It’s been five years since his last participation in the KPMG Front Street Mile and Dage Minors has ambitions of another title when he competes against six elite runners in tonight’s final event.
Minors defended his senior schools title in 2013 when the St Johnsbury Academy student retained his title from the previous year though he was disappointed not to break the record of 4 minutes, 27.3 seconds after touching the take in 4:33.
Fast forward five years and the 22-year-old recent Franklin Pearce University graduate is anxious to put on another good showing.
“I’m pretty thrilled, it’s been a while since I did run. I’ve been itching to get back out there on Front Street, but I was in school and with other commitments,” said Minors, the only Bermuda runner in the elite races which sees five female competitors.
“I’m just excited, I haven’t raced in Bermuda in a while so it’s good to come back and race. In terms of build-up it has been going pretty good with training, I came
back for Christmas and it was good to be with my family.”
Minors, back at Franklin Pearce pursuing a Master’s Degree, has a best mile indoor time of 4:06 but isn’t focusing on a time. He just want to be in contention to win. “The time will take care of itself, I’m just bracing to be in contention to win,” he stressed.
“It’s one of those races where you see how it goes in the first half and then respond. I’m not going in with ‘okay, I must run this time’. I’m just going to try to put myself in contention to win.
“It makes no sense going into a race to not try to win. I hope to use the crowd to my advantage. I definitely want to use that to my advantage over the last half mile or so.
“I’m ready to go, it’s been a while. My last race was the beginning of December when I ran a 3,000 [metre race] at Boston University. I go back to Franklin Pearce on Sunday.”
“Three new schools age group champions will be crowned tonight during KPMG Front Street Mile races on Front Street.
Paris Mitchell Robinson won’t be competing tonight, leaving the primary boys title to be decided between Nayan Grant and Khari Sharrieff who were second and third last year. Also in the mix will be Jace Donawa, the top qualifier during the recent mile trials and Elijah Bean who had the second best time ahead of Grant who clocked 5:51.54 in last year’s race.
The top three finishers in the primary girls — Ramiah Brangman of West End, Jasmin Hasselkuss of Somersfield and Warwick Academy’s Adriana Argent — have all moved up to the middle schools where Selah Tuzo’s title is up for grabs now that she is competing in the senior girls.
The Saltus student will be competing against defending champion and schoolmate Ashley Irby, last weekend’s first Bermuda qualifier for the Carifta Games in March-April.
The primary girls race will see top qualifiers Ellise Dickinson, Jaeda Grant, Legend Stevenson, Kemauri Darrell and Carina Bortoli among the favourites for Brangman’s title as she battles the likes of Taylor White, Jade Johnston, Myeisha Sharrieff, Shayla Cann, Hasselkuss and Argent for Tuzo’s title.
Sancho Smith of TN Tatem is looking to retain his middle school title, after breaking the tape in 5:09.99 last year. Tommy Marshall, second last year and the second best qualifier this year behind Kahzi Sealey, is hoping to go one better this year.
Last year Marshall was involved in a photo finish with Nirobi Mills for second place, beating out Mills by two tenths of a second.
Marshall will have other competition from Ryan Fleming, Jake Brislane and Oslo Adamson while Mills has stepped up into the senior category where he will battle Johndell Cumberbatch, the defending champion, Quincy Kuzyk, Nicholas Pilgrim, Robert Edwards and Ryan Outerbridge.
Cumberbatch, of Saltus, won by almost six seconds over Edwards of Bermuda Institute last year, clocking a winning time of 4:57.37 to take his first title. Cumberbatch and Kuzyk, who missed last year’s senior race, are set for another close battle after finishing first and second in last weekend’s 1,500 metres at the track meet at the National Sports Centre.
In the senior girls Irby will be challenged by Lynsey Palmer, Macy Aicardi, Jessie Mashall, Tuzo, Zahra Wilson and Koa Goodchild.