It ended up likely being the final race of Henry Hardart's high school running career. The Archbishop Spalding senior had set indoor personal bests in the 800 (1:59.90) and mile (4:21.63). Just two weeks before Hardart had helped the Cavaliers win the MIAA title in the 4x800, then finished second in the 1600 and third in the 800.
On February 1 at the Private Schools Invitational, he had just one race on his docket: the 1000. It's an event not contested often in Maryland, but it can also help compare to the best mid-distance runners across the country who do regularly run it. As the top seed, Hardart led every step of the race, and had already formed a gap between himself and the field within 150 meters. That gap widened, steadily, over the course of the next four laps when Hardart crossed the finish line in 2:30.13. Only Dalton Hengst ran a faster time in the 1000 dating back to 2008, and it wound up as the 18th-fastest time in the country in the 1000 this winter.
In a similar manner, the 1000 was the only open race for Juliette Whittaker at the Private Schools Invitational. She had just won four separate titles (4x800, 1600, 3200 and 800) at the IAAM Championships and owned season best times of 2:07 (800) and 4:44 (mile). She easily led all Maryland runners in all three distance events at this point, and the 1000 was just another event to conquer.
Like Hardart, she did it alone. Perhaps more competition could have helped pull Whittaker along, or maybe it would have just threw her off her rhythm. In any event, she crossed the line in 2:45.49; for context, three girls this past winter ran sub-2:50 (Lucy Jenks, Marlee Starliper and Katelyn Tuohy), and none of them ran faster than 2:48.97. Whittaker, running all alone on a flat track in a small field house, ran over three seconds faster than any other girl in the country did this year. There have only been three girls (Sammy Watson, Athing Mu and Kate Murphy) who ran faster than Whittaker dating back to 2010.