The Mideast regional could be a big indicator of how the state meet is going to play out. Five 4A runners have broken 1:55 this year, and all five of them compete in the Mideast. Ares Epps (Green Hope) and his 1:54.1 seedtime sat out because Green Hope could only enter three runners in the event. Even so, they still grabbed the top three spots at regionals as Ian Delgado, Sean Petersen and Matthew Kehn all advanced. Anton Idhammar (Cary) just threw down a 1:53.93 at the TRI-6 Championships, and his fourth place finish at regionals shouldn't mislead anybody - he has the speed to win it all. Haywood Ferguson (South Mecklenburg) will be looking to break up the Mideast club after running the fastest regional time.
The 1600 title is up for grabs with a front pack that includes Epps, Delgado, Idhammar, John Tatter (R.J. Reynolds) and Tim Haughton (Apex Friendship). Again, the Mideast runners have already gone through the gauntlet just to get to the state meet. All of those top five except Tatter are Mideast survivors. Idhammar has the benefit of a runner up finish at the indoor state meet this year in the same event, while Delgado has the fastest time of the season by over three seconds. A fast and deep group will push those two, and this should shake out for an exciting finish.
While John Tatter comes in with a more than 17 second advantage over the next fastest runner, Brian Picone (Cary) beat Indoor 3200 champ and sub 9:30 outdoor runner Peyton Barish (Green Hope) by over 10 seconds at regionals to show that he is in good shape heading into championship weekend. Marshall Williamson (Myers Park) has gone sub 9:20 and won the West with ease, and will have his eyes on taking down Tatter. Ryan Brown (Broughton) also can't be counted out after his regional victory and a 9:20.76 to his name from earlier this season.