High-SchoolTrack-and-XC: 2012 National Track Preview

Sean Keller setting his sights higher, farther

March, 21, 2012
3/21/12
7:23
PM ET
Keller JavelinGreg Armstrong/ESPNHSSean Keller extended his 2011 season to the end of July, throwing here at the Pan Am Junior Championships in Miramar, Fla.
PORTLAND -- On Sunday mornings this winter, Sean Keller crossed the Columbia River from Vancouver, Wash. and came to the Concordia Throws Center to work on throwing the javelin.

The senior from Heritage High is bringing a new level of focus and maturity to his final season of high school throwing – and each week begins with a Sunday session on the same runway where Sam Crouser broke the U.S. high school record in 2010.

The record (255 feet, 4 inches) is in play for Keller this spring, but it’s not really the thing he’s targeting, at least not yet.

“I’m not setting a personal mark (goal),” he said. “I just want to go farther and farther.”

Last year, Keller threw a best of 232-1 on April 23 at the Centennial Invitational (Gresham, Ore.) for a new Washington state record and US#1 ranking that held up the remainder of the season. He threw 220 feet or better in eight additional meets.

He was getting by with his natural ability – his speed on the runway and the rubbery flexibility of his shoulder and arm.

But there was more that he could have been doing. After his last throws of the summer, he made some changes and took advantage of new opportunities. He decided that his future was in throwing, so he stopped playing football to minimize the risk of getting hurt. He flew to North Carolina twice – seated on the airplane next to Gresham, Oregon's World Youth javelin finalist Haley Crouser – to attend the first two sessions of the NSSF’s Kultan Keihas Project with coach Jeff Gorski. (“Kultan Keihas” means “javelin gold” in Finnish).

As 2012 began, Keller got into a consistent weight-training program for the first time and committed to Sunday mornings at the throwing center with javelin coach Scott Halley.

“I’m learning to use my lower body to throw farther,” Keller said. “(Weight training) will reduce my chance of injury. At a certain point you also have to stay flexible, so I take a half hour stretching my arm after workouts.”

In 2011, he felt like he threw too often on too little training.

This year, he plans to take a single throw to secure team points at dual meets and then rest his arm for the big invitationals.

The new approach also includes doing more events to help his team out. Heritage’s boys could be in the running for the Washington Class 4A team title and Keller wants to do what he can to deliver a successful dual meet season, as well as a possible state championship.

In addition to the shot put, discus and javelin, Keller plans to add the 400 meters (and 4x400 relay). The work he puts into running should help him develop more stamina and strength.

Keller won the state championship last year at 220-6 and then qualified for the Pan Am Juniors, where he was sixth with 228-6.

“By the last meet (USATF Junior Olympics in Kansas City, Mo.), I felt pretty tired,” he said.

If all goes according to plan, Keller could throw deep into the summer again. He is targeting the U.S. Junior Championships (June 15-17) and leaving open the possibility that he could make the field for the U.S. Olympic Trials (men’s javelin starts June 23).

As a member of the Kultan Keihas Project, he is anticipating a summer trip to Finland for a competition there.

“Javelin is pretty much like the NFL in Finland,” Keller said. “It will be interesting seeing what they have.”

And if he makes the U.S. junior team again, he would compete in Barcelona, Spain at the World Junior Championships (July 10-15).

It’s a lot to look forward to and Keller is planning and preparing so that he’s ready. Those Sunday morning workouts in the Northwest winter could pay off in June and July.

2012 Preview - Boys Sprints and Hurdles: Don't forget about Aldrich Bailey

February, 10, 2012
2/10/12
12:02
PM ET
Aldrich BaileyJohn Nepolitan/ESPNHSAldrich Bailey TX (shown at last year's World Youth Champs) is US#1 in the indoor 200 and 400, and is aiming high outdoors.



Scroll down for More to Watch, and Top Indoor and Outdoor Returnees



Aldrich Bailey of Timberview (Arlington, Texas) hit historically fast times in his first indoor races of 2012 and is brimming with confidence about where his talent might take him.

