman year at the Bennett Center. He ran as fast as 1:55.83 for the 800 at Easterns last year at the Armory.