Joshua Palmer Sweeps Distance Meet Records At MS All-State

Boys Meet Records

Girls Meet Records



Last Friday night at Jay M Robinson, Joshua Palmer (Parkwood Middle School) swept the distance events, the 1600m, 800m, and 3200m, at NCRunners Middle School All-State featuring the top middle schoolers from all corners of North Carolina.

He came into the event proven to be the best middle schoolers in the state thus far with an individual 1600m wins at the Carolina Distance Carnival with winning marks of 4:30 and 5:03.  4:30 would be Palmer's season best as well as 9:54 for 3200m.

Palmer would start his day as a big favorite in the 1600m with his tougher battles coming doubling back in the 800m and 3200m with Archer Rolph of Weddington MS being his biggest threat in the 800m.  Would Palmer coast in the 1600m with three events to go?  No, he would run hard from the gun looking to set a new PR and get under the 4:30 barrier.  He'd win by 13 seconds running 4:27.54 to reclaim the fastest middle school time in the country this season.  Gavin Clewley and Nathan Vo of Without Limits Triangle would take 2nd and 3rd in 4:40.97 and 4:41.22, who both would be a factor for Palmer later in the 3200m.  The previous meet record was set last year by Cam Kuss who ran 4:35.

Palmer held an 800m season best from the Union County Championships where he ran 2:06.70 with Rolph at 2:08.33 at the same meet.  This time, Rolph would not be doubling back from the 1600m.  The two 8th graders would battle for two laps each running under Drew Johnson's meet record of 2:03 with Palmer coming out on top in 2:01.91 with Rolph at 2:02.86.  

The final test of the day would be the 3200m would be against the 1600m runner-ups Gavin Clewley and Nathan Vo who are stronger the longer the distance is.  The three would battle back and forth for 8 laps with Palmer biding his time to look to outkick his competition.  He'd have a slight lead over Vo and would just hold off both through the line in 9:55.25 with both Vo and Clewley breaking 10 minutes all three shattering Nate Jaster's meet record of 10:12 from 2018.  Jaster moved to Utah, but went on to be one of the best cross country runners in the Nation taking 3rd at Running Lane Nationals when NXN and Foot Locker were cancelled in 2020 and had the best runners in the country.  

Also notable in the 3200m is 6th grader Luke Surface out of Raleigh who ran 10:13 for the 5th fastest mark in meet history.  The race was by far the fastest 3200m for middle schoolers in the country this year with the top 7 ranking within the top 10 marks in the country.

I'm sure we'll see more out of Palmer before the 2024 season wraps up, but the Parkwood star is going to be a force immediately on the high school stage.  No middle school distance runner has come into the high school ranks in state history with better credentials than him on the boys side.