Bailey ran 20.99 for 200 meters (No. 2 all-time indoors) and 47.05 for 400 meters (No. 6) in the first two weeks of January. “I saw it coming because of the way I’ve been coming through workouts,” he said. “I was hitting 21s (for 200 meters) in practice without blocks. And I knew my 400 would be good.”

In most years, Bailey would be the talk of the boys sprinting world, if not all of track and field. But as the calendar heads toward mid-February, the biggest names in the Boys Sprints and Hurdles category are undoubtedly Boone (Orlando, Fla.) senior Marvin Bracy and Christopher Columbus (Bronx, N.Y.) senior Strymar Livingston. After he ran a legal 10.28 and wind-aided times of 10.05 and 10.09 last summer, Bracy opened up in late January with a 6.08 55-meter USR. He has talked openly about trying to make the Olympic team and the 100 USR set in 2008 by Jeff Demps is clearly in his sight.

Meanwhile, Livingston has been the long sprint headliner of the past month, setting USRs in both the 500 and 600.

Bailey also has big goals, though, and the records he’s chasing in his specialties are two of the most long-standing and legendary in the sport.

“Hopefully I’ll be the first quarter-miler (in 30 years) to break 45 (seconds),” he said. Back in 1982, Darrell Robinson set the prep record of 44.69. He remains the only sub-45 high schooler in history.

Bailey would also like to take down at least one of Texas’ all-time state records, which would be another Herculean task. The U.S. high school record in the 200 is 20.13, set by Roy Martin of Roosevelt (Dallas, Texas) in 1985. The state’s all-time record in the 400 is 45.36, established by Marlon Ramsey of West Brook (Beaumont, Texas) in 1994.

As a junior, Bailey demonstrated impressive range and willingness to run everything from 100 meters (10.92) to 800 (1:58.28). But the 200 and 400 are where he shines the most. Bailey ran US#5 46.53 at his region meet, 46.76 at 5A state, and was 3rd at New Balance Outdoor Nationals at 46.87 as St. Thomas Aquinas (Ft. Launderdale, Fla.) junior Arman Hall won.

But the World Youth Trials just over a week later were Bailey’s time to shine. With stars like Hall and New Balance Indoor 200 champ Ronald Darby in the races, Bailey swept the 400 (46.57) and 200 (PR 21.09) and was the story of the meet.

With a nagging groin injury, however, the rest of the summer didn’t quite go as he’d have liked. He was picked to run the 200 at the World Youth Champs (while Hall won the 400), and was 6th. He won the 400 at USATF JOs, tying his PR at 46.53, but then was 4th in the 200.

Bailey has started 2012 on a new level, though.

“I’m a little kid trying to run grown-man times,” he said. “Like Kirani James, when he ran 46 at 14 (years old).”

Like precocious James, the reigning world champion from Grenada, Bailey has big ambitions.

He’d like to help his teammates at Timberview by doing all he can to win the state championship. The bigger mission, personally, includes taking a shot at making the Olympic Trials field and/or qualifying for the World Junior Championships.

“If I stay healthy, I think I may have a shot at the Olympic Trials,” he said.

Bailey, who has signed with Texas A&M, also plans to run for nationals titles at the New Balance Indoor Nationals where he was fourth (400) and ninth (200) last year.

MORE TO WATCH

MARVIN BRACY, Boone (Orlando, Fla.) 2012
Bracy’s aforementioned 6.08 55 is the only race he has run this winter … he was undefeated in 2011, including huge victories in the Adidas Dream 100 in New York and the U.S. Juniors … when he ran 10.05 at Juniors, the wind was just a slightly illegal 2.2 mps. … the 10.09 came in late July, as he won the Pan Am Juniors title. … after a stellar football season, the Florida State signee made a highlight catch during the Under Armour All-America game. … one of Bracy’s most impressive feats of 2011 may have been at Adidas, when he ran 10.47 into a 3.0 headwind. … his PR in the 200 is 21.24.

