Michigan runners Riley Hough and Hunter Jones go 1-2 in 5k at New Balance Nationals track meet – MLive.com

Michigan runners Riley Hough and Hunter Jones go 1-2 in 5k at New Balance Nationals track meet  MLive.com

Two of the best high school distance runners in Michigan this year have proven they are among the best in the entire country as Riley Hough and Hunter Jones took the top two spots in the 5,000 meter race at the New Balance Nationals held at Franklin Field in Philadelphia, Pa.

Hough, a senior from Hartland High School, won the race with a time of 14:21.81. According to Jeff Hollobaugh of michtrack.org, the time makes Hough the second-fastest individual in high school state history, trailing only Rockford alumnus Dathan Ritzenhein, who recorded a 13.44.70 at the USA championships in 2001.

Jones nearly won the race himself as he came from a few places back to take the lead away from Hough with just over a lap to go. Hough, after leading most of the race, stuck with Jones on the final lap and then surpassed him in the final straightaway for the win. Jones finished with a time of 14:22.57, making him the third-fastest high school athlete in state history.

Benzie Central’s Hunter Jones (504) finishes during a Division 3 boys race at the MHSAA Cross Country Championships at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn on Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020. J. Scott Park | MLive.com

The final lap was an impressive battle as Hough and Jones dropped the rest of the field with authority, putting Michigan duo in the spotlight for the final 400 meters. Hough ran his final lap in 59.92 seconds while Jones closed his final lap in 60.94 seconds.

The entire race can be viewed here.

Hough is a two-time Division 1 state champion in cross country. This last December, he won the Eastbay National Cross Country Championships with a 5k time of 15:11.4. In track, Hough won the Division 1 1600 meter earlier this month and finished runner-up in the 3200. He also owns the state’s fastest 3200 meter time this spring with a 8:46.90. He was the state’s 3200-meter champion in 2021.

Jones is a three-time state champion in Division 3 cross country. In track this spring, he was D3 state champion in the 1600 and 800 while also finishing runner-up in the 3200. He also won the Division 3 1600 title last year as a sophomore.