We're excited for the Youth Runner Middle School Boys Mile and the Girls 1500 Meter Run at the Portland Track Festival

In Portland it's Rose Festival time and it's also "Track Week." Starting on Thursday night with the filming of the show "Tracklandia", "The Race for the Bridge" on Friday and the "Portland Track Festival" Saturday and Sunday. (last weekend was the Portland Track Festival Youth Meet, this weekend is the Portland Track Festival High Performance Meet)

Portland Track President ​Michael Bergmann stated, “Portland Track’s mission is to bring the world’s best athletes to Oregon. We want to create an environment where all athletes have an opportunity to achieve their objectives whether that is achieving a qualifying mark for the IAAF World Championships in Doha later this season or if it is chasing a new personal best in an event.”


Ben Balazs Wins the 2018 Boys Middle School Mile


For us, the highlight of the week will be the Youth Runner Middle School Races on Sunday. Since the meet started in 2008 there has been 85 boys run a sub-5 minute mile time. The fastest was Matti Erickson in 2017 from Kootenay Chaos TC, Canada 4:32.47. Matti was on the cover of the Nov-Dec 2016 cover of Youth Runner Magazine. In the Girls 1500m there have been 48 girls under five minutes. Sophie Cantine from Speed Unlimited in Seattle went 4:34.46 for the #1 time.

This year the boy with the best time coming in is 14-year old Riley Nedrow from Flower Mound Texas in 4:32. Riley already has some age group world records to his credit and he may take a shot at another one Sunday. Riley has a long list of titles and accomplishments. Nathan Morales, a Youth Runner Camper Alum from San Antonio has a best time of 4:45 and is pumped to be in Oregon. Both boys will be taking a side trip to University of Oregon to soak up some Prefontaine Mo Jo and get a look at Eugene before Sunday. We may be watching some future Ducks.

We'll also be watching a crew from the Rain City Flyers in Seattle including YR Camper Alums Drew Oliver & William Schneider along with teammate Andres Dunne-Loper.  The Ventura Tigres are back in force, the Whisper Running Club from Vancouver is represented and Jake Merrick from the Pallodino Power Project in California is entered.

Looking forward to seeing how Logan Law from Tigard Youth Club does. Pretty sure his seed time listed is the mile he ran at this race last year.  Last weekend he won the 800m, 1500m and 3000m at the PTF Youth Meet. Logan is in the zone right now so  expect him to do well.


The Boys Mile from last year-2018


The Girls 1500 Meter Run is packed with super fast girls and there are some wildcards in this race. Ava Betts from Linus Pauling Middle School in Corvallis has a 4:51 seed time and was 2nd in the 1500m at the Oregon Middle School Meet of Champions. At the same meet Kate Peters won the 3000m in 9:57.17 and her sister Ana Peters was 2nd in 10:12.26. Their 1500m seed times are 4:57 and 5:00. Kate also was 2nd at USATF XC Nationals last December. Taylin Bowen from Bend, another YR Camper Alum was 6th at USATF XC Nationals and has a 4:58 seed time. Chelsea Ochoa with a 5:03 will also be a factor. As they say, "this will be a barn burner."


Here's the Girls 1500 Meter Run from 2018