The Saline High School track is home to some of the state’s fastest student-athletes. Sunday night, the track plays host to some of the fastest men in America.
Olympic silver medalist Nick Willis, an Ann Arbor resident, is organizer and a participant in the Running Institute Mile, which takes place at 8 p.m. Sunday. The event is free and open to the public.
Willis, who won silver in the 1500-meter race at the 2008 Olympics, hopes someone in the field will run the fastest mile in Michigan history. Former Michigan Wolverine Kevin Sullivan, a two-time Olympian, holds the state record (3:55.78).
The field also includes Dan Clarke, Ann Arbor, Joshua McAlary, East Lansing, Ian Boyle, Brighton, Miles Batty, Utah, Liam Boylan-Pett and Brian Gagnon, New York, and Macklin Chaffee and Kenyon Nueman, Colorado.
Willis organized the event because he wants a competitive race in an unfamiliar setting before the upcoming World Championships in Moscow. The native of New Zealand trains at the University of Michigan and has lived in Washtenaw County since 2002. His wife gave birth to their child recently, so he didn’t want to travel for the preparatory race.
“It should be a great race. We’re going to have a very high level of competition,” Willis said.
To help draw participants organizers came up with a $1,000 top prize. Willis said several participants in the field have bested Sullivan’s Michigan record in other races.
“It’s not going to be an easy race to try to win,” Willis said.
The one-mile race is the only event of the night.
“Sometimes people think of a track meet as long and boring. But this will be short and sweet,” Willis said. “It will be great for aspiring runners who may wish to get autographs or to watch and be inspired by the fast times.
The event is sponsored by Michigan Rehabilitation Specialists’ Running Institute.
Saline High School is located at 1300 Campus Parkway.