Although 16 athletes will toe the line Saturday afternoon in
the David Sammons Elimination mile, only 8 will cross the finish. The
elimination mile is not a traditional event in track and field, but it adds a
twist to the track and field's most historic distance event. Most spectators in Norman
on Saturday will have never seen or possibly even heard of such an event before the meet. So, what is an elimination mile? Put in simplest terms, it's just
like the standard mile except every lap the field will be trimmed down by one
runner. The field will begin with 16 athletes when the race starts but on each lap
of the track the runner in last place will be asked to step off the track. It
takes 8 laps of the Mosier Indoor Facility to reach one mile so as the bell sounds
only 8 runners will remain.
In high school races the fittest athlete is often the one who ends up winning. However, in an elimination mile, it adds to the possibility the best athletes can be eliminated if they are unaware, they are at the back of the field. A kicker who may prefer to sit and wait to strike risks finding themselves on the chopping block if they are cognizant. Expect some wild surges to be thrown every time they come down the homestretch as athletes will look to secure their spot safe from elimination! It will take some guts to win this race as runners will have to weather a storm of surges if they want to find themselves sitting on the coveted throne at the end of the race.
Boys David Sammons Elimination Mile Entries:
7. Ethan Jones Cache High School 4:50.00
Girls David Sammons Elimination Mile Entries:
10. Erica McAuley Midwest City 7:00.00
14. Jordyn Huckins Altus High School NT
The Boys Spin:
Assuming seed times are an accurate depiction of their current fitness, Finch of Piedmont and Hopkins from Broken Arrow are your two favorites. I could see them taking the pace out where they want it and either separating from the field or dictating the pace up front. This is high school racing and everyone loves to go hard once that gun sounds. I could see the first lap near 30 seconds causing a ruckus with some surprise eliminations of some of your middle seeds early. I don't see the boys allowing this race to become a total sit-and-kick but anyone who is broken off from the pack will be in a mad dash to pass runner on the home stretch. With 6 guys between 4:50-4:55 expect that group to have some fireworks and mad dashes to make the final 8.
The Girls Spin:
Unlike the boys race this group is a bit more spread out with some low 5min milers and some over 7min milers. I foresee the likes of Turner, Duggan and Kite Splitting from the main field early especially if they want an honest and fast time. Since this field in a standard mile would be spread out expect the same with less big groups surging towards the line each lap but instead you will likely see pairs duel it out when they realize they're on the chopping block for elimination. You have 8 girls seeded below 5:30 and they all should be the survivors when the bell rings. This will feel more like a normal mile race to most spectators unless a girl seeded at least a minute back from the top eight decides it's their day to make something happen and goes for broke from the gun.
I'm looking forward to recapping the theatrics of this race and am hoping for some bold strategies and wild surges. Maybe a favorite will have a bad start and get eliminated or maybe someone who is relatively unknown has a breakout race Saturday and gets the ball rolling for a successful spring. I love that a race with some spice has been added to this meet. It's a great break from the norm and this setting up to be the most fun race of the meet!