Icahn Stadium on Randall’s Island in New York was the host site for the 2013 adidas Grand Prix (IAAF Diamond League) meet on Saturday May 25th. This meet boasts some of the premier events in track and field, as past and future Olympians were in attendance in New York City all weekend. The meet is also host to the adidas Dream Mile and adidas Dream 100, two high school events that put the fastest 9 high school 100m dashers and the 14 fastest high school milers on the starting line together. Senior James Randon was invited to race in the Dream Mile after boasting the second fastest 1500m performance in the country this spring (3:49.43).
In addition to the 14 milers, junior Garrett O’Toole was invited as the pacer rabbit; he was given the task to bring adidas’ “deepest mile field ever assembled” through the half mile on pace to have the milers potentially run a sub-4 minute mile. The conditions at the stadium were less than ideal as the temperature settled in the low 50s with occasional rain and extreme wind gusts.
As the rabbit, Garrett took the field through the 400m in 60.47 and the 800m in 2:02.24 before dropping to an outer lane. He waited for the pack to pass and then tucked back in behind Jacob Thomson of Kentucky. Garrett ended up passing the last runner in the field and finished the race in 14th place with a time of 4:12.12 a personal record, .06 seconds behind Thomson.
As the gun went off and runners jockeyed for position, James tucked into lane one tight at the back of the pack, running side by side with defending champion Bernie Montoya (AZ) for much of the first 400m. Randon ran at the back of the pack for the first 800m then began to make his move at the start of the third lap, passing 5 runners as he pushed his pace heading into the backstretch. James continued to stay on the heels of Montoya. When Edward Cheserek (NJ), Andres Arroyo (FL), and eventual champion Ben Saarel (UT) began their kick at the start of the bell lap, James went with the first 8 runners and remained with the fastest pack. Saarel took the lead from Cheserek and Arroyo on the final turn, and James continued his kick into the finish in 9th place. James ran a gutsy race in horrible weather conditions and improved from his 12th seed at the starting line to 9th place overall. James’ performance is a personal best mile time at 4:09.39, and he finished on the heels of Arroyo who is US #1 at 800m and #1 at 1600m.
James is now #8 Massachusetts All-Time and #14 New England All-Time in the mile according to Track and Field News, meaning that James is the 8th fastest high school boy miler in Massachusetts history! James has represented Middlesex, Massachusetts, and his home state of Connecticut with a great deal of pride. Garrett’s performance also puts him in the top 25 of both lists as well. It was a wonderful weekend of track and field and one the boys will never forget.