When Andres Arroyo took the track in Gainesville for the 2013 Florida Relays, he was already seen as a prohibitive favorite to win the 800 meters. By the time he finished, he would be considered a contender against anyone in the world.
Arroyo’s clocking of 1:47.79 in the 800 was the fastest prep time in the event in 2013, and the sixth fastest all time. It can almost go without saying that Arroyo’s time was the fastest in Florida history.
More notably, Arroyo’s time was faster than any 800 recorded by an NCAA runner this year, and the sixth fastest of any runner anywhere in 2013, regardless of age or status.
Yes, that makes an Orlando (Fl.) Colonial High senior the sixth fastest 800-meter runner in the world at the moment.
"I am speechless," Arroyo told the Orlando Sentinel. "I really have nothing I can say. During the race I was just concentrating on every 100 [meters] and every 400 [meters] and maintaining my technique during the race."
According to the track and field site Flo Track, Arroyo finished a full 5 meters ahead of the rest of the entire field in his race. And if anyone is looking to put Arroyo’s time in a broader perspective, his 1:47.79 was just five-hundredths of a second behind prep track legend Alan Webb’s best time in the distance, which he recorded just weeks after his sub-4:00 mile.
Does that mean that Arroyo is a likely 4:00 miler? Not necessarily, though no one would reasonably rule anything out the way he’s running at the moment, including a remarkable mile time.
Considering the fact that Arroyo recorded that blazing time on the same track on which he’ll perform in college, Gators fans should be awfully excited about his future, whether he goes on to set more records or not.
"You think you have seen it all, and then he goes out and does something like this," Colonial coach Rene Plasencia said. "I had no idea he could go out and go under 1:48. Our goal was to get him around a 1:50."