The smallest state could be making some big noise next month.
A collection of the best milers in the country will be coming to the track oval at Exeter/West Greenwich High in Rhode Island on Aug. 7 with the sole purpose of breaking the four-minute barrier for the men's outdoor mile. The milestone clocking has never been accomplished on R.I. soil.
Invited to compete for the 6:30 p.m. event are AJ Acosta, 24, of Eugene, Ore, who owns a personal best of 3 minutes, 53.76 seconds. Other elite runners in the field are Eugene's Jordan McNamara of Team Nike Oregon TC Elite (3:54.89 PB), John Jefferson, 29, of Brooke Team Indiana Elite (3:56.82 PB), Nike's Christian Hesch, 33, of Hollywood, Calif. (3:58.68 PB) and Sean Brosnan, of Delray, Fla. (4:02.0 PB).
There will also be a R.I. flavor to the event with some past and present high school standouts toeing the line. Former East Greenwich star Nick Ross will be part of the historical race. Organizers are also hoping that ex-high school all-staters Mark Feigan of East Greenwich and multiple state record-holder Andrew Springer of Westerly will join the field. Springer, a junior-to-be at Georgetown University, was a national mile champion on the indoor surface his senior year for the Bulldogs and has run the fastest high school mile in R.I. with a 4:02 best.
Also set to compete are recent Chariho Regional grad and All-American runner Mike Marsella and teammate Bryce Kelley. Marsella and Kelley were both members of the Chargers' national record-setting indoor 4x1 mile relay squad.
High School athletes are encouraged to come view this historic event. Meet director Charlie Breagy has assured everyone there will be a great buzz to the race. "What better way to get high school athletes motivated then seeing some of the best milers in the country come to Rhode Island and accomplish something that has never been done before?" The fastest outdoor mile in Rhode Island to date was accomplished by Patrick Tarpy, formally of Brown University, who ran a 4:02
There is no charge to come to Exeter/West Greenwich and watch the potential for history to be made. The track is located at 930 Nooseneck Hill Road (Rte. 3) in West Greenwich, Rhode Island.
MIleSplit RI will be providing coverage at the event as well as some previews leading up to the day of the meet. Check back periodically for bios of the competitors. Updates will also be provided for this event on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Exeter-Sub-4-Milers/377920538942602 and at http://runrhody.com/