WHEELING - Aaron Yoder is trying to one-up his friend and fellow Kansas native Ricky Hacker.
So far, so good.
Two years ago, Hacker finished second in both the Ogden Mile and the Ogden 20K, then went home and told his pals about the events. Yoder figured he'd give what is dubbed as one of the fastest one-mile strips in America a try Friday night before participating in today's 5K run.
He won the event in a time of 4:04.79, edging Wheeling's Logan Wojcick (4:08.72).
''My goal was to get under 4 (minutes), but the road was a little bit slick,'' Yoder said. ''I was able to breath because it was nice and cool. If it was a little bit drier, I would have been able to get more grip, but I think, overall, you couldn't really ask for much better conditions.''
The mile run was added to the Ogden Race weekend in the early 1990s and the winner had broken the 4-minute mark every year until 2006. Since, though, only five sub 4-minute miles have been run in Wheeling, and three of those were in the same race. The course record was set in 2003 at a blistering 3:39.82.
AARON YODER approaches the finish line with the victory in the Ogden Mile Friday evening in downtown Wheeling.
The last winner of the mile with a sub 4-minute time was Michigan's Anthony Pavicic at 3:54.3 in 2008, the year three runners finished in under 4 minutes.
Hacker's winning time in 2008 was 4:01.6.
Yoder won Friday night's event with a wire-to-wire performance.
''He was really strong,'' said Wojcik, a Wheeling Park graduate . ''(Yoder) took it from the beginning. I was trying to draft off him. He took about a 10-meter lead about 800-in. I was catching back up coming around the turn down onto 14th St., and he just had that kick. He was gone.''
''Once I turned that corner, I knew I had 250-300 meters left, so I just tried to crank it a little bit,'' Yoder said.
Yoder, 25, and a former runner at Fort Hays State a Division II school in Hays, Kan., and now an assistant track and field coach at Bethany (Kan.) College, runs a 4:13 flat mile and is no certainly no stranger to the roads, as he claims to have ''run every road race from here to Timbuktu.''
He was a Class AAA state mile champion at Hillsboro High School in 2004.
The first female to cross the tape was Liz Maus of Westerville, Ohio (12th overall at 4:59.70). The youngest finisher was 7-year-old DeVante Strothers of Wheeling (6:05.97, 33rd overall).
In all 63 runners completed the event.