Carlos Villarreal Takes His Skills to NYC

Adidas Dream Mile

By Ken Castro

Grant Fisher certainly lent credence to the consensus among his peers regarding their ability to defeat him. Fisher, the seventh US prep miler to dip under the magical four-minute barrier successfully defended his adidas Dream Mile title Saturday afternoon at Ichan Stadium in New York, before a knowledgeable and energetically infused crowd.

Rio Rico’s Carlos Villareal, among the suitors; bouncing off a strong victory at the Prefontaine Classic, just two weeks prior, came into his in New York racing debut with hopes of being ‘that guy’-the miler who solves the Fisher puzzle. Fisher, the defending champion held thoughts of a different nature however; successfully adding to his string of victories finishing in 4:01.73.

Villareal, self admittedly, fell short in capturing the flow of the race in its entirety, placed tenth in 4:14.92. “I honestly don’t know how to explain the difference between [Pre-Classic] the two” said the #2 ranked miler in the United States (4:03.97), of his performance. “I was feeling good about both but looks like today I just didn't have it. I have to get past that and get myself ready for next week in Seattle.” Villareal heads into the Brooks PR Invitational next Saturday as the highest seeded miler among a field of ten. Fisher, along with Hunter and Brannigan with engage at the two mile distance, at Seattle’s Shoreline Stadium.

“It feels awesome,” Fisher said of his triumph. “This is one of my favorite events of the year. They treat you great out here, and it feels like you’re a pro. When you’re in a situation like that, I think it’s hard not to race well especially with the quality of the field that drew out everybody.”

Early on, Villareal, seemingly safely positioned mid-field stayed in touch as pacer Myles Marshall clipped off splits of 1:01.51 and 2:02.28. Leading to the bell, a group of six, including Fisher, New York’s Mike Brannigan and Virginia’s Andrew Hunter and detached, leaving a dangling sting of suitors to the title in their wake; Villareal among them. “I was hoping to be in good position for three laps and slowly work my way to the front and have gear changes from 150m to 50m,” said Fisher of his strategy. “I felt really good on the backstretch. For the first time this season, I was able to use the gear changes that I was looking for.”

“Coming to the Dream Mile was my main goal from the beginning of the season. My PR was 4.10 and I told my coach that I wanted to make it here. It’s a long shot but we might as well go for it. It’s such a prestigious meet,” said Villareal, citing the previous efforts of Arizona distance aces; two time participant Bernie Montoya and Desert Vista’s Dani Jones, who finished third a year ago; as catalysts for his inspiration.

“I thought I’d definitely be in contention today but it didn't happen,” Villareal said.