Cardiac Attack: Miles wins with big move on the hill
Kings Park, New York -- Brad Miles had heard enough about the Sunken Meadow cross country course to know not to take any chances. He heard about the steepness of Cardiac Hill and the loose terrain of deep sand that fills the path to the summit.
He heard about the deceptive incline in the picnic table area that precedes Cardiac and about the damage it inflicts on overambitious legs.
But Miles, a senior preparing for what could be the final cross country race of his high school career, wanted to see it for himself. So this week he travelled roughly 400 miles from his home in Hatfield, Pennsylvania to Sunken Meadow State Park to run repeats on the course.
The preparation paid off. On Saturday at the Foot Locker Northeast Regionals, Miles, a pre-race favorite, held back patiently with the lead pack through the picnic table area and into Cardiac Hill.
Then he attacked.
In less than 400 meters Miles made a move that decisively gapped the field by six seconds. He held the lead and broke tape in 15:52.8.
“Coming into the race, I just wanted to qualify,” Miles said. “But as the race got going, I felt really strong.”
Despite being left off Foot Locker’s official pre-race favorite list, Senior Tyler Udland bounced back from a subpar performance at the New Jersey Meet of Champs to finish second for a second year in a row, in 15:59.3.
Joining Miles and Udland to represent the Northeast region in San Diego, the host city of Foot Locker Nationals, are seniors Dave Oster (16:01.6), of New Jersey; John Raneri (16:04.9), of Connecticut; Rad Gunzenhauser (16:05.7), of Pennsylvania; Cory Puffett (16:06.4), of Maryland; Quinn Raseman (16:08.5), of New York; and Chris Bendsten (16:11.1), of Pennsylvania. Juniors Ryan Gil (16:10.8), of Pennsylvania and John Murray (16:11.2), of Massachusetts qualified as well.
Udland is the lone returnee from the Northeast region.
Miles ran Nike Team Nationals the previous two years but opted this year for Foot Locker’s, whose qualifying meet is held on the same day.
“It’s the more prestigious individual race,” Miles explained.
American Olympian Anthony Famiglietti ran here often in high school and was on hand to watch the race. Before the race he suggested that a strong runner like Miles would benefit from running here.
“It definitely favors the tougher runner, guys with the most guts,” he said of Sunken Meadow.