Derek Gess ran the fastest 800 in South Jersey this year Monday night on his home track at Haddonfield Distance Night.
The Haddonfield senior out-raced Cinnaminson junior Austin Gabay to the finish line in a personal-best 1:53.88, fourth-fastest in the state this year. Gabay ran a PR 1:54.73. They’re the two-fastest times in New Jersey Group 2 this year and the two-fastest S.J. times as well.
According to the MileSplit database, Sean Dolan of Hopewell Valley (1:52.81), Alfred Chawonza of St. Benedict’s (1:52.94) and Nicholas Medeiros of Old Bridge (1:53.57) are the only half-milers in the state who’ve run faster than Gess this spring.
Gess’s previous PR was a 1:54.37 at states last year. The only faster times in Haddonfield history that I could find were turned in by Greg Pelose in (1:53.25) in 2016 and Ben Potts in 2011, both also at Haddonfield Distance Night. Has anybody else from Haddonfield run sub-1:54?
Gess led four Haddonfield runners under two minutes Monday night. And all four PR’d!
Senior Ethan Spellmeyer ran 1:55.69, Greg Eisenhower 1:57.29 and Martin Riddell 1:59.05. Do the math and that adds up to a 7:45.91 for a 3,200-meter relay. Hopefully, they get a chance to run one at nationals.
Spellmeyer’s previous PR was 1:55.74 at the Bensalem Invitational in April. Eisenhower’s PR was 2:00.38 last year at the Haddonfield Invitational. Riddell’s PR was 2:00.50 at the same meet.
Including Andrew Gostovich, who ran 1:56.87, and Josh Potter, who ran 1:59.31, the Bulldogs now have six half-milers under two minutes this year. They’re ranked 1, 5, 8, 11, 21 and 23 in South Jersey.