Chad Noelle making a case as the best ever

Patrick Newell

Editor’s note: The following is an excerpt of a feature story on Greene senior Chad Noelle. The complete article will appear in the Wednesday, Feb. 2 edition of The Evening Sun.

Chenango County may not ever see another distance runner in the mold of Greene senior phenom Chad Noelle.
On top of an already sparkling track and field career, myriad accomplishments continue to pile up for the University of Oregon recruit. Noelle recently won the scholastic Millrose Games mile against the best competition in the country. Less than two months ago, he competed in the Foot Locker Cross Country nationals – a 3.1-mile race – finishing among the elite there as well. With little turnaround and training between the cross country season and the indoor season, Noelle broke the Section IV record in the 3,200 meters in his first race, and has the fastest scholastic times in the nation this year in the 1,600- and 3,200-meter races.
“I think Chad is building a case as one of the most decorated high school distance runners in Section IV history,” said B-G/Afton track and field coach, who coaches Noelle during the winter indoor track and field season. “I think Brian Clas (Union-Endicott graduate) is the only other guy who did some of the things Chad is doing.”
Of course, Noelle is running faster than Clas, and it’s likely that Clas – as strong a runner as he was around 20-plus years ago – did not record national leading times in two events.
The only runners who have comparable track careers to Noelle’s are Elmira graduate Molly Huddle, who was a state champion and went on to have a distinguished career at Notre Dame. Huddle, now a professional, is regarded as perhaps the best 5,000-meter runner in the nation, and holds the American record.
Finnegan, a Sidney graduate like Munro, was a multiple high school state champion in the distance events, ran the Millrose mile, and ultimately won a national championship in college.
Those two girls padded their standout high school careers in college, but neither raced against the best in the nation in high school – and beat them. “I don’t like to make statements like, ‘the best ever’ or anything like that,” Munro said. “But there hasn’t been a guy in Section IV who is doing what Chad is doing.”