Ryan Dearie finally caught his dad. The St. Anthony’s senior, whose father, Tim, doubles as the school’s track coach, has heard it for years. Tim was part of St. Anthony’s school record holding 4x1-mile team in 1979, one that stood the test of time and held onto the record with clenched fists.
That mark, once the father’s, now belongs, in part, to the son. Ryan, along with Christopher Langer, Freddie Buckholtz, and Ryan Kutch ran the rarely competed race in 17 minutes, 16.45 seconds on the second day of the weekend-long New Balance Indoor Nationals at the Armory in Manhattan Saturday. The time smashed the old school record of 17:29.6 and set a new state record, breaking Shaker High School’s 2012 mark of 17:21.56.
In the immediate aftermath, it was hard to tell what meant more to the group, the state record or the school record ... and with it the banishment of Tim Dearie’s gentle ribbing.
“He used to bust our chops all the time,” Ryan Dearie said of the school record. “We’ve had some good guys, but we’ve never been able to get it. It’s awesome. It’s something to play around with my dad with. It’s great that we got it.”
The only thing the time did not do was give St. Anthony’s a national championship The Friars fell just short of Illinois’ Sandburg High School, who edged them at the line and won in 17:16.36. Sandburg’s Sean Torpy outstretched Ryan Dearie to the tape.
“From the start, I tried to take him out hard. I tried to break him,” Ryan Dearie, who ran a 4:16.6 anchor leg, said of Torpy. “He hung tough and eventually passed me. I tried to stay relaxed as much as I could until the last lap. I tried giving it my all at the last straightaway. I came up right on him. He had a little bit left at the end and I didn’t. It came down to the wire, but it was exciting.”
Langer led the race off, adjusting to a shift in pace in the second half of his leg, which he finished in 4:23.4.
“My leg went out slow, but the second half was much faster,” he said. “I got out really well, but I didn’t want to lead. So, I waited until (the field) passed me and I went with them on the outside.”
Kutch used a 4:17.3 second leg to build a sizable lead.
“I decided to wait as long as I could until I had a good surge,” Kutch said. “Probably with four laps to go, I started to get around (the field). I tried to pick it up a little bit because I knew I had to get as big a lead as I could because I knew how strong some of the anchors were.”
Buckholtz followed with a 4:18.8 mile, trying to keep the lead Kutch has built, while realizing that the race was far from over.
“I knew I wanted to give everything I could to (Ryan Dearie) to help him out,” Buckholtz said. “In the end, we fell a little short, but I think we gave everything we possibly could. We’re really proud of ourselves.
Whether or not St. Anthony’s come home with silver or gold hanging around their neck, there’s one thing no one can take away from them — the records ... for now, at least.
“It’s pretty awesome,” Langer said. “I wonder how long it’s going to last. Hopefully forever.”