STRYMAR LIVINGSTON, Christopher Columbus (Bronx, N.Y.) 2012
Although he has only run 47.78 in the 400, it’s impossible to overlook the fact that Livingston has broken both the indoor USRs at 500 and 600 in the past month, running 1:01.68 and 1:17.58. So he’s either got much better PRs coming in the 400, or perhaps he’s poised to make a big breakthrough in the 800, where he ran 1:52.47 last year. … He was fourth at the NY Federation meet last spring in the 800. … The 500 record was all the more impressive because it came against Glass, who turned in the No. 2 time in history and was almost half a second back.

ARMAN HALL, St. Thomas Aquinas (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) 2012
Hall is the reigning World Youth Champs gold medalist in the 400 and ran 46.01 in the finals, which held up as US#1 for 2011 … add his PR of 20.82 in the 200 meters and it is easy to see why he might be poised to be the best track athlete in the nation as a senior. … he was second to Bracy in the Florida 4A 200 meters last year and their potential rematch this spring could be a blockbuster. … Hall is also the reigning NBON champ (46.23) and won the inaugural Brooks PR Invite (47.45) indoors.

ARTIE BURNS, Northwestern (Miami, Fla.) 2013
Burns, still only a junior, is the nation’s top returning 110-meter hurdler and also one of the 300- and 400-meter hurdlers in the nation. … his PR of 13.63 in the 110 hurdles, set in the Florida 4A finals, broke the national sophomore class record by .02 seconds. … he was also part of a 4x400 relay team that ran 3:10.69, also a US#1 for 2011. … Burns ran 36.60 in the 300 meters at the Golden West Invitational in California, placing second to senior Jonathan Cabral.

LEVONTE WHITFIELD, Jones (Orlando, Fla.) 2013
That’s right, one extended family from Orlando, Florida might have the two fastest 100-meter sprinters in the country this spring … right behind Bracy is his cousin Levonte Whitfield, a junior who placed fourth at the Adidas Dream 100 and third at NBON … His biggest highlight came at the Golden South Classic, where he ran a dazzling 10.31 seconds. … He also has a best of 21.35 in the 200.

RONALD DARBY, Potomac (Oxon Hill, Md.) 2012
Darby, who has not raced this winter, is ranked as the nation’s #2 cornerback and will join Bracy at Florida State … he broke out on the track as a soph, producing a one-day double of 10.55/21.24 at the USATF JOs. … in 2011, Darby won the NBIN 200 in US#1 21.24 … He also competed for the U.S. at the World Youth Champs, taking bronze in the 200 at 21.08 … He was also fourth in the 100 (10.61). …At New Balance Outdoors, he was fourth in the 100 after posting the meet’s fastest time in the prelims (10.41) and also placed fifth in the 200. … He.

KAVAHRA HOLMES, Breaux Bridge (Breaux Bridge, La.) 2012
This LSU football signee (WR/CB) and state 400 meters champion in Louisiana could be a factor in national championship races this spring. … He ran 46.07 to win the AAU Junior Olympics last August in New Orleans, good for US#2 in 2011. … Three months earlier, Holmes ran 46.31 to win the Louisiana 4A meet. … He was also part of two state championship relays to help power Breaux Bridge to the team title.

NAJEE GLASS, St. Peter’s Prep (Jersey City, N.J.) 2012
Glass was consistently in the mid-46s last year outdoors, with a PR 46.43 to win the New Jersey Meet of Champs, 46.55 for 2nd at NBON (behind Hall, ahead of Bailey), and 46.67 for 2nd at the World Youth Trials (behind Bailey, ahead of Hall). … He finished second at NBIN by .01 seconds. … He represented the U.S. at the World Youth Champs but did not advance to the final (won by Hall). … So far in 2012, Glass has set new PRs in the 200 (21.48) and 500 (1:02.16). His 500 time is the second-fastest in history.

