Top 5 Performers from the Indiana Runner Distance Showcase

The Indiana Runner Indoor Distance Showcase brought some of the state's best that Indiana has to offer to Knowling Fieldhouse to compete for some of the state's premier distance competitions. The races were exciting, hundreds of new PRs, and a great day to show off some of the work that was put in over the past couple of months of training.

Here we look at five events that highlighted the Distance Showcase. 

Caelan D'Onofrio Dominates the 1200m

D'Onofrio, a sophomore from Bloomington North, ran a time of 3:08.16 in the 1200m run to win by over 4 seconds over Gavin Rockwell and Ben Hunter. His time would suggest a fitness level that could have potentially won the mile later in the day. Caelan enjoyed a breakout year in cross country last fall where he was able to PR at state with a 15:40 where he would narrowly miss the podium by one position. Last year at this meet he would run a 4:58 in the mile, now with more confidence and fitness Caelan could be someone to keep an eye on for the rest of indoor season as well as outdoor.

Martin Barco and Shane Conroy Run Away with 3200m

Martin Barco, Washington commit and Martinsville senior standout, would open his season in the 3200m where he race Shane Conroy and run the fastest 3200m of the season that was not on a banked or oversized track with a 9:10.75. Conroy would finish close behind for IN #4 with a 9:14.12. Barco's time is already faster than his early season mark of 9:32 last March at the Mid-State Indoor Meet at UIndy. Barco has big goals for the upcoming season as he mentioned in a post race interview that he will attempt to be the first Indiana high school runner to break 4 minutes in the mile. He won the 1600m state championship last year with a time of 4:07 before running a 1:51 in the 800m at New Balance Outdoor Nationals.

Hadessah Austin Becomes Fifth Girl Under 11 Minutes This Year for the 3200m

In her second race of the season Hadessah would take the win with a new PR of 10:55.72 in the 3200m. She would win by 14 seconds in an effort that beats out her previous best that came from the 10th place performance at the state meet last season. The senior from Seeger is coming off of her best cross country season of her high school career where she would make the podium with a 22nd place finish. This year she is the 6th best returner from the state meet in the 3200m and will look to make the podium this track season after being one spot off last season.

Kaitlyn Stewart Runs IN #3 Time in the 800m

The girls 800m got out to a crazy start where a few girls almost fell over each other. Everyone was able to stay upright and narrowly avoid a callback to restart the race. She would get through the chaos and make her way to the front where she would win by just over two seconds over the state's current leader in the event Brinkley Cooper. The Ohio commit also recently ran to a 5:07 in the mile a few weeks ago in in Louisville. Stewart voiced her goal of breaking the 5 minute barrier this indoor season in the mile in a post race interview. This past cross country season she would have her best XC state performance of her career, placing top ten with a seventh place finish.

Ava Jarrell and Libby Dowty Highlight the Girls Mile

In one of the most anticipated races of the day, the dual between Ava Jarrell and Libby Dowty lived up to the hype. The two would exchange leads throughout the race with Ava putting in a strong surge to extend her lead. Jarrell would cross the line with a new PR in the mile with a time of 4:55.39, Dowty would also be sub 5 with a 4:59.71. Their converted times would be 4:53.68 and 4:57.97 for the 1600m which is a new all-time PR for Ava and only a second off of Libby's best performance which came the week before at Warsaw.

The duo have now raced three times this season with Jarrell taking the win in two out of the three.

Ava is also coming off a great cross country season where she, unfortunately, could not achieve her highest potential. She described how she faced a low iron issue that may have played a role in her getting a stress fracture in her foot. Jarrell was forced a month off from running at the end of the season where she would let it heal before working hard and achieving a new mile indoor PR in each of her 3 races so far this year. She explained with the absence of her more familiar events with the 800m and 1600m at HSR that she will likely shift her main focus to the 3200m next month.