North Carolina's Outdoor State Record was set by Green Hope in 2009 of 17:47.14, the time also serves as Bojangles' Apex Relays meet record. Coming into Saturday morning we knew three teams, Broughton, Green Hope and Cardinal Gibbons had a good shot at breaking that.
Watch Broughton and Green Hope battle over 16 laps at the Bojangles' Apex Relays 4x1600!
Due to the race being 16 laps, you don't always see a back and forth battle amongst teams, but Broughton and Green Hope put on an amazing race. First leg was Stuart Holmes for Broughton, who ran side by side with Green Hope's Peyton Barish until the final lap where Holmes was able to pull ahead and hand off with an advantage to junior Will Hopkins, their slowest leg coming in with a 4:40 PR.
Hopkins had Green Hope's Ian Delgado in chase, who made up the gap very quickly. You'd think Delgado, a 4:21 1600 runner, would just run away from 4:40 guy Will Hopkins. But Hopkins showed no fear, and though Delgado did hand off slightly ahead of him, Hopkins clocked a massive 1600 PR splitting 4:26! No the batons were in Green Hope's Ares Epps, and Broughton's Lanier Derbyshire's hands.
Epps took the pace out hard and Derbyshire, more of a 3200 runner/XC guy, tried to stay in contact. Epps at one point had a pretty sizable lead and it was almost to the point where the gap might of been too large for Broughton to make up. But Derbyshire found another gear over the final 200 meters with Epps tightening up a little bit and the gap between them had significantly shrunk as the handed off.
Andrew Brooks now had the difficult task at hand of chasing down Green Hope's Finn McBride. Brooks holds a 1600 PR of 4:16 and McBride, a 4:20. It looked to me like Brooks was in no hurry over the first lap to reel in McBride, who had about a 4 or 5 second lead at the exchange. But before you knew it they were passing the 400 meter mark and Brooks was right on McBride's shoulder. The two boys sat side by side throughout most of the anchor leg with Brooks finding another gear on the final lap! Brooks powered past McBride as they narrowly broke Tabor's state record by .48 seconds! Broughton's official time was 17:36.88 and Green Hope ran a NC#2 All-Time Outdoor mark, with 4 juniors, of 17:40.02. Cardinal Gibbons took 3rd with an NC#4 All-Time Outdoor performance of 17:53.33.
Broughton's unofficial spits were:
Stuart Holmes - 4:23
Will Hopkins - 4:26
Lanier Derbyshire - 4:27
Andrew Brooks - 4:15
Also, not running on this relay for Broughton was Ryan Brown, who raced later on in the day in the Premier 1600 and clocked a 4:24!
Below is an interview with the Broughton boys after setting a new state record. 3rd leg Lanier Derbyshire had already left the meet, his teammates said he needed to take the rest of the day to get his hair ready for prom.
Some confusion yesterday was that the Overall 4x1600 record was Mt. Tabor's 17:37.48 at New Balance Indoor Nationals as listed on NCPrepTrack.com. Upon further investigation Mt. Tabor ran 17:37.48 for a full 4x1 Mile, coming out to be about 37 meters longer than a 4x1600. The events are rarely run in North Carolina, with Apex Relays and Friday Night Lights at Providence both running 4x1600s, while New Balance Outdor/Indoor Nationals both race the full 4x1 Mile. Even though the races are rarely run, I think it's better to keep separate indoor/outdoor lists. So to avoid further confusion Broughton is the Outdoor 4x1600 State Record Holders, Mt. Tabor are the Indoor 4xMile State Record holders.