Athletics News – News – Ellie Shea, Connor Burns Win Fast 2-Miles At New Balance Nationals Indoor - News - Ellie Shea, Connor Burns Win Fast 2-Miles At New Balance Nationals Indoor

Ellie Shea, Connor Burns Run All-Time Top 10 Performances In 2-Mile Victories

By David Woods for DyeStat

Keenan Gray photos

BOSTON – Timbuk 3’s climb up the music charts in the 1980s and ‘90s came years before Ellie Shea was born. But if she needs a theme song, the rock group has one for her: “The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades.”

Blue sunglasses might not be customary inside an arena, but don’t throw shade on Ellie Shea. She attacked Mary Cain’s 10-year-old high school record and came away with a runaway victory in the 2-mile Friday at the New Balance Nationals Indoor.


Here is the thing about record assaults. Even if they come up short, they are riveting theater and historic achievements.

Shea and Connor Burns gave chase, reaffirming they are two of track and field’s rising runners.

Burns, of Southern Boone MO, defeated a deep field to win the two-mile in 8:43.24, worth No. 7 on the all-time boys list. Pacing lights were set at Edward Cheserek’s record of 8:39.15, but Burns was too far behind at the mile (4:23.22) to have a realistic shot.

Burns ran a 4:20.02 second mile in a race in which six boys were under 8:52. Including another section, eight were sub-8:52.

Shea, of Emerging Elite TC and nearby Belmont MA, took the girls race in 9:49.82. That’s US#2 and No. 5 on the all-time prep list (combining 3,200m and two miles).

Of the sunglasses, Shea said:

“I don’t always wear them. But sometimes when the light is really bright, it helps me focus.”

Shea led by more than five seconds after a 2:23.54 half-mile. After a 4:51.79 mile, she was 12-plus seconds ahead. She briefly was ahead of the pacing lights for Cain’s 9:38.68.

Just following the plan, she said.

“And when no one went with me, I just went for it,” Shea said.

She has gone back and forth from indoor track to cross-country, back to indoor. She was 10th in last month’s under-20 World Cross-Country Championships at Bathurst, Australia, leading Team USA to a first-ever bronze medal.

That was halfway around the world. This was a home meet, run less than four miles from her school.

“I know my training is going to set me up for whatever race I decide to do, whether it be on the track or the cross-country course, and however long it may be,” she said.

Hanne Thomsen, a sophomore from Montgomery CA, was second in 10:07.06. She outleaned Karrie Baloga of Cornwall NY, 10:07.10.

 Baloga was a Shea teammate in Australia,…

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