PROVO — When Davis' Brad Nye ran the fastest mile time in the country at the Arcadia Invitational last month in California, he started setting his sights on trying to set a state record in the 1,600 at the state track meet.
A hamstring injury picked up in last week's Region 1 meet spoiled those hopes of a state record, but not of winning.
Nye ran a smart race Friday morning in the first race of the state track and field meet to capture the 5A 1,600 individual title with a time of 4:19.74. It was well off his 4:07.36 time at Arcadia, but he said that's the life of a runner.
"I was planning on coming here and going for the state record in the mile, the 1,600. Things happen, and that's the life of a runner. We just re-evaluated," said Nye.
Bingham's Andrew Brewer finished second with a time of 4:21.91.
Just a couple days ago, Nye had his doubts about how well his hamstring would even hold up.
"It's really been up and down. I had a run a couple days ago that was really slow and really lousy and I didn't feel like I could come here and perform at all," said Nye.
Thursday night though, his hamstring felt good and he was confident heading into today's 1,600.
"After the first lap we kind of got into a rhythm and I could tell it wasn't going to be aggressive right from the start and that's when concern went away and I'd be able to run whatever I needed today," said Nye.
The senior still has his doubts about how his hamstring will hold up for Saturday's 3,200 and 800 races, but he's optimistic after running a smart race on Friday.
"Here it's all about winning and scoring points for the team. As much as I would've loved to blast it out there and run a fast time and give people something to watch, it really was more for the win," he said.
While Nye held back a bit in 5A, Timpanogos' Jacob Heslington went for it all in the 4A 1,600, as he set a new personal best to capture the title with a time of 4:17.34. Sky View's Tyler Roberts finished second with a time of 4:18.97.
"It's a great time to PR obviously. It's what I've been working for all season," said Heslington, who won the 4A cross country title last fall. "We went out faster than BYU, which made it easier to get that pace 'cause I didn't have to run as fast the last 800."
In 3A, Park City's Ben Saarel — who owns the second fastest 1,600 in Utah this year set at BYU two weeks ago — captured his second straight individual title with a time of 4:21.25. Wasatch's Talem Franco ran a 4:23.20 for second place.
"It's the best feeling in the word going back-to-back," said Saarel.
Grand's Jacob Francis won the 2A 1,600 race Friday morning with a time of 4:32.77, with Parowan's Ammon Blauer coming in second with a 4:33.46.
The 1A 1,600 title went to Rich's Vance Weston with a time of 4:38.51. Milford's Ethan Young finished second at 4:44.02.