ERIC FUTCH, Penn Wood (Lansdowne, Pa.) 2012
The versatile Futch is a combo sprinter/hurdler who can impact a track meet many different ways … He ran a US#1 400-meters time of 51.67 last year and already this winter he has turned in a US#1 flat 300 time of 33.56. … He won the 300-meter hurdles at the Pennsylvania state meet last spring, clocking US#3 36.43. … At the Delco Championships, Futch ran 21.32 in the 200, 14.24 in the 110 hurdles, 37.47 in the 300 hurdles, and 10.98 in the 100.

BOYS SPRINT/HURDLE TOP RETURNEES

Lists and records from DyeStat TFX and Jack Shepard's High School Track

OUTDOOR EVENTS

Top Returnees from 2011 - Scroll down for indoor

100
National Record: 10.01, Jeff Demps, South Lake (Groveland, Fla.), 2008
2011 Best: 10.28, Marvin Bracy, Boone (Orlando, Fla.), 2012
2011 season best, name, school, class
1. 10.28, Marvin Bracy, Boone (Orlando, Fla.), 2012
2. 10.31, Levonte Whitfield, Jones (Orlando, Fla.), 2013
3. 10.41, Cameron Burrell, Ridge Point (Missouri City, Texas), 2013
3. 10.41, Ronald Darby, Potomac (Oxon Hill, Md.), 2012
5. 10.43, Thomas Tyner, Aloha (Beaverton, Ore.), 2013
6. 10.45, Markesh Woodson, Fountain-Ft. Carson (Fountain, Colo.), 2012
7. 10.47, Kedrick Davis, Berry Academy (Charlotte, N.C.), 2012
8. 10.48, Volvick Vassor, Northeast (Oakland Park, Fla.), 2012
9. 10.50, Jermy Smith, Flanagan (Pembroke Pines, Fla.), 2012
9. 10.50, Tevin Hester, Granville Central (Stem, N.C.), 2012

Wind-aided/NWI additions
1. 10.05, Bracy
2. 10.34, Trae Armstrong, Deer Valley (Glendale, Ariz.), 2012
2. 10.34, Burrell
4. 10.35, Tyner
5. 10.37, Smith
5. 10.37, Dante Taylor, Plano East (Plano, Texas), 2012
7. 10.39, Eric Hawkins, Longview (Longview, Texas), 2012
8. 10.42, Abraham Hall, South Grand Prairie (Grand Prairie, Texas), 2012
9. 10.44, Devin Wannamaker, Lower Richland (Hopkins, S.C.), 2012
9. 10.44, Demetris Ates, Flanagan (Pembroke Pines, Fla.), 2012
9. 10.44, Warren Marshall, Millbrook (Raleigh, N.C.), 2012

200
National Record: 20.13, Roy Martin, Roosevelt (Dallas, Texas), 1985
2011 Best: 20.62, Sean McLean, Word of God (Raleigh, N.C.), 2011

2011 season best, name, school, class
1. 20.82, Arman Hall, St. Thomas Aquinas (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.), 2012
2. 20.89, Trae Armstrong, Deer Valley (Glendale, Ariz.), 2012
3. 21.00, Jermaine Authorlee, North Shore (Galena Park, Texas), 2012
4. 21.05, Ronald Darby, Potomac (Oxon Hill, Md.), 2012
5. 21.09, Aldrich Bailey, Timberview (Arlington, Texas), 2012
5. 21.09, Kahlil Anderson, South Broward (Hollywood, Fla.), 2013
7. 21.10, Eric Hawkins, Longview (Longview, Texas), 2012
8. 21.11, Khalfani Muhammad, Notre Dame (Sherman Oaks, Calif.), 2013
9. 21.12, Eli Hall-Thompson, Morton Ranch (Katy, Texas), 2013
10. 21.16, Raymond Bozmans, Fort Collins (Fort Collins, Colo.), 2012
10. 21.16, Kendal Williams, Stanton Coll. Prep (Jacksonville, Fla.), 2014

