Vittetow finishes 15th on hot, muggy evening
BLOOMINGTON — South Putnam’s Kieffer Vittetow ran his best-ever time in the 1,600 meters on a hot and muggy Friday evening at the IHSAA boys’ track and field state finals.
Vittetow’s time of 4:22.63 was a couple of seconds short of the school record he was hoping to break and 18 seconds behind the winner, Hamilton Southeastern junior Gabe Fendel.
Fendel’s time of 4:04.70 was just 1.7 seconds off the state record set in 2011 by Austin Mudd of Center Grove.
While the entire race took a little over four minutes, this one was over after about 30 seconds as Fendel — one of the nation’s top distance runners — quickly broke away from the pack and was never challenged.
“I wasn’t even trying to keep up with him,” Vittetow said. “We knew he was going to take it out fast. He’s super strong, and my goal was to try to run with the rest of the pack.”
Vittetow thought he ran “OK,” but felt the first half of the race didn’t go as planned.
“I was a little slow the first 800, “ he said afterward, still trying to catch his breath. “I didn’t feel as good as I usually do. I’m a little more tired today — I think this heat’s getting to me.”
Vittetow was pleased to break his own personal best, if not the school mark.
“I got a PR, so I can’t complain too much,” he said. “I fell back early, but I was able to put it together and finished pretty well.
“It was a great experience.”