Sugie Shines; Leads Kentuckians at the Arcadia Invitational

Sugie Shines; Leads Kentuckians at the Arcadia Invitational

On Saturday, April 6th, 2024, four of Kentucky's best distance stars took to the 3200m run at the famous Arcadia Invitational. It is at this meet where Kentucky legends Jacob Thomson and Bobby Curtis broke the 8:50 barrier to run the two fastest times in Kentucky history. Curtis ran 8:48.34 back in 2003 which is the state record and has stood now for 21 years. In 2013, Thomson gave a run at the record, but came up 4 tens of a second short running 8:48.73. This background set the stage for Will Sheets, Riku Sugie, James Gurley, and Lincoln Herald.

James Gurley of Louisville Collegiate got this group started on Friday night where he ran an impressive 9:12.65 placing 17th in the Open 3200. This time is now the 27th fastest 3200m in State history. 

Next, Lincoln Herald of Grant County ran in the 'Rated' section of the 3200m where he ran a massive Pr of 9:06.81 finishing 24th in his field. This time is now the 15th fastest time in state history. 

The last racer of the day was Will Sheets of Covington Catholic who ran in the Invitational section of the 3200. In this field, we were thinking that Sheets would have a chance at the State record. As the race developed, it became a part that Sheets was not going to get the 8:48 record, however, he did break 9 minutes for the first time finishing in 8:57.45 which is the 5th fastest 3200m time in state history. 

Now, you may be wondering why Thomas Nelson's Riku Sugie hasn't been mentioned. That is because Riku Sugie became only the 3rd man in Kentucky history to break the 8:50 barrier. As the race was developing, Riku found himself in the lead group and came through 1600m in 4:29. This time is well off the 8:48 state record, so Sugie had to do something special. Indeed, Sugie had his special moment where he closed in a staggering 4:19 to run 8:48.83, just a half second off the state record. This time gave Sugie the win in the "Seeded" section of the 3200m. This time is also the fastest time ever run by a Junior in Kentucky history and is 41st for a Junior in United States history. All eyes will be on Sugie to see when and if he will break the 8:48.34 record set by Bobby Curtis.