Brittany Neeley – The Midwest Distance Festival "Experience" Blog
June 10th, 2012
Brittany Neeley, a Junior from Eastern (Greentown), has been gracious enough to do a one-time blog for Indiana Runner solely on her experience at this weekends Midwest Distance Festival in Joliet, IL. For those who don’t know Brittany, she is one of the most talented middle distance and versatile athletes in the State. Brittany spent her Sophomore season in 2011 focusing mostly on the 200 and 400, running very respectable personal bests that year of 26.89 and 57.02. She also finished 5th at State in the 400.
This past year, Brittany moved up to the 800 mainly, and finished 3rd overall in a personal best, 2:14.26. She also dabbled a little in the 1600/Mile running a then-personal best, 5:06.91, at the Franklin Central Miracle Mile. Her sister, Bethany, meanwhile, focused on the 1600 all year long and won the State Title in 4:53.93.
Both have decided to focus on the Mile during the post-post season. As you will read below, Brittany competed at the Midwest Distance Festival while Bethany will be competing at next weekends New Balance Nationals. Enjoy!
I am running at the Midwest Distance Festival in Joliet, Illinois this weekend, while Beth will be resting this weekend and racing in the Elite mile next weekend at New Balance Nationals in North Carolina. I am running the full mile this weekend and if you ask me why, I don’t really have an answer. After state weekend, I wanted to race either a 400 or 1600, which I realize is such a random combination. This is my only available weekend to race, because I will be playing in the Indiana class all-star basketball game next weekend, so I chose to run the mile at this meet this weekend. There are only four girls in my race, which I think is hilarious. It sounds like a dumb race, but I have the slowest seed at a 5:06, so it is very competitive. I am going in with one goal and that is to break the 5 minute barrier before I call my junior season quits.
I am fortunate to have a sister that made this 4 hour trip out here with me. We made the trip over here with Kyle Walsh, Jackson Bertoli, and Ari Rinaldo, aka a bunch of studs. We had our little pre-race pasta dinner together last night as members of the Team Walsh team. We also checked out the track last night, which was so much nicer than I expected! I honestly think it is nicer than the track out in Greensboro. It is a 2 year old blue mondo track that looks like it was put in just yesterday, so Jackson and I are both looking to put down fast mile times later tonight.
The Midwest Distance Festival went sooooo well to say the least. I am honestly so glad we made the trip out. We checked out of our hotel room at about 1, so had like 6 hours to spare. We chilled at Panera and a local mall for the majority of the time before heading to the track. We are proud to say that we were the only ones at the meet with a team camp, success. The meet rolled around and the stadium lights turned on. The meet was very low key, but competitive, and I loved it. I was feeling pretty decent after warmup and was excited to race the mile. I love racing the mile, because I rarely get the chance to. My race consisted of 3 girls that were all faster than me. We took the first lap out in 73 for the full 409 meters and all ran together for the majority of the race. We came through the 800 in 2:33 and through the 1200 in 3:51. I took the lead with 300 to go, but a girl caught me again with 200 to go. Luckily, my legs were able to respond and go into that other gear to finish the race. I closed in a 71, finishing in 5:01 for the 1600 and 5:03 for the mile. After my race, I had the opportunity to watch Jackson Bertoli race the mile as well. Big shootout for the huge PR!
I was hoping to break the 5 minute barrier, but the race wasn’t as fast as I had expected it to be. I am very appreciative of the win and a new PR to end my junior year. Looking back on the trip, I was so extremely happy we went. It was such a great time with some great people. We celebrated with ice cream after and then made the 3.5 hour drive home so that I could take the ACT the following morning. STUDENT-Athletes. We have Jackson and I’s races on videos, along with pre and postrace interviews that are somewhat embarrassing. So, I can work on getting those on the computer and up somewhere. Thanks for letting me post this blog and thanks for all the support this year on Indiana Runner! You guys are the best, and Indiana running doesn’t get much better than this. The group of runners, but also the type of people they are. A huge shoutout goes to Beth, best of luck next weekend sis, keep making us proud! Love you!