Less than two weeks later, Plant, the now graduated Canfield Cardinal and soon-to-be Virginia Tech Hokie, has raised his personal benchmark even higher with the fastest half-mile outing of his career.
On Wednesday in Seattle at Brooks PR, Plant clocked 1:48.52 for a runner-up finish while sharing the track with an accomplished field that consisted of sub-4 minute milers Colin Sahlman and Gary Martin plus an elite group of five others, none of whom were seeded pre-meet at slower than 1:51.
There was little separation among the dynamic roster in the early going and with everyone still in striking distance up until the later stages. With 200 to go, however, Martin, a Virginia Cavaliers recruit, surged to the front, but his lead was short-lived. Plant, the defending Brooks champion, took pole position briefly with about 100 to go and at that point it was an all-out sprint to the finish between Plant, Martin and the hard-charging Sahlman. The Newbury Park product was able to find an extra gear over the final sequence and secured the win in 1:48.07. Plant came through the line in second and narrowly behind in third was Martin with a 1:48.59 mark.
Note that Plant's official state record remains at 1:48.65 due to it taking place within the confines of the OHSAA schedule and during Ohio's scholastic season time range. That said, his resume of accolades, official or unofficial notwithstanding, incredibly just continue to get faster. Interestingly, the former record-holder Sylvester also bettered his mark following the 2001 state meet. Later that summer he went 1:48.76 at the adidas Outdoor Championships.
MileSplit Ohio reached out to Plant for his perspective on the contest.
"Today was a tough race with some great competition. Obviously I did not end up in the position I wanted at the finish line, but it was an overall good time."
-- Nick Plant
Brooks PR ~ 800m Results
Pl Name Team Mark 1 Colin Sahlman Unattached 1:48.07 1 2 Nick Plant Unattached 1:48.52 1 3 Gary Martin Unattached 1:48.59 1 4 Jai Dawson Unattached 1:49.33 1 5 Miguel Pantojas Unattached 1:49.90 1 6 Aiden Neal Unattached 1:50.21 1 7 Carter Cutting Unattached 1:50.24 1 8 Yordanos Zelinski Unattached 1:55.07 1