Westfield senior Nathan Kiley planned to run at the next level before blazing to a surprise title in the 800 meters in 1 minute 51.37 seconds at New Balance Indoor Nationals in New York on March 10, but that particular performance has understandably raised his national profile.
“I think people were kind of shocked to see this guy come out of nowhere,” said Kiley, who was not even seeded into the fastest heat coming in. “I was always a relay-oriented guy last year with our successful relay teams, but they didn’t know me individually. I was finally able to step into the spotlight with this crazy time.”
Kiley, an All-Met indoors and outdoors last year, had considered five of the country’s top college programs, but he’s now narrowed the list to Stanford and Virginia, dropping Duke, Georgetown and Indiana.
Kiley made an official visit to Stanford earlier this month and was impressed: “I couldn’t find many flaws at all.” The area’s top two distance runners, Chantilly’s Sean McGorty and Lake Braddock’s Sophie Chase, will both compete next year for the Cardinal, who are led by former Georgetown Coach Chris Miltenberg.
Kiley said he appreciated that a member of the Virginia coaching staff reached out the day after his victory at the national meet. He will head to Charlottesville for comparison this weekend and hopes to make his decision within the next month.
Indeed, many of Kiley’s top performances before this season came as a part of Westfield relays. He split 1:51 in his leg of the 3,200 relay at Penn Relays last spring, and as a junior, he also helped the Bulldogs capture state titles in the 3,200 and 1,600 meter relays, both indoors and outdoors.
This year, Kiley won the 500 in 1:04.94 and took silver in the 300 in 35.61 seconds at the Virginia AAA Northern Region meet before a runner-up finish at the state meet in Hampton, Va., behind Ryan Thomas of Albemarle. He heads into his final outdoor high school season hoping to add an individual state championship to go along with his national title.
“I would love to finally become an individual state champion,” Kiley said. “I kind of skipped that step, regional champion to national champion. I’d love to finally fill that gap with an individual 800 state championship.”