Lewiston native among the nation’s elite at 800 meters

Isaiah Harris experienced highs and lows at the United States Olympic Track and Field trials in Eugene, Oregon, last summer.

The Lewiston native advanced to the finals of the 800 meters, and was in second place in the final with 200 meters to go before settling for a sixth-place finish.

Harris, a sophomore at Penn State University, has continued to establish himself as one of the top runners at the half-mile distance in the nation, as he is currently ranked second in the 800 among NCAA Division I athletes.

His seasonal best of 1 minute, 46.65 seconds, which occurred in a winning effort at the Rod McCravy Memorial Invitational at the University of Kentucky, sits just behind Emmanuel Korir of Texas-El Paso, who owns a mark of 1:46.50.

Harris was recently  honored as the Big 10’s Men Track and Field Athlete of the Week, the second such honor of his career.

Harris owns the Big 10 conference record in the 800 (1:46.24), and is the reigning conference champion in the event, both indoors and outdoors.

Harris also has an early-season best of 2:22.14 in the 1,000 meters, coming in a second-place effort at the Nittany Lion Challenge on Jan. 14.

Harris and Penn State are back in action this weekend when they host the two-day PSU National Open in State College, Pennsylvania.

Mainers shining at Iowa State

Bethanie Brown and Dan Curts have picked up right where they left off during the cross country season.

The natives of Waterville and Ellsworth were key cogs in helping the Cyclones’ women’s and men’s teams qualify for the NCAA Championships, and both have gotten off to fine starts on the track this winter.

Brown and Curts both opened their winter seasons with wins at the University of Iowa’s Hawkeye Invite on Jan. 13, with Brown claiming the 3,000 meters in 10:00.78.

That race marked the first time Brown, a redshirt junior has competed indoors since 2014, with injuries and illnesses forcing her to redshirt as a sophomore.

Curts, a redshirt sophomore would go on to win the 1,000 meters in 2:26.37.

The following weekend, the Cyclones returned to Iowa City for the Larry Wieczorek Invitational, and Curts returned to the winner’s circle.

He picked up his second victory in the 1,000 in as many weekends, breaking the tape in 2:26.84. Curts added a second-place effort in the 800, clocking in at 1:52.64.

Iowa State will participate in the Penn State Open this weekend in State College.

Ryan McLaughlin

About Ryan McLaughlin

Ryan McLaughlin is a longtime Bangor Daily News writer who is also a fitness trainer at Union Street Athletics in Bangor. Before becoming a fitness trainer, Ryan enjoyed long-distance running and participated in numerous road races over the years. When he isn't writing, instructing classes or training, Ryan enjoys obstacle course racing, playing golf, raising his newborn son Liam with wife Alissa and all sports.