Hampton junior pulls off dramatic, shocking win in PIAA 1,600 meters

Friday, May 26, 2023 | 6:48 PM

If it had been a horse race, the PIAA Class 3A boys 1,600-meter run would have needed a photo finish to decide the winner.

It was that close.

Hampton junior Dale Hall nudged out Butler junior Drew Griffith by seven hundredths of a second. Hall’s time was 4:08.52 and Griffith was 4:08.59.

Ringgold junior Ryan Pajak finished third. His time was 4:09.64.

It was a classic battle. Hall was running with Griffith for three laps before the Butler junior decided to make a move.

Hall decided to go with him and eventually got inside of him, taking a lead with 100 meters left.

The two battled to the end with Hall getting the shocking victory.

PIAA officials said the Butler coach inquired about a possible violation against Hall, but the officials ruled there was no infraction.

“I knew I had a lot of speed at the end, and I was confident I could out-kick anyone,” Hall said. “I tried to stay up front. Drew’s pretty much the best. I feel he had a big mark on his back, and it gave me a lot of strength and fight to beat him.”

Hall also broke the school record held by Mike England, one of two other Hampton state track champions. England won the 880 in 1977 and 1978 and held the 1,600 record of 4:11.7. Karl Kopczynski won the discus in 1982.

“I thought I could win it,” Hall said. “It hasn’t sunk in yet. I felt good with 400 to go, so I went with him.”

Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Paul by email at pschofield@triblive.com or via Twitter .


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