Kipyego to Compete in 2019 Pan American Championships this Weekend
July 16, 2019
Update – July 21, 2019
Kipyego Wins Silver Medal in 800-meter for Team USA
Photo credit: National Scholastic Athletics Foundation
Darius Kipyego, competing for Team USA in the Pan-American U20 Championships in Costa Rica this weekend, brought home a silver medal in the 800-meter event final.
In a field of eight runners from around the world, Darius posted a time of 1:49.46, beating the third-place finisher from Brazil by only two-tenths of a second.
Darius placed second in his heat in Friday’s semifinals race with a time of 1:52.16. After two heats, he was ranked fifth of 17 runners, qualifying him for the finals race on Saturday.
In addition, Darius’ time also bests the Rhode Island High School All-Time Outdoor Track and Field time set in the 800-meter just this May by Conor Murphy (1:50.43). According to SRA track coach Chris Magill, Darius’ time is also the second-fastest time ever for a sophomore in that event.
They say it’s not the destination but the journey. And the journey Darius Kipyego has been on this year has been one to remember.
The Saints track standout will join 83 other track and field stars as part of Team USATF at the notable Pan American U20 Championships in Costa Rica July 19-21.
Coach Chris Magill says it’s “nothing short of historic” what Darius has accomplished with his second-place finish and personal-best time of 1:51.26 in the 800-meters on June 22 at the USATF’s U20 Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Florida.
Darius, a rising junior at SRA, has had an exceptional running year as a three-season athlete, methodically ticking tenths-of-a-second off his time in track events throughout the year.
Beginning in the fall, he competed in cross country, finishing his season with a 4th place finish in the Class C Championships and First-Team All Metropolitan Division honors.
However, his breakout season really began with indoor track, and Darius soon earned invitations to prestigious races around New England.
In December, Darius set the state record for the 800-meter at the Boston University Mini Meet with a time of 1:53.71, winning by nearly 2 seconds over the next finisher. He also has the lead time in the 600-meter with a 1:21.50, set on January 11 at the Yale Track Classic.
At the RIIL Indoor Track Northern Division finals at the end of January, Darius earned two first place finishes in the 600-meter and the 300-meter, and two second-place finishes in the 1000-meter and 1500-meter events. A week later at the Class C Championships, he took first in the 600 and the 1500, and earned a second in the 300. He reached his pinnacle in the state championships in February with a first in the 600-meter with a time of 1.20.42.
In February and March, Darius was competing at the Milrose Games and the New Balance International Championships at the Armory in New York City, where he earned All-American honors in the sprint medley relay with teammates Braxton Fontaine, Jacob Lamothe, and Nasavell Medeiros.
By the time the outdoor track season began, Darius continued his hard work of improving his times. He again swept the RIIL spring championships and won the state title in the 800-meter at the RIIL Outdoor Track & Field Championships at Brown University with a time of 1:52.17.
In June, Darius competed at the New Balance Outdoor National Championships at North Carolina A&T State University’s BB&T Stadium in Greensboro, N.C., where he placed 7th in the 800-meter with a time of 1:52.38, just missing All-American honors. The finish was not what Darius had wanted, but he moved on to the next race, this time, travelling to Florida.
At the USATF’s U20 Outdoor Track & Field Championships, he excelled and won second in the 800-meter with a personal best and time of 1:51.26. That time earned him the spot in the Pan American U20 Championship.
The journey for Darius continues.