Sunday, August 14, 2016

Stan Linton runs 4:30.10 before breakfast

The race in Tallahassee, Florida on Saturday morning, 13 August 2016, wasn't an Olympic middle distance event, but it featured a finish that would do credit to any Olympic run. On the homestretch of the Maclay School Track, in the final hundred meters of the Gulf Winds Track Club Mile, Stan Linton ran down Matt Mizereck to get the win, 4:30.10 to 4:31.67. With less drama, Caroline Willis took the women's title with a 5:26.47.

Stan Linton
Stan Linton

Roger Bannister never won the 1500 meter run or any other event at the Olympic Games. Even without Olympic gold, though, Bannister is an athletic legend because he was the first to run a mile in under four minutes. The persistence of Bannister's fame shows just how tight a grip the mile has on our imaginations. Consider also that more than 200 people showed up at Maclay School just to run a mile at the nineteenth annual Breakfast On The Track.


With so many people wanting to run a mile, the race had to be run in eleven sections. The athletes expecting to run the fastest were in the first section. That section include two former Florida State University distance runners, Stan Linton and Matt Mizereck. Back on 6 May 1954 at Oxford University, Bannister had stepped onto the Iffley Road Stadium track to run a 4:00 mile. Linton and Mizereck were chasing a less ambitious 4:30. In 1954, Bannister had Chris Brasher and Chris Chataway to set the pace for him. At the Breakfast On The Track, Linton and Mizereck had also brought a pacemaker.


"He was supposed to go out in 2:12 for the first half mile," said Mizereck, the 2014 Gulf Winds Track Club Mile champion. "But he got a little happy and ran 2:02."

Matt Mizereck
Matt Mizereck

It was fast enough that Linton couldn't keep up with the rabbit. Mizereck did, and was ten seconds ahead of Linton when the pacesetter stepped off the track halfway through the race. Mizereck wasn't unaffected by the fast first two laps, though. On the third lap he was already starting to struggle, and Linton was starting to catch up.


On the fourth and final lap Mizereck was in zombie mode, plodding onward by reflex. Linton was gaining but still far behind. Even with 100 meters to go Mizereck's lead seemed safe. But Mizereck had nothing left, and couldn't react when Linton charged by on the way home. Linton was across the line first followed by Mizereck.


"I was trying to get under 4:30," said Linton. "But I guess we fell short."

Poncherella Leonard, Jake Mazziotta
Poncherella Leonard

It was close, though, with Linton clocked in 4:30.10 and Mizereck in 4:31.67. Three high school cross country runners followed, with Bainbridge High senior Poncherella Leonard third in 4:44.86, Maclay senior Jake Mazziotta fourth in 4:45.30, and Maclay sophomroe Clay Milford fifth in 4:50.02. Bryan Koon, Director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management, was the top master runner in the mile, placing seventh overall in 4:57.59.


Caroline Willis was the only woman in the second section and the fastest woman in the race, placing 26th in the overall standings in 5:26.47. A senior at Maclay School, Willis is looking ahead toward cross country season.

Caroline Willis
Caroline Willis

"This was getting a baseline for what I'm capable of running in a 5K during cross country," explained Willis. "I'm happy with it. It's about what I've done here in previous years, and I was only able to train half the summer because I had mono. I'm still trying to get my fitness back."


Running out of section three, Katie Sack was the women's runner-up, placing 51st overall in 5:53.56. Jillian Heddaeus was the third woman in the mile and 56th overall in 5:59.87. Kenya Rich was the top woman master and seventh female finisher, 64th overall in 6:23.88.

Katie Sack
Katie Sack

In all, 204 athletes ran a mile at the ninteenth annual Breakfast On The Track. Many of them enjoyed the free pancakes served at trackside, something that Roger Bannister never had at Iffley Road Stadium. Gulf Winds Track Club chip-timed the race.


Clay MilfordTop Ten Men, Gulf Winds Track Club's 2016 Breakfast on the Track Mile
  1. 4:30.10 ~ Stan Linton (M, 22)
  2. 4:31.67 ~ Matt Mizereck (M, 24)
  3. 4:44.86 ~ Poncherella Leonard (M, 19)
  4. 4:45.30 ~ Jake Mazziotta (M, 18)
  5. 4:50.02 ~ Clay Milford (M, 16)
  6. 4:51.05 ~ Ryan Truchelut (M, 30)
  7. 4:57.59 ~ Bryan Koon (M, 44)
  8. 4:58.35 ~ Christopher O'Kelley (M, 23)
  9. 4:59.53 ~ Paul Guyas (M, 38)
  10. 5:00.72 ~ Gannon Hundley (M, 18)

Jillian HeddaeusTop Ten Women, Gulf Winds Track Club's 2016 Breakfast on the Track Mile
  1. 5:26.47 ~ Caroline Willis (F, 17)
  2. 5:53.56 ~ Katie Sack (F, 24)
  3. 5:59.87 ~ Jillian Heddaeus (F, 33)
  4. 6:14.55 ~ Avery Smith (F, 14)
  5. 6:16.87 ~ Emma Spencer (F, 35)
  6. 6:19.82 ~ Kenzie Mazziotta (F, 15)
  7. 6:23.88 ~ Kenya Rich (F, 43)
  8. 6:24.04 ~ Laura McDermott (F, 36)
  9. 6:34.66 ~ Camille Resavage (F, 11)
  10. 6:35.87 ~ Elise Ferguson (F, 12)

“Breakfast On The Track” Mile champions, 1998 - 2016
DateMenWomenFinishers
8 August 19984:36, Robert Pautienus5:21, Jane Johnson101
14 August 19994:26, Lee Willis5:27, Jane Johnson123
26 August 20004:42.97, Gary Droze5:09.08, Sarah Docter-Williams112
18 August 20014:21.47, Ryan Deak5:08.94, Sarah Docter-Williams130
17 August 20024:35.07, Lee Willis5:10.33, Sarah Docter-Williams123
16 August 20034:45.20, David Huntzinger5:02.28, Sarah Docter-Williams122
14 August 20044:32.40, Lee Willis5:11.79, Sarah Docter-Williams162
13 August 20054:46.26, Art Remillard5:07.13, Sarah Docter-Williams157
12 August 20064:47.58, Whitney Strickland5:09.85, Sarah Docter-Williams202
18 August 20074:48.04, Michael Martinez5:12.91, Sarah Docter-Williams163
16 August 20084:31.39, Whitney Strickland5:12.79, Jana Stolting190
15 August 20094:43.40, Patrick Swain5:05.66, Jana Stolting176
21 August 20104:33.30, Trevor Touchton5:00.97, Stefanie Kurgatt191
20 August 20114:26.90, Kevin Sullivan5:05.82, Stefanie Kurgatt231
18 August 20124:40.52, Travis Covert5:01.74, Stefanie Kurgatt210
17 August 20134:34.92, Remy Tamer5:12.07, Sheryl Rosen178
16 August 20144:22.11, Matt Mizereck5:26.81, Caroline Willis213
15 August 20154:35.32, Joseph Garcia5:17.98, Katie Sherron214
13 August 20164:30.10, Stan Linton5:26.47, Caroline Willis204


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