Cicada Classic: Preview, Schedule, Entries

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The team from MileSplit Ohio will be back on the summer season coverage trail Wednesday and Thursday at St. Xavier for the Cicada Classic

The meet will feature a variety of the traditional distance races plus the 400 meter dash and the 2,000m Steeplechase. Bombers varsity distance coach Jeremy Mosher, who will be acting as meet manager for the two-day showcase, has assembled some of Ohio's top talent, including his own athletes Nathan Mountain and Conor Bohrer, along with out-of-stater's who'll be sure to add significant firepower. Notably, Jake Welch (Highlands, KY) who's the reigning Class AA State Champion in the 400 and Skyler Vavro (Butler, PA) who took 4th place in the 1600 at the Class AAA State Championships

We reached out to Mosher for more context on why he felt providing athletes with this opportunity was important. 

"It can be really fun to see what you can do in events that you rarely get to race. High School runners usually don't get a chance to tackle those while in or around peak shape, so we thought, what if we made it possible to take a swing at a school or state record in one of those non-traditional events. We're aiming to end the season on a fun high note, racing something different."

-- Coach Jeremy Mosher 

In advance of the meet, view the schedule of events, the entries list and 'Match-Ups to Watch.'

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Schedule of Events

Athlete Entries

Match-Ups To Watch

Takumi Ford vs. Nathan Mountain vs. Skyler Vavro ~ 2,000m Steeplechase

It should be a battle among 2021 grads when it comes to the 2k Steeple contest. Bellbrook's Takumi Ford enters with the experience edge having contested the event a pair of times during the spring season: victories at both the Herb Hartman Invite (6:14.83) and the Firebird Invitational (6:05.54) with the latter representing a US No. 2 mark

Nathan Mountain will be making his event debut and despite the lack of event-related experience, he can lean on the confidence of being Ohio's fastest track competitor in 2021. His torrid outdoor campaign included marks of 14:42.73 for 5,000m, 8:52.15 for 3,200m and an incredible 4:02.54 effort for the full 1 Mile plus the distinction of Division I state champion at the 1,600m distance (4:06.84). 

Don't count out Pennsylvania's Skyler Vavro in this one, however. The recent grad from Butler, who will also be making his inaugural attempt at the steeplechase, owns an impressive resume that's anchored by 1:57.63 (800m) and 4:13.98 (1,600m) performances. One of the Keystone state's top distance specialists, Vavro, a proven winner, crossed the line first on five occasions during the PIAA season. 


Nathan Mountain vs. Jake Welch ~ 400m

The pre-race favorite in this one has to be Jake Welch, a Bluegrass state resident and recent champion at the Kentucky Class AA level, but don't count out the aforementioned Mountain. Welch, a rising senior from Highlands, owns a personal best mark of 49.50 and has a half dozen performances at the quarter-mile distance on his record from this past season. 

Mountain comes in as a relative unknown at the 400, as he doesn't have an official performance on his MileSplit profile, but we're certain he can make things interesting with Welch in what may go down as his last competitive experience on home track. 

Throw in multiple other entries with 50 point seed marks in Bryce Levine, Bellbrook (50.90) and Thomas Gray-Torsell, Highlands (50.9 / hand-timed) and this one could down as the race of the meet. 

Conor Bohrer vs. Owen Karas ~ 5,000m

The 5k contest will punctuate the meet on Thursday night and will feature two of the top distance performers from Ohio's 2021 class, Conor Bohrer and Owen Karas

Bohrer will be looking to capitalize on home track advantage and take one more victory on St. X turf before he continues his career in Durham, NC at Duke University. He enters with a seed mark of 15:04.46 (XC). 

St. Charles' Karas, a Yale University signee, has stayed active and sharp following his excellent OHSAA season. He took runner-up honors in the 1 Mile at the Take Flight Distance Classic in the High School Division with a 4:11.89 clocking. His pre-meet seed time is 15:12.90 (XC). 

Interestingly, Nathan Mountain is scheduled to act as a pacer in this race, although it's unclear what his assigned splits are or exactly when he'll be dropping out to let Bohrer and Karas fend for themselves.