Two years ago, Isaiah Harris capped off a stellar high school track and field career at Lewiston High School by winning the 800- and 1,600-meter runs at the Class A outdoor state championship meet.
In August, the Lewiston native will compete on one of the biggest track stages of his life.
Harris, a sophomore at Penn State University whose 2016-2017 season has been one to remember, qualified for the world track and field championships in the 800 meters by finishing second at last weekend’s U.S. championships in Sacramento.
The world championships are scheduled for Aug. 5-13 in London.
Harris ran a personal-best time of 1 minute, 44.53 seconds in punching his ticket to London. The top three finishers at the U.S. championships qualified for the world championships.
“I’ve been thinking top three in my races all year,” Harris said in a Flotrack interview. “I just knew if I went out there and did what I did all year, I’d be fine.”
Harris’ clocking this weekend is the fifth fastest time posted in the world this spring.
Not bad for a guy who only three years ago set a state record in the 800 (1:52.14).
“Every high school kid dreams about making the Olympic and world team,” Harris said. “I couldn’t have imagined that at all. I’m so humbled. I’m so happy.”
In addition to all his individual success this season, Harris led Penn State to the program’s first ever Big 10 team championship this spring.
He finished second at the recent NCAA championships and was fourth in the NCAA 800 indoors.
Harris believes he can run even faster at the world championships, and will have plenty of time between now and August to prepare himself to face the world’s best.
“I’m feeling fresh right now,” he said. “I’m feeling good. Each and every race I’m getting faster and faster.”
Also at the U.S. championships, Orono High School graduate and Stanford University-bound thrower Jake Koffman finished fourth in the junior discus, throwing 186 feet, 2 inches.