Flashback Friday: Shea Weilbaker Takes 3200m at 2018 States

At Ocean Breeze for the 2018 States boys' 3200m,  a talented group of guys stepped up to battle for 16 laps around the track. Two States XC champions -- Nathan Lawler of Pittsford-Mendon and Chris Hughes of Glens Falls -- were in the field, as were a pack of guys who had been out to Portland for NXN the previous fall, Quinn Nicholson and Torrey Jacobson-Evans of Corning, Ian Russ of East Aurora (not Holland, as erroneously shown in results below), Garrett Brennan and Geoff Howles of Fayetteville-Manlius, Shea Weilbaker of Saratoga, and PSAL champ Evan Sherman of Brooklyn Tech was also in there.

Heading to the starting line, the Blue Streaks' junior Weilbaker was the top seed and the favorite after running a 9:15.07 to win the Ocean Breeze Freedom Games race two months earlier. As a sophomore the year before, Weilbaker had not qualified for the seeded section and placed 12th overall while running in the first section. In 2018 though that was not an issue. Nathan Lawler as the 3rd seed took the lead for most of the race but faded back to 7th, and 2nd seed Matt Fusco of Somers challenged Weilbaker for the lead with 300 meters to go and finished 6th. Weilbaker took a two step lead over Brennan into the final lap and sped away to win at 9:13.72 and was followed in by Nicholson and Russ. The top nine finishers all got their season's best in the race.

Weilbaker won the 2018 outdoors States 3200m in 9:07.26 also, and he came back to Ocean Breeze in 2019 to again take the 3200m race with a 9:04.62 to win by more than 4 1/2 seconds over Nanuet's Ryan Guerci, who was 10th in 2018. In his final run in a States 3200 outdoors in 2019, Weilbaker ran his best time in the 2018 and 2019 States quartet at 9:01.57 but placed 2nd to Matthew Payamps of St. Anthony's.