Over the next two days leading up to the New Balance Nationals Indoor Championships, we’re going to highlight a few events that feature MA track & field athletes that could electrify the crowd a little more than the rest.
BOYS’ TWO MILE (Friday)
Get ready for an intense battle in this race. At least eight in the field have run under nine minutes in the deuce or its equivalent based on their 3K times. The battle for the No. 1 spot appears as though it might turn into a duel between the talented trio of Tyrone Gorze (Crate, OR), Connor Burns (Southern Boone County, OR) and Jackson Heidesh (Dawling Catholic, IA), who all have a chance to clock a time in the low 8 minute, 40-second range, perhaps faster. Heidesh ran a nation-leading 8:42.60 to capture the individual title at the CYUP Misfit Invitational in Chicago back in late January. Burns was second in that race with a PR of 8:48.53 and Gorzer has a best of 8:03.11 for the 3K. MA entries and our 1-2-3 finishers in a classic 2M race at the Meet of Champions – Framingham’s Sam Burgess (8:59.27), St. John’s Prep’s Nathan Lopez (9:01.32) and Westford Academy’s Paul Bergeron (9:04.08) – have the ability to crack the top six or eight at Friday’s race with similar efforts as MOC. Look for the Bay Staters to potentially work together again, much like they did at the Feb. 25 meet. After coming so close, you know Lopez and Bergeron will have sub-9 on their minds. We also can’t forget Brian Gamble of Brimmer and May School. A month ago, the Yale signee ran a PR of 8:22.60 for 3K at BU’s David Hemery Invitational. That’s a time that puts him right in the mix with our top entries. The Harvard-bound Burgess was sixth in this race last year with his all-time best of 8:58.34. We believe it will have to be faster to match or exceed that placement. With the field that’s assembled for this weekend’s race, it might take a low 8:50 effort to make the podium.