Update: Latham Leads Marist Boys In Record Setting Weekend

Update - Saturday night - A little over 24 hours after anchoring his relay team to a new state record in the 4x1600, Tommy Latham came back on Saturday night and broke the state 3200 state record by running 8:46.88 to become the first Georgia boy to ever break 8:50 in the 3200. Latham placed 20th overall in the famed Arcadia 3200, a race which saw a total of 37 (yes, you read that right, 37!) boys break the 9:00 barrier. The race is the most famous and deepest 3200 ever single year in the outdoor season. Latham split 4:25 for his first four laps, putting him exactly on pace to match the previous state record. But, he actually picked up the pace over the final four laps and closed in 4:21 to lower the record by just under four seconds. 

It was a very impressive weekend by the Marist junior in what was basically his outdoor season debut. I don't think too many will be surprised by his performances, as many of us have already predicted he would become the best distance runner in Georgia. But this mark is the first one that truly solidifies him in that argument. You could still make a case for a couple of others like Ralph King, Ben Hubers, Girma Mecheso, or Josh Brickell. But considering that he's only a junior, it's hard to imagine that by June of 2025 we won't all be in agreement that Latham is the GOAT.

Friday night - On a chilly night in California, the Marist boys broke a 14 year old state record. The relay team that consisted of Ian Gaffney, Andrew Stricklin, Liam Hanemann, and Tommy Latham finished runner up at the Arcadia Invitational and ran 17:19.45 to sneak under the old record of 17:20.26 set by Brookwood back in 2010. 

The 4x1600m relay used to be a staple for all of the top distance squads for years at the coaches invitational. When that meet went away, the event has slowly become less and less popular. But the rumor is that Coaches Invitational is coming back next year which will hopefully revive the event to be a little more popular again.

Nevertheless, a state record is a state record. And those are never easy to come by, as I'm sure the Marist boys learned first hand last night. Coming in their PR's added up to a time that was well under the record, but even with great competition on the West Coast, they still had to work for every tenth of a second. Ian Gaffney opened up for them with a split of 4:24.30. The first leg in a race like that is often the hardest but it looks like Gaffney held his own in the pack. Then Stricklin took over and gave them what was probably the best leg of the night with his split of 4:20.97, just barely off of the PR he set last week at Metro Atlanta Championships. That race already seemed like the perfect race for him, so to come back and do it again a week and a half later is very impressive. Then Hanemann took over and split a 4:21.26 to give Latham the baton in 2nd place where he was able to clearly pull away from the rest of the contenders as he split 4:12.88.

So far this year we've seen two new state records on the relays, and I won't be surprised if we see some more down the stretch here. So maybe I should have ranked the relays higher in my preseason prediction article than the 10th place spot that I gave them.

See Marist's instagram accounts for a look into what it was like out there.