All Photos: Courtesy of Jeff Sides
Jake Hurysz and Isaac Presson, two of NC’s finest distance runners in state history, are headed to New York this weekend. They will be competed in the first ever, Jim Ryun Dream Mile. The race is part of the Adidas Golden League meet. These meets bring the best of the best from all around the world to compete and are typically nationally televised as well.
Jake and Isaac are getting ready for an unbelievable trip. Hear what they have to say about the upcoming Dream Mile.
**Don't forget to watch the Adidas Grand Prix LIVE on NBC from 4:00-6:00 pm on Saturday
Jake Hursyz, Eastern Alamance:
800m – 1:52.60 (NC #22 All-Time)
1600m – 4:17 (hasn’t really raced the 1600 this year)
3200m – 8:49.76 (US #3; NC #1 All-Time)
5k – 14:46 (tied for NC All-Time #1)
Isaac Presson, Asheville High
800m – 1:52.07 (NC #11 All-Time); also split 1:49.45
One Mile – 4:09.16 (US #2; NC #4 All-Time, converted to 4:07.71 for 1600m)
3200m – 9:00.87 (NC #7 All-Time)
5k – 15:13.00
1) First off, how did it feel when you received the invitation to run in the Dream Mile? Who contacted you?
Isaac: I made it a goal of mine the second I heard of the event. At first it was sort of a reach for the stars type of goal, but after the Raleigh Relays 3200 I thought I may have a shot if I ran well at Penn. I ended up getting second, and was invited a few days later from Art Huff, one of the guys putting everything together.
Jake: Well, I first heard of the Dream Mile a while ago and made it one of my goals to receive an invite. After the Arcadia invitational, my coach told me that he receive an invitation. Art Huff, one of the meet coordinators, sent it to him.
2) Before we talk about the race itself . . . what are your thoughts on racing in a Diamond League Meet with the world's best athletes?
Isaac: These are the types of track meets that I have watched on TV throughout my life, so to have an opportunity to be running in the same meet with these guys is huge. Just to be able to see professional athletes up close in person that I have always looked up to is going to be a great experience.
Jake: Yea it's insane. I mean its a Diamond League meet that brings the best of the best. Just to be on the same track as Lagat, Manzano, Gay, etc..is just an honor. It's also going to be nationally televised which is obviously pretty cool.
3) Is there anyone that you'd especially like to meet or at least see run in person?
Isaac: I'm really excited to see the top distance guys in the world run such as Bernard Lagat in the 1500 and Nick Symmonds in the 800. I've always admired their humble personalities despite being two of the fastest guys in the world. Unfortunately it doesn't look like Usain Bolt or Tyson Gay will be running, but I always like watching the sprints because of the atmosphere that they bring.
Jake: Yeah, I'd love to meet Lagat. He's one of my favorite athletes and hopefully I'll get the chance to talk to him some. Maybe he can give me a few tips.
4) The field is pretty insane. How many of the guys have you raced against before?
Isaac: The only two other guys that I have raced against are Pat Schellberg and Jake Hurysz. Pat is the type of guy that likes to get out hard, and run away from the rest of the field like he did at the Penn Relays. Jake and I have raced on multiple occasions. He has made an incredible jump from his junior to senior year and the sky is the limit on his future. He races very similar to me as we both like to sit back and kick.
Jake: The field is extremely stacked. I’ve obviously raced Isaac, but not at his event (mile.) I’ve been up against Verzbicas, Ammar Mousssa, Francis Hernandez, Colby Alexander, and I think that has to be it. It’s going to be a stacked race and I really look forward to racing against all of these guys.
5) Do I see 3 future Tar Heels in the race? That has to be exciting.
Isaac: Yeah, three of the twelve guys in the race are going to UNC next year, Pat Schellberg, Jake Hurysz, and myself. It is excited to think about having such great training partners in the upcoming years. I have been fortunate enough to be able to train with John Harwell over my four years in high school, but to have two of the top milers in the country is going to be something special.
Jake: It’s so awesome that Isaac, Pat and myself are all going to be there. That makes up 1/4th of the field! It’s going to be really exciting working with each other and it is going to ease the nerves a little bit.
6) So, for the race, do you have any specific goals?
Isaac: My only goal is to set myself up to have a chance to be a contender at the end of the race. I know that if I can hang on to some of these guys that are going out through the 800 close to 2:00 or under I will be there in the end. I'm looking at the race from a competitive stand point, anything else such as the North Carolina state record or approaching 4:00 is only a bonus.
Jake: I want to run around 4:05 or so. It’s a full mile so if I run around 4:05, it will equate to about a 4:03-4, which would best the all-time state record.
7) Isaac, you have already run 4:09 (full mile) and 1:52 this year. Also, an insane 1:49.4 split at states in the 4x800. What do these times do for your confidence? How has training been the last couple weeks?
Isaac: I've always considered myself a miler over the 800 or 3200, so to have run the times that I have in the past few weeks in the 800 are a huge confidence boost, as I feel like I'm ready for a big jump in the mile as well. It looks like my 800 times should be some of the fastest times in the race, so I feel great about my speed going into it. It looks like a lot of the guys in the race are cross country guys coming down to the mile, so I know they are going to want to push the pace from the gun. Training has been going great, I've kept the mileage between 40 and 50 miles, and have been working on my speed a lot since the state meet. I've been doing lots of fast 200's, 300's, and 400's, with long rest intervals in between.
8) Jake, you just ran a 1:52 this past weekend, looking very smooth I might add. What did that do for your confidence?
Jake: Yea it felt pretty easy and it adds a lot of confidence. My leg speed and fitness are where they need to be and after running 152, lets me know that I am in good enough shape to achieve 4:05. It was just a great tune-up for this weekend.
9) Jack Bolas has the fastest time in state history at 4:04.38, next is Dylan Ferris at 4:06.7. Pretty cool to think you could join those guys at the top of the state list. Both are racing at the NCAA finals in the 1500. What would moving up in the NC All-Time rankings mean to you?
Isaac: To be mentioned in the same sentence as guys like Bolas and Ferris that I have idolized earlier in my career is an honor. I remember watching and racing Ferris, and being amazed at his times. So now to have an opportunity to pass him in the record books is amazing.
Jake: Those guys are having outstanding collegiate careers so far and I just want to congratulate both of them and wish them the best of luck this weekend. Moving up in the mile rankings would mean a lot to me because I am more of a distance runner (3200, 5k.) Running a fast mile would let me finish off my High School career on a very good note. I haven’t had the chance to run a fast mile all year, so I’m eager to see what I’m capable of running!
NCRunners.com wants to wish these two the best of luck this coming weekend in New York.