I wonder if Drew Hunter will go to bed tonight wondering, "Will I disappoint Letsrun Forum User Ghbgygbybhbbyg should I FAIL* to break 4:00 at M?? Should I ditch that Tinman clown, and Ma and Pa, in favor of Coach Ghbgygbybhbbyg? Is there any point, really, in running the Millrose B race, even if I run a 3:56?? Not if Coach G sez so!â€
[*Donâ€™t you just love that word?]
For Drew Hunter at this young stage in his rise to greater heights, the Millrose B race â€“ not necessarily the A race (even if he gets in!) â€“ is a logical, and substantial, platform for a next race. Harsh as it seems, even after his record run today he's still ONLY a 3:58 miler -- all-time great for an indoor HS boy, but not great for what will be a cream-of-the-crop Millrose Wanamaker Mile. Everything can be measured on a relative scale.
Hunter knows his place...and, with his parents and Tinman guiding him, he keeps wisely climbing the LONG ladder of success. It's no surprise that his usual HS distance races had, in part, reached the point of frustration because he lacked equals to duke it out with, for mutual benefit, too. Of COURSE there were rare elite exceptions (indoor nationals last winter, the Dream Mile [2nd to Grant Fisher], the Brooks 2-mile in Portland, then the Jr Nationals at Eugene last spring). But mostly the trench warfare racing he craved and recognized as ultra-motivational and valuable was non-existent as he outgrew the vast majority of his HS peers, and he knew he wouldn't LEARN ENOUGH BY DOING unless he went to war against better talents, but with the right set of challenges and challengers.
From a learning perspective, then, a Millrose Games B race in two weeks, on par with today's Armory field, has so much to offer to an 18 year old 3:58 indoor miler. Again, Hunter "only" finished 7th today, yet he was grinning from ear to ear afterwards and in his interviews, because the setup was perfect for him to step up for the second week straight and to excel for the second week, in competition with much more seasoned and developed older guys. They offered him a great mix of worthy opponents â€“ so that although he was far from a win, he still had a chance to soundly defeat others with a national record time.
Finishing last would NOT be fun for any athlete on center stage, even if a PR resulted. That's another reason why the Millrose Wanamaker Mile might be just a tad too lofty for Hunter at this point. Should he make the Wanamaker, and finish way back against the truly elite milers, then the hide-behind-a-user-name message board wolves would devour himâ€¦and there would be a few snide smirks back at his high school, too. Itâ€™s a cruel world, baby!