Wind-aided/NWI
1. 20.76, Hall-Thompson
2. 20.91, Authorlee
3. 21.05, Bozmans
4. 21.09, Devin Jenkins, Kapolei (Kapolei, Hawaii), 2012
5. 21.10, Hawkins
6. 21.15, Williams
7. 21.16, James Harrington, Cedar Falls (Cedar Falls, Iowa), 2012

400
National Record: 44.69, Darrell Robinson, Wilson (Tacoma, Wash.), 1982
2011 Best: 46.01, Arman Hall, St. Thomas Aquinas (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.), 2012

2011 season best, name, school, class
1. 46.01, Arman Hall, St. Thomas Aquinas (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.), 2012
2. 46.07, Kavahra Holmes, Beaux Bridge (Breaux Bridge, Fla.), 2012
3. 46.43, Najee Glass, St. Peters (Jersey City, N.J.), 2012
4. 46.53, Aldrich Bailey, Timberview (Arlington, Texas), 2012
5. 46.79, Richard Gary, Duncanville (Duncanville, Texas), 2012
6. 46.95, Darryl Bush, Woodbury (Woodbury, N.J.), 2012
7. 47.04, Ayrian Evans, Morrow (Morrow, Ga.), 2012
8. 47.05, Marcus Chambers, Foss (Tacoma, Wash.), 2013
9. 47.15, Michael Newton, Kell (Marietta, Ga.), 2013
10. 47.18, Drevian Young, Nimitz (Houston, Texas), 2013

Boys 110H
National Record: 13.08, Wayne Davis, Southeast (Raleigh, N.C.), 2009
2011 Best: 13.36, Jonathan Cabral, Agoura (Agoura Hills, Calif.), 2011

2011 season best, name, school, class
1. 13.63, Artie Burns, Northwestern (Miami, Fla.), 2013
2. 13.69, Jonathan Jones, Carrollton (Carrollton, Ga.), 2012
3. 13.70, Donovan Robertson, Berea (Berea, Ohio), 2012
4. 13.73, Drake Johnson, Pioneer (Ann Arbor, Mi.), 2012
5. 13.79, Randy Bermea, Harlingen (Harlingen, Texas), 2012
6. 13.80, Jordan Moore, Union Grove (McDonough, Ga.), 2012
7. 13.90, Devon Allen, Brophy Prep (Ariz.), 2013
8. 13.91, Dondre Echols, Potomac (Oxon Hill, Md), 2012
9. 13.93, Chris Caldwell, Lafayette (Wildwood, Mo.), 2012
10. 13.99, Isaac Williams, Willingboro (Willingboro, N.J.), 2012

Wind-aided/NWI
1. 13.65, Jones
2. 13.71, Bermea
3. 13.91, Chris Armstrong, East Central (San Antonio, Texas), 2013
4. 13.93, Morel Pitts, Dwyer (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.), 2012
5. 13.96, Tequille Jackson, Plano East (Plano, Texas), 2012
6. 13.98, Jermaine Collier, Trenton Central (Trenton, N.J.), 2012

Boys 300H
National Record: 35.02, Reggie Wyatt, La Sierra (Riverside, Calif.), 2009
2011 Best: 35.76, Jonathan Cabral, Agoura (Agoura Hills, Calif.), 2011

2011 season best, name, school, class
1. 36.43, Eric Futch, Penn Wood (Lansdowne, Pa.), 2012
2. 36.46, Randy Bermea, Harlingen (Harlingen, Texas), 2012
3. 36.60, Artie Burns, Northwestern (Miami, Fla.), 2013
4. 36.90, Donovan Robertson, Berea (Berea, Ohio), 2012
5. 37.18, DeMarquis Mims, Lancaster (Lancaster, Texas), 2012
6. 37.32, RJ Rilwan, Park (Cottage Grove, Minn.), 2012
7. 37.33, Maurice Dix, St. Thomas Aquinas (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.), 2013
8. 37.36, Christopher Grinley, Park Vista (Lake Worth, Fla.), 2013
9. 37.39, Jonathan Jones, Carrollton (Carrollton, Ga.), 2012
10. 37.44, Jehu Chesson, Ladue Horton Watkins (St. Louis, Mo.), 2012

