Senior distance standout clocks a U.S.-leading 1:52.37, breaks 13-year-old school record
Palo Alto High senior Philip MacQuitty has made a career out of running well at long distances. He has become so accomplished that he earned a scholarship to UCLA for this coming fall. That's why MacQuitty's latest achievement seems out of character as the national leader in the 800 meters.
On Saturday at the St. Francis Invitational track and field meet, MacQuitty raced off the final turn and sped home to win the 800 in a sizzling 1:52.37. That makes him the fastest in the nation, overtaking Jason Coupe of Galt (1:52.47) as the best in the U.S.
"Yes, it's a bit odd because I've never really focused on the 800," said MacQuitty, who usually runs the 1,600 or 3,200 but rarely races anything shorter except maybe in a dual meet. "I've always had some natural speed and have been known to have a kick at the end of races."