Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Dunbar Earned the 1600 and 3200 m Records

Dunbar and Aaron Fletcher pulling away from the pack in the 3200

Friday May 22, 2009, Lathrop High School
The weather was good for the Alaska state meet 3200 meters, about 70 and overcast with a slight breeze from the east (down the homestretch). Trevor Dunbar of Kodiak who has gained widespread fame for some fast running, 2nd at the Footlocker XC championships last fall and for the instantly notorious [i]youtube[/i] video which shows him running a 9:01 3200 meters in a snowstorm. Dunbar improved on that with a blistering 8:51.5 this May, which is currently 2nd in the nation.

Alaska has a weird rule for records, however. State records can only be set at the state meet. Perhaps the state’s track founders some decades ago were concerned about fast times set on a one way (wind aided) ice track in some remote village. Nor does the record book recognize Don Clary’s (later a US Olympian) 9:04.4 2 mile time—even though everyone else in track and field (even at the US high school association levels) uses the 3.2 second conversion. Anyway, the “official” standing all-time records for Alaska are Doug Herron’s 4:13 mile, set in 1986, and Jake Pariesien’s 9:11 3200 from last year.

On Friday Dunbar gave it a shot, in spite of having strep throat (below) but came up well short of the official state meet record of and his own PR. He took it out hard and unofficially ran unofficial half mile splits: 2:13, 4:28, 6:57, and faded to a 9:19.9. Tough day. Aaron Fletcher of Anchorage South hung on for a 9:26.

There will be bigger fish to take on next month with the championship-level invitationals.

On Saturday, which was in the high 70s, the blue haired (a Kodiak tradition for the state meet) Dunbar looked pasty and pensive a half hour before the race, and no one knew for sure if he would even attempt the run. But he lined up with field. Some were expecting a conservative effort, just to win. But Dunbar allayed any doubt by taking charge with a 62 second first lap, followed closely by Aaron Fletcher. Fletcher hung on for a lap and a half and then faded markedly. Would Dunbar hold on?

Dunbar crossed the 800 at 2:05, with a smooth and efficient stride that showed no wasted motion and no signs of letting up. He pulled away and ran solo as the pack began to close in on Fletcher. After crossing 1200 m in 3:10, Dunbar gave it everything he had, and he sprinted down the homestretch under the raucous cheers of maybe 1,500 athletes and spectators. 4:13.3. Just shy of the state meet "record" of 4:13.0.

Wake up Alaska High School Athletic Association—Dunbar holds the state records for the 1600 (4:10.78) and 3200 (8:51.5), but not the state meet records.

[b]Kodiak's Dunbar diagnosed with strep throat[/b]
Fairbanks Daily News Miner, May 22 2009

Two weeks ago, Kodiak's Trevor Dunbar ran 20 seconds faster than the existing state 3,200-meter run record. But he's not sure what to expect today at the state track and field championships in Fairbanks after being sidelined much of this week with strep throat.

"I think I can still win pretty easily, but I don't know how (many) records I'll be able to get. We'll see," Dunbar said.

In his final race in Kodiak on May 8, the senior blitzed eight laps around the track in 8 minutes, 51.5 seconds, a mark that is two-tenths of a second shy of the nation's best among high schoolers this season.

While it doesn't count as a state record, which can only be set at the state meet, the performance seemed to indicate he would shatter Jake Parisien's record of 9:11.27 set last year in a stirring win over Dunbar. Like many, Dunbar considers Don Clary's 1975 two-mile time of 9:04.4 -- which converts to 9:01 for 3,200 meters -- to be the true state record.

Dunbar said he felt "just awful" when he woke up on Saturday with a sore throat and headache. Then he proceeded to race the 1,600, 800 and a leg of the 3,200 relay at the Region III championships.

"Running three races that hard probably hurt my health even worse," Dunbar said. "I could barely sleep that night."

Dunbar graduated from Kodiak High the next day, then was diagnosed with strep throat and began taking antibiotics. The only training he managed was some jogging Wednesday and Thursday.

"I'm not feeling too good but each day I've gotten a little bit better," Dunbar said in a soft voice.

Dunbar has the fastest time in the state in the 800 this season at a sizzling 1:54.94. He also ran the 1,600 in 4:10.78, which is faster than Doug Herron's state record of 4:13.0 set in 1985.


Blogger Alaskan Assassin said...

I ran a 100k with strep throat 2 years back and dropped after 40 miles. It is not the strep that destroys you but the antibiotics. I was hitting the porta potty every 3 miles. That kid is incredible for running the times he did.

I think the state records are BS. If you break it at any meet it should count. Does the world record only count at the Olympics??

7:55 AM  

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