Boys 400H
National Record: 49.38, Kenneth Ferguson, Mumford (Detroit, Mich.), 2002
2011 Best: 51.67, Eric Futch, Penn Wood (Lansdowne, Pa.), 2012

2011 season best, name, school, class
1. 51.67, Eric Futch, Penn Wood (Lansdowne, Pa.), 2012
2. 51.89, Artie Burns, Northwestern (Miami, Fla.), 2013
3. 52.10, Randy Bermea, Harlingen (Harlingen, Texas), 2012
4. 52.21, Jermaine Collier, Trenton Central (Trenton, N.J.), 2012
5. 52.38, Jonathan Russell, Broad Run (Ashburn, Va.), 2012
6. 52.72, George Flaviano, Digital Harbor (Baltimore, Md.), 2013
7. 52.81, Christopher Grinley, Park Vista (Lake Worth, Fla.), 2013
8. 53.16, Michael Smith, Track Phi Track Elite (Stone Mtn., Ga.), 2012
9. 53.20, Kadesh Roberts, Bay Shore (Bay Shore, N.Y.), 2012
10. 53.41, Jeremiah Obeng-Agyapong, Dewitt Clinton (Bronx, N.Y.), 2012

INDOOR EVENTS (2012 current lists as of 2/10, with top returnees from 2011 listed below)

55
National Record: 6.08, Marvin Bracy, Boone (Orlando, Fla.), 2012
2011 Best: 6.24, Marvin Bracy, Boone (Orlando, Fla.), 2012

2012 season best, name, school, class
1. 6.08, Marvin Bracy, Boone (Orlando, Fla.), 2012
2. 6.31, Chris Lewis, Lakeside (Sibley, La.), 2014
3. 6.34, Leshon Collins, Glasgow (Newark, Del.), 2012
3. 6.34, Jeryl Brazil, Loranger (Loranger, La.), 2013
5. 6.35, Tevin Hester, Granville Central (Stem, N.C.), 2012

Top 2011 returnees entering 2012
1. 6.24, Bracy
2. 6.28, Ronald Darby, Potomac (Oxon Hill, Md.), 2012
3. 6.34, Brazil
4. 6.36, Collins
5. 6.39, Lewis

60
National Record: 6.57, Casey Combest, Owensboro (Owensboro, Ky.), 1999
2011 Best: 6.70, Damiere Byrd, Timber Creek (Erial, N.J.), 2011

2012 season best, name, school, class
1. 6.79, Taylor Tatum, O’Dea (Seattle, Wash.), 2013
2. 6.82, Cameron Burrell, Ridge Point (Missouri City, Texas), 2013
2. 6.82, Leshon Collins, Glasgow (Newark, Del.), 2012
4. 6.83, Marcus Harris, Eaglecrest (Aurora, Colo.), 2013
5. 6.84, Aldrich Bailey, Timberview (Arlington, Texas), 2012

Top 2011 returnees entering 2012
1. 6.75, Marvin Bracy, Boone (Orlando, Fla.), 2012
2. 6.77, Ronald Darby, Potomac (Oxon Hill, Md.), 2012
3. 6.80, Jerimy Strainge, North Broward (Coconut Creek, Fla.), 2013
4. 6.83, Harris
5. 6.85, John Patrone, University (Johnson City, Tenn.), 2012

200
National Record: 20.69, Xavier Carter, Palm Bay (Melbourne, Fla.), 2004
2011 Best: 21.24, Ronald Darby, Potomac (Oxon Hill, Md.), 2012

