Top Returner Reese Kilbarger-Stumpff, Columbus North, was runner-up to Lucas Guerra in 2021.
Livestream of Flashes Showcase Mile
Franklin Central Flashes Showcase Miracle Mile Preview
One of the biggest Track meets of the season, the Flashes Showcase Miracle Mile, will take place Friday at Franklin Central. Many of Indiana's best will come together to run the full mile in one of the most exciting environments in Indiana Track and Field. There will be 4 heats each of the fastest boys and girls in the state, 2 heats of the 4x800 relay and 2 heats of Freshman boys miles.
Below we preview the favorites of the fastest heats of the boys and girls and freshman mile heats ahead of the festivities Friday night.
Freshman Boys Miracle Mile
The future of Indiana boys distance running will be showing that in some cases the future is now. Many of the boys in the field have already run 1600 times under 4:45 and in some cases even faster. Franklin Central's Emilio Leal ran 4:38 in a dual meet last week vs Whiteland and will surely be one of the favorites in this race. Leal's teammate Evan Farmer also ran a fast time of 4:41 in that same race and will certainly be in the mix. The two Flashes will be trying to defend their home track against presumed favorite Sam Quagliaroli of Fishers. The Tigers young star has already run 9:40 over 3200 meters placing 13th at the HSR finals and was the first freshman finisher in the 2021 State cross country meet last fall. Many other boys in this heat also participated in that meet and have some big meet experience to help them with the environment of the Flashes Showcase hype. Just know that the future of the mile in Indiana is in good hands with this group.
Girls Miracle Mile
The fastest heat obviously contains the best of the best that Indiana has to offer. All these girls have incredible accomplishments with virtually every girl in this fast heat possessing an IHSAA All-state medal in Track or Cross Country. That being said, there certainly are some that stand above the rest and will be seen at the front of the race from the gun.
Kaylie Politza of Valparaiso has proven herself as one of the best middle distance runners ever in Indiana holding the 7th best 800 all-time and the 24th best 1600 all-time. With a 1600 PR of 4:52.07 her speed and endurance combination will keep her in the mix and maybe ensure a top 6 podium spot.
Floyd Central's Jaydon Cirincione has been an elite distance runner over the last few seasons in Indiana. Multiple all-state finishes and fast times propels her into the conversation of the front runners for this race. With a 1600 PR under 5 minutes she certainly has a great chance to land on the Flashes podium.
Karina James of Lowell possesses what many others in this field do not have. That would be a state championship. The big meet experience and greatness could really come into play here at the Miracle Mile. She didn't run in this meet last year but holding a 1600 PR of 4:52 she has the ability and experience to be in the top 6 and maybe better.
The second half of the region duo, Chesterton's Bailey Ranta has been as consistent as they come in Indiana over the last few years. Unfortunately for the rest of the state, Ranta may have taken her consistency to another level this year. Placing high in indoor Nationals and coming in with a PR under 4:55 and added big meet experience, she will be another girl to watch that could be primed for a high finish at the Showcase.
This race could come down to the "Battle of the Addisons". Addison Knoblauch of Homestead has screamed on to the scene over the last 6 months as a nationally elite distance runner. Just 3 weeks ago she defeated her Addison counterpart at the HSR finals breaking the indoor state record over 3200 meters. One thing is for sure for Knoblauch, she will not be afraid to run a race from the front and never relent the lead. The question is could she hang on to that lead?
There are scenarios where any of the above girls can take the crown in the Miracle Mile. Most scenarios that can be drawn up for this race though would have Huntington North's Addy Wiley as the considerable favorite. What evidence is there for that you may ask? She has the FASTEST 1600 ALL TIME IN INDIANA!!! Wiley's 4:36 for a 1600 (converted from the full mile she ran at last year's outdoor Nationals) is 16 seconds faster than any other girls PR in the entire field. She is also two-time defending state champion over 1600 meters. These things insert her as the favorite. If the magic of the Miracle Mile doesn't assist another runner, expect Wiley to be standing atop the famous Flashes Podium when the night is over.
Boys Miracle Mile
The boys Miracle Mile has a similar story line to the girls race. A presumed favorite that has run significantly faster over the distance than anyone else in the race and someone who could be challenged by another nationally elite talent. With a packed chase group to comprise the rest of the podium there will be figurative fireworks at the end of the meet watching the boys Miracle Mile. Here are some of the boys that will certainly be spotted near the front when they cross the finish line.
Ezra Burrell of Brebeuf Jesuit just three weeks ago won the small school 3200 at the HSR Finals over a couple other elite runners. He has shown his ability at this distance by placing 7th in the 1600 at least year's state finals as a sophomore. Burrell's season could just be getting started and don't be surprised to see him on the podium and maybe on one of the higher steps of that podium at night's end.
LaPorte's Cole Raymond has the 2nd best 1600 PR in the field and is one of the stars of Indiana Distance running. His 4th place finish at state track meet last year and the way he got there shows his ability to race in big meets with other runners that appear to be stronger than him. He has the talent and big meet experience for a high placing finish at one of the premier events of the Indiana Track and Field season.
The large school 3200 winner at this year's HSR Finals, Will Conway of Floyd Central has rose quietly on to the scene as one of Indiana's best. The 9:07 at HSR is a current state leading time, to go along with his 5thplace finish at the 2021 State Final's in the 1600 (as a freshman by the way), Conway has shown his ability to be great in the big moments across multiple events. When the lights are brightest, as they will be at around 9:00 pm Friday night, Conway has a chance to ascend another Flashes Podium and run a lifetime best alongside the state's best.
Similar to the girls race this could be a top two battle for the boys crown. Kole Mathison of Carmel has been elite since coming into high school but has yet to be able to compete in a mile at his best. Most of the other top boys in this race have PR's from a state meet. Mathison ran 4:15 at this meet last year but there is reason to believe he is due for his best mile ever and can compete for the Flashes Showcase crown.
Kole Mathison, Carmel, is a co-favorite tonight.
The presumed favorite for the boys race is defending Cross country State champion Reese Kilbarger-Stumpff of Columbus North. Similar to Wiley in the girls race, Kilbarger-Stumpff has a significant PR advantage on the rest of the field with his 4:07 1600 from last spring's State meet. He will certainly be challenged at the gun from some of the above-mentioned runners but he is also not afraid to lead from the front. Expect a good portion of the race to have "RKS" at the front and unless some of that Miracle Mile magic rubs off on someone else, don't be surprised to see him as the one to break the tape in first.