It was a very nice day, 65 degrees with virtually no wind. The goal for the day was to shoot for a solid 1600m P.R., particularly the school record (4:10) and end it with a nice 800m run. This was a double that I was very accustomed to after running it last year with around 45 minutes in between the races. Bryan Moriarty and I began to warm up 1.5 miles, then stretched, did drills and ran strides. Before we knew it, we were already on the line and ready to go.
As the gun blasted, the field took off and I moved to the front. The goal was to run the first lap in 60 seconds and coming through the first 200m, I was in great position to do so. As I came through the line, my coach yelled 59 and I was still feeling good. At that point, I knew it was going to be a good race. I kept on rolling on the back stretch and through 600m, I could hear my teammates cheering me on. I felt the smoothest I've ever felt with 800m to go at 2:02. The next 400m I knew was going to be the toughest, but when I saw 3:05 on the clock with 400m to go, I had a very good feeling that I was going to break 4:10 like I wanted to. My teammates fueled me down the back stretch as they cheered for me to keep going through the line. I came up on 250m to go and brought out the 'Horter hands' as my coach calls them and opened up my stride. When I came through the line, it sounded as though the crowd was more enthusiastic than usual and I looked up to see a 4:07.52 posted on the board. I was very excited at this point as I broke the school record and later heard that I broke the district record, as well. This race was the confidence booster that I needed heading into the post season and this was by far my best executed race plan of the season.
Dustin Horter celebrating with his coach after his record setting 1600m run.
However, I was not done for the day. The Greater Miami Conference Championships 800m competition is always strong but with a lot of the quick half milers already running the 1600m race, that narrowed down the competition. I would be lying if I said I felt fresh after the 1600m, but I was still feeling hungry. Ryan Jones and I departed on our 1.5 mile warm up and then I came back for more stretches and strides. Around 35 to 45 minutes later, we were on the line and ready to rumble again.
The gun went off and it seemed as though I was in the middle of the pack. The race went out quickly through the first 200m as I anticipated in around 26 - 27 seconds. I was in second place until the cut in, then with about 450m to go, I moved into first. We came through the line at 53 - 54 seconds and I was feeling smooth. I decided to try to pull away from the crowd rather than have the race come down to a kick and with 200m to go, I felt confident. I ended up coming through the line at 1:54.56 and I was happy about the double that I had accomplished for the day.
I cooled down 3.5 miles and I came back to watch my sister run her 3200m and I was excited to see a giant P.R. for her. She was the conference champion in 11:22. After that, I was able to witness 12 - 15 second P.R.'s by my teammates Max Sellers and Dan Leonard in their 3200m races. Max broke 10 minutes for the first time as he ran 9:55 and Dan ran 10:07, so that was two very solid performances from them. Overall, it was a great day for the team.