Monday, May 13, 2013

Villanova-Bound Malone Wants to Go Out with a Bang

Pascack Valley's Ben Malone will not run in state Meet of Champions
Sunday, May 12, 2013
The Record

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — When Ben Malone steps to the line in the Lou Lanzalotto Bergen Meet of Champions 800 on May 28, it will be the last individual race he runs in New Jersey in his high school career.

Malone winning the 2013 Millrose Mile
The Pascack Valley star, who set the Bergen County mile record two weeks ago when he finished second at the Penn Relays in 4:05.59, made that a certainty when he accepted an invitation to run in the Dream Mile at Icahn Stadium at Randall's Island on May 25, the same time as the second day of the state sectionals.

Malone broke a 34-year-old record at the prestigious Glenn Loucks Games mile run in White Plains, N.Y., on Saturday, handing two-time national cross-country champ Edward Cheserek of St. Benedict's a rare individual loss (see race story, video, and results posted below).

"I wish I could do both," said Malone, who will meet 10 of the best high school milers in the country as part of the Diamond League international meet held May 25. Malone placed a distant 11th in last year's race, which was run after the state Meet of Champions, setting a then-Bergen County record of 4:07.02. The race was won by Bernie Montoya of Arizona in 4:01.32.

"It's disappointing that I have to choose, but I want to close out my high school career with the best possible performance against the best possible runners I can and this is the place to do it."

Malone, who will run the 800 meters and the 4-x-400 relay at this weekend's Red Littler Bergen County championships, and Cheserek, sat third and fourth through a slow tactical first two laps in the Loucks Games race. The first 800 meters was run in 2:11, far slower than the 2:01 that Penn Relays winner Sean McGorty ran two weeks earlier. The pace picked up on the third lap as Malone and Cheserek moved to the front and went through in 3:13, with Cheserek taking a slight lead with about 250 meters to go as the duo broke away from the rest of the field.

"Time was never a consideration today, but once we went through the first 400, I knew I had to prepare for a real fast finish," said Malone, who will run at Villanova. "As the race kept going my mouth started to water because it was exactly the race I wanted."

Malone bests Cheserek at the Loucks Games mile
 As they reached the midway point on the final turn, Malone edged alongside and then slightly ahead of Cheserek, who had split 4:03.7 for 1,600 meters in Thursday's distance medley. As they turned toward the finish line, Malone opened up even further and pulled away to a 10 meter win in 4:09.73, breaking the 4:10.5 record set by Greg Herzog of White Plains in 1979.

"This was an awesome win," said Malone, who might be able to race in the 4-x-400 relay at the state Group 3 meet if his team finishes in the top six without him at sectionals.

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