It usually is the period between Seasons that athletes are finding their rest, in anticipation for a long career in the Spring. But March in 2021 looks different, with Spring prospects within the Empire State far less competitive than years before. And with that, the State's Top Competitors look outward for fast fields.
Enter Gitch Hayes (LaSalle Institute), who is coming off an Indoor Personal Best-matching performance from the Ocean Breeze Elite Mile, where he had hit 4:20.36 for the 1600m. Two weeks later, and Hayes is now scratching on the Outdoor All-Time lists.
Running at the GSTC Outdoor Winter Champs, Hayes ran to a 4th place finish in the full mile at exactly 4:16.00 even. That mark converts to 4:14.52, easily good for NY #1 in the 1600m. Caleb Bender (Skaneateles) took 7th in the race at 4:20, converting down to 4:19.15.
Hayes mark is the fastest Outdoor Mile in March History for the Empire State, a mark previously held by Matt Payamps (Saint Anthony's) from his 4:19 effort in 2019. While the designation may seem irrelative, (the best ever March Mile's mostly came from Indoor Nationals), the mark does stand strong on itself.
Currently, 4:11.59 is the 50th fastest mark in New York History for the event, set by none other than Lopez Lomong (Tully) in 2004. Hayes is encroaching on that territory, and doing so as only a Junior.
Check out his full race below.