After nearly breaking the four-minute barrier last week, there had been talk that maybe DJ Principe
would be competing in the professional mile of the New Balance Grand Prix this
Assistant coach Bill Myers confirmed on Wednesday that the La Salle Academy senior will not race against the likes of Olympic gold medalist Matthew Centrowitz in the featured New Balance Mile. Instead, Principe will compete, as planned, in the Junior Mile, the elite high school race.
"It's just too much to go back-to-back with races like that," Myers said. "We were thinking about putting him into the pro race, but it's just going to be too fast for him. The meet last week went out perfect."
Based on what he's done the last few weeks with his 4:00.97 effort at the New Balance Games in New York last Saturday, and his previous best of 4:04.47 at a BU Mini Meet on Dec. 31, Principe is the overwhelming favorite to win Saturday's race. The next closest competitor in the field is Josh Hoey of Bishop Shanahan in Pennsylvania, who has a best of 4:11.
Myers figures Principe will clock a time in the 4:06 to 4:08 range.
"The scary thing is he's not even training for the mile right now.. It's basically from his cross-country training," he said. "He has just done a few races. He does his 60 miles a week, but only about three track sessions. We have been using a lot of his races as workouts. He's done three track workouts in a month and a half and a tempo run. He's just super fit. When he ran his 4:04, he crossed the line and recovered in like 15 minutes."
After this weekend's meet, the Stanford commit will compete in the Class Championships on Feb. 4 and then it's back to the Big Apple on Feb 11 where he'll have another crack at a sub 4 at the NYYR Millrose Games. Principe is entered in the Elite/Pro Mile, an event he'll certainly be pushed and have a good chance at becoming the tenth schoolboy to break four minutes.