Josh Forrest used a 59.4 final lap to run away from a crowded 1,600 field and win his first sectional title.
Forrest, a Collingswood senior, ran a personal-best 4:20.02 to win the South Jersey Group 2 race at Delsea.
The top five runners finished within 15 meters of each other, and all five closed in 62.3 or faster.
The lead group included Forrest, Delsea senior Dawson Baptiste, Lower Cape May Regional junior Zeb Hinker, Haddonfield junior Tobias Janssen, West Deptford junior Jacob Cobb and Collingswood senior Owen Marish.
The whole group went out crazy slow, coming through 400 meters in 68 and 800 in 2:15 heavy. All six picked it up on the third lap, the entire group splitting between 65.1 and 65.8.
Coming through 1,200 meters, here’s what the pack looked like:
It was the ultimate kicker’s race, but when the whole field has a good kick things get really interesting.
Forrest closed in 59.54 for the win in 4:20.02, Baptiste closed in 60.75 and took second in a PR 4:21.54, Hinker ran his final lap in 61.23 for a big PR of 4:22.43, Janssen ran 61.65 for 4:22.69 and Cobb closed in 62.32 for a 4:23.08. Marish, a first-year track runner, also PR’d at 4:27.16.
Forrest became Collingswood’s first sectional champion on the track since another miler, Kevin Hoopes, won the Group 2 1,600 in 1989 in 4:32.8.