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Drew Hunter, Amanda Eccleston Throw Down Kicks To Win Sir Walter Miler

In front of a packed homestretch at the Meredith College track in Raleigh, North Carolina, Drew Hunter asserted himself against a top field to win the men's race at Sir Walter Miler on Friday night. Hunter, who turned professional as a teenager in 2016, beat Craig Engels with a winning time of 3:57.32. Amanda Eccleston claimed the women's mile in 4:31.73 with a stunning kick that couldn't be matched. 

Hunter ran patiently in the middle of the pack despite a slower pace through the first 400 meters (61 seconds). The pack, led by Izaic Yorks and Luis Vargas, gradually increased the pace through the halfway point -- reached in 1:59. With 350 meters to go Hunter made his big move. Despite Engels' best efforts, Hunter remained unmatched through the finish line. Behind Hunter, the Nike Oregon Project standout finished in 3:57.67 and was followed by Yorks who closed for third in 3:58.57. In total, nine men dipped under the four-minute mile barrier. 

Hunter's performance is one second shy of his mile personal best of 3:56, which he ran on July 12 at the Morton Games in Dublin, Ireland. 

One year after finishing second at Sir Walter, Eccleston returned as the victor with a stunning kick. Similar to the men's race, the women gradually picked up the pace throughout the laps.

Led by Emily Lipari of the BAA, the pack came through the first 400 meters in 68 seconds, and at the halfway point, they split 2:19. Throughout the race, Eccleston put herself in perfect position for an injection of pace. With a roaring crowd at 100 meters remaining, she swung wide and surged ahead of Stephanie Garcia for the victory. 

With a 63-second last lap, Eccleston crossed the finish line in 4:31.73 and Garcia followed for a close second in 4:31.87. Lipari and Kate Van Buskirk both ran 4:32.11 to tie for third.

Watch the women's race:

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