Best Of The Best: Boys Distance

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James Lee tops two lists here, the 800 and the 1,600. 

"A runner is a miser, spending the pennies of his energy with great stinginess, constantly wanting to know how much he has spent and how much longer he will be expected to pay. He wants to be broke at precisely the moment he no longer needs his coin." 
 John L. Parker Jr., Once a Runner

Distance runners are a unique breed, and I write these words lovingly, having endured the many miles of trials, and trials of miles, myself. I've always felt it took a special kind of crazy to want to run multiple laps around the track, and the more laps, the crazier you've got to be. By my own standards I was that special kind of crazy - wanting to run the 3,200 in high school (and later the 10,000), but you learn a lot about yourself when you're clipping along around a 400-meter oval at your physical and mental threshold, bobbling somewhere between pain and sanity.

Ultimately, you learn how much pain you're willing to endure.

Like fire-walkers, distance runners are the breed that prefers to slowly burn on the hot coals, rather than light up in a fury flame (neither sound appealing as I write them). Those willing to burn a little longer are the ones you'll see on the lists below, which are the top-10 returners in the 800 on up to the 3,200. The names of future state champions (and present) and beyond can be found among these lists, and so I've broken them down like a fraction for the sake of speculation, as I tend do.