Poolesville's Ryan Lockett plotted out a dream senior year on the track. That dream is focused around the
MILE with a mix of local meets (local meets that we all know and love) plus an abundance of invitation-only elite meets: Millrose, Arcadia, Penn, New Balance
Nationals, Adidas Dream.
Qualifying for those major meets just became more of a reality as he dropped almost three seconds off his personal best in the mile with a 4:13.60 at the Armory AT&T
Hall of Fame Invitational in New York City. He said that he was happy to knock out his indoor nationals qualifier in the first meet of the indoor season.
"It caught me by surprise in a way," said Lockett, "because for me to run that fast, running the way I did, with the training that I have been doing, it's pretty
crazy to do. So I just want to see how fast I can run this season. Obviously, outdoor is more important than indoor, but it would be really cool to do something on
the national level."
"I am still part of Poolesville's track team," Lockett emphasized. "I'm still going to come to all the meets and try to win as much as I can."
He explained in a phone interview that he will still compete in meets like the Montgomery Invitational and the Montgomery County Championships this winter. He plans
to double in the 1600 and 3200 at the Montgomery County Championship Meet, and he will likely go for the triple in the 800, too, if he isn't too wiped out at that
point. He intends to race for place and not time when the big MoCo Championship Meet comes around.
Although he says that he is not thinking about it, he knows that he has a conflict. The first famous meet on his dream list, the Millrose Games, is a nationally
televised meet on the same day as the MPSSAA 2A West Regional Meet. He has not qualified for the Millrose Games yet, but his recent result makes him a likely
candidate for selection. The potential of skipping the MPSSAA regional and state meet is already weighing heavily on his mind.
"It's a decision that I don't want to think about until they make the decision for Millrose, and I have to talk to my coach and everything, so I'm just not thinking
about that right now, but...yeah, Millrose would be crazy to run. Like I said, it's a decision that would be a hard one, and I'd have to talk to my coach and
Felt Like I Was Walking
He chopped almost three seconds off his mile PR in the month of December, but the craziest thing about his 4:13.60 mile is that he did it via incredible negative-
splits. According to the splits listed in official results, he split 68.5-66.8-61.4-56.9. Presumably, the first quarter mile split had the extra 9 meters that make
it a mile. His 809-800m splits were 2:15.3-1:58.3. Come again? Lockett's open 800-meter PR from last year was 1:57.18.
"Yeah, those splits are accurate," said Lockett.
"It was a crazy race and a lot of fun to run...I think it was 1:57-1:58 for the last 8 which was pretty close to my PR."
"I came in to the race, just mindset of: 'I want to win.' I knew, Josh Hoey, which was the guy that won. He's an Oregon commit and he has the fastest returning 800
time in the country. He ran like a 1:49 800...I knew him coming in and I just had the mindset that I want to beat him. I probably didn't think it through enough, but
I thought I could outkick him. I always think that I could outkick anyone."
"He is the fastest 800 meter runner in the country, so when it was 800 meters to go, he had a little bit more left in him than me. But yeah, the first 800 went out
relatively slow. I mean 2:15 isn't really slow, but it just felt like I was walking."
"I just felt great. The Armory is a fast track and everything. I was just right behind him the whole race so I felt really great and then when we hit the 800 mark,
we just went. We ended up running super-fast the last 800, obviously. I tried to make one move with...I think, 400 to go and he just pushed, pushed a little bit
harder than me and ran a second faster, but yeah it was a crazy race...to run close to my 800 PR, it definitely wasn't something I was expecting."
Crunching the Numbers
Laudation, acclamation, and exaltation is all deserved after Ryan Lockett became the tenth fastest all-time miler in MoCo history according to Mocorunning's records.
Abbreviated All-Time Top Ten Milers in MoCo History (Indoors or Outdoors)
Name School Year Actual Perf Equivalent 1600m
Gordon Oliver B-CC 1972 ht-4:08.7y 4:07.50
Diego Zarate Northwest 2015 4:09.69y 4:08.29
Jim Peterson Wheaton 1974 ht-4:10.0y 4:08.79
Tom Cuff Seneca Valley 1979 ht-4:10.1y 4:08.89
Richard Brody Walt Whitman 1976 ht-4:10.5y 4:09.29
Andrew Jesien Walter Johnson 2005 4:10.80y 4:09.35
Kris Herdt Walt Whitman 1984 ht-4:10.3 4:10.54
Ramsey Chapin Georgetown Prep 2008 3:54.55 1500m 4:11.79
Jama Bile Georgetown Prep 1991 ht-4:13.3y 4:12.08
Ryan Lockett Poolesville 2017 4:13.60y 4:12.12
The above list features some amazing names, but only one of those performances was recorded in the month of December. How many MoCo athletes ever raced that fast
during indoor track? I don't know the answer, to be honest, but a lot of those studs from the 70's and 80's (Oliver, Brody, Herdt) only ran in the 4:20's at the
indoor state meet. Turns were tighter and surfaces had less traction. Peterson ran a 4:16.0 mile at the indoor state meet which is still the indoor state record.
Jama Bile traveled to an indoor meet in California and clocked 4:14.89. It is likely that some of these other guys traveled to major indoor meets that I don't know
about, so I cannot say absolutely. What is clear is that Lockett seems poised to jump over a few more names on this list before his senior year is done.
More All-Time Marks Last Weekend
Bullis's Eric Allen clocked 48.63 in the 400m, which was the fastest indoors by a MoCo athlete since Sean Sutton of Good Counsel won the indoor national title with a
47.91 in 2011. It was Allen's fastest indoors or outdoors while wearing a Bullis uniform.
"Next year: expect me back," said Northwest High School's Divinus Muteba after sweeping outdoor county, region,
and state titles in the high jump.
In just his second year competing as a track athlete, Muteba of Northwest High School jumped 6-07 at the Howard County Winter Track Festival. It matched the best
indoor high jump mark by a MoCo athlete since 2009 (Gaithersburg's Owen Cain jumped 6-07 to match the county record). You have to go back to 2002 for the last time a
MoCo athlete jumped higher than 6-07 indoors (Walter Johnson's Vaclav Malek jumped 6-08 at the 3A/4A West Regional Meet).
Shaniya Hall of Bullis clocked 55.74 in the 400m and 6.98 in the 55m at the ATT Coaches Hall of Fame Invitational. Both are top-three marks in Montgomery County
indoor track history. Both are Montgomery County indoor track sophomore records - yes, better than the mighty Olivia Ekpone of Wootton High School back in 2009.
Masai Russell is back and (almost) better than ever. She recorded a new PR in the 55-meter hurdles in 8.20 which sets the bar as a MoCo #1 this year. She is also the
early season MoCo #1 in the 300-meter dash with a time of 39.25. As a refresher, she is top-3 all-time in Montgomery County indoors in all three long sprints (39.24
300m, 55.68 400m, 1:13.72 500m).
New for Bullis this year is Kasey Ebb who ran 7.27 in the 55-meter dash and 39.47 in the 300-meter dash.