PROVO — Park City’s Ben Saarel continued his magical season at the BYU Invitational on Friday.
The senior shattered the state record in the 3,200 meters with a blistering time of 8:49.08 at Clarence Robison Stadium, breaking the previous state record of 8:54.40, set by Judge’s Luke Puskedra back in 2008.
Saarel ran an 8:45.74 at the Arcadia Invitational in California earlier this season, the best time in the nation by a high school runner since 2011, but Utah state records only count if they’re recorded at UHSAA-sanctioned meets in Utah.
Saarel’s split times were 4:28 over the first 1,600 and 4:21 over the second 1,600.
Timpanogos’ Jacob Heslington finished second with a time of 9:07.31.
Saarel has visions of breaking the state record in the 800 and 1,600 before his high school career wraps up in a couple of weeks, but he’ll only run the 800 in Day 2 of the BYU Invitational on Saturday.
Ogden’s Sarah Feeny won the girls 3,200 on Friday with a time of 10:35.68, the best mark in Utah this season. Bingham’s Emily Rich finished second in 10:42.09.
Deseret News prep editor and Real Salt Lake beat writer.