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'A little room to relax': Great Falls' Ryan Harrington looks to finish what he's started in 1,600 meters

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Posted at 4:36 PM, May 10, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-10 21:34:02-04

GREAT FALLS — Ryan Harrington has gone from a fourth-place finish in last years state meet to leading the state in the 1,600-meter event as the Eastern AA divisional meet approaches.

Great Falls High's Harrington posted a time of 4:17.83 on April 29 at the Skor Dekam meet in Helena, which is four seconds faster than the next closest athlete. Having that cushion has given him a boost of confidence as he gets ready to try to finish the season at the top of that list.

“It’s a big thing to know that I am up there and it’s good to know that I’ve already had some of those faster times earlier in the season,” said Harrington. “It kind of gives me a little room to relax and be confident going into (state).”

Harrington’s finishing time last year as a sophomore at state was 4:22.48. During the offseason and over the course of his cross country season he made improvements to get faster times. His coaches have given him more speed work and exercises to get his legs moving a little more, which has resulted in him feeling “more natural and smooth during the early laps.”

With his PR this year, he is now two seconds shy of the Great Falls High School record feels like that would be a great mark in his career if he is able to conquer it.

“It would be huge. Those records are held by a bunch of old legends in the state, old distance runners,” said Harrington. “So to take that is just a matter of personal pride for me and to really put a mark permanently in the books for what I’ve accomplished as an athlete.”

Harrington will get another shot at breaking that record as he gets back on the track in Billings beginning May 19 for the Eastern AA divisional meet.