On the day after Christmas, Northport’s Sean Ryan received the gift of affirmation. His speed has returned to form after the normal post-cross country cool down period and he’s ready to clock speedy times as the indoor season begins to kick into high gear.
Ryan won the 1,000 meters in two minutes, 38.31 seconds at the North Shore Invitational Wednesday morning at The Armory in Manhattan.
“I closed really quick on the last lap,” Ryan said. “So, my speed’s here, I think.”
Ryan is working quickly toward a major goal in the opening half of the season — winning the mile at the Hispanic Games on Jan. 5 at The Armory and punching his ticket to February’s Millrose Games.
“I need to be able to win that race and outkick other guys,” Ryan said. “I think today I really showed that.”
After Wednesday’s victory, Ryan said he felt like he had much more left in the tank.
“It felt good,” the senior said. “I could have ran two or three seconds faster if it was a faster race.”
A slow pace off the gun forced Ryan to take the lead on the second lap, but that was just fine with him.
“I like doing that sometimes,” Ryan said of taking the lead early. “It really depends on the race. If I feel comfortable, like I did today, it’s not that bad. But, if it’s a race where I’m with all guys that I know are faster than me, it’s difficult. But it’s something that I have to get used to in order to start winning races.”
Ryan, a pure distance runner, used some different early-season tactics to get his legs ready as soon as possible. He ran a 300 in 40.57 seconds at a crossover meet last week in Brentwood, subjecting himself to a blistering pace that is unlike anything he’s used to.
“It was the fastest race I’ve ever run,” Ryan said. “It was over in a blink of an eye. It was a weird change. I definitely used the speed and what I learned from that to close my race today a lot quicker. It’s all building up.”
Once the Hispanic Games pass, Ryan will open up to the two-mile distance and try to diversify his repertoire even more as he makes the slow, deliberate jog to the state championships in March.
“I think I’m going to cover everything,” he said.
Elsewhere, North Shore’s Jack Rosencrans won the 3,200 in 9:27.47.