2012 season best, name, school, class
1. 20.99, Aldrich Bailey, Timberview (Arlington, Texas), 2012
2. 21.35, Ahmed Ali, Hastings (Houston, Texas), 2012
3. 21.48, Najee Glass, St. Peters (Jersey City, N.J.), 2012
4. 21.62, Arman Hall, St. Thomas Aquinas (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.), 2012
5. 21.64, Teyvon Jacobs, Suitland (Forestville, Md.), 2013

Top 2011 returnees entering 2012
1. 21.24, Ronald Darby, Potomac (Oxon Hill, Md.), 2012
2. 21.31, Michael Blake, Mt. Vernon (Mt. Vernon, N.Y.), 2013
3. 21.49, Justin Burke, First Colonial (Virginia Beach, Va.), 2012
4. 21.53, Wayne Gordon, Sweet Home (Amhearst, N.Y.), 2012
5. 21.60, Jermaine Authorlee, North Shore (Galena Park, Texas), 2012

300
National Record: 33.19, William Reed, Central (Philadelphia, Pa.), 1986
2011 Best: 34.20, Andre Jordan, Medgar Evers (Brooklyn, N.Y.), 2011

2012 season best, name, school, class
1. 33.56, Eric Futch, Penn Wood (Lansdowne, Pa.), 2012
2. 33.93, Champ Page, Henry A. Wise (Upper Marlboro, Md.), 2012
3. 33.94, Teyvon Jacobs, Suitland (Forestville, Md.), 2013
4. 34.32, Damian Smith, Green Run (Virginia Beach, Va.), 2012
5. 34.56, Da’Quan Smalls, Knightdale (Knightdale, N.C.), 2012
5. 34.56, Justin Burke, First Colonial (Virginia Beach, Va.), 2012

Top 2011 returnees entering 2012
1. 34.70, Burke
2. 34.71, Jacobs
3. 34.73, Michael Blake, Mt. Vernon (Mt. Vernon, N.Y.), 2013
4. 34.76, Andy Nicholas, Midwood (Brooklyn, N.Y.), 2012
5. 34.78, Ismail El-Amin, Wilson Magnet (Rochester, N.Y.), 2012

400
National Record: 45.92, Elzie Coleman, Newburgh Free Acad. (Newburgh, N.Y.) 2004
2011 Best: 47.45, Arman Hall, St. Thomas Aquinas (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.), 2012

2012 season best, name, school, class
1. 47.05, Aldrich Bailey, Timberview (Arlington, Texas), 2012
2. 47.90, Richard Gary, Duncanville (Duncanville, Texas), 2012
3. 48.14, Isaiah Duke, Edmond Memorial (Edmond, Okla.), 2012
4. 48.30, Eric Nathanial, Parkview Magnet (Little Rock, Ark.), 2013
5. 48.31, Demarquis Mims, Lancaster (Lancaster, Texas), 2012

Top 2011 returnees entering 2012
1. 47.45, Arman Hall, St. Thomas Aquinas (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.), 2012
2. 47.54, Najee Glass, St. Peters (Jersey City, N.J.), 2012
3. 47.67, Michael Newton, Kell (Marietta, Ga.), 2013
4. 47.93, Champ Page, Henry A. Wise (Upper Marlboro, Md.), 2012
5. 47.98, Bailey

500
National Record: 1:01.68, Strymar Livingston, Columbus (Bronx, N.Y.), 2012
2011 Best: 1:02.22, Najee Glass, St. Peters (Jersey City, N.J.), 2012
**
2012 season best, name, school, class
1. 1:01.68, Strymar Livingston, Columbus (Bronx, N.Y.), 2012
2. 1:02.16, Najee Glass, St. Peters (Jersey City, N.J.), 2012
3. 1:03.71, Champ Page, Henry A. Wise (Upper Marlboro, Md.), 2012
4. 1:04.44, Michael Cherry, Oscar F. Smith (Chesapeake, Va.), 2013
5. 1:04.46, Steven Gayle, Mt. Vernon (Mt. Vernon, N.Y.), 2013
**-Not accepted for record purposes due to video revealing running outside lane.

Top 2011 returnees entering 2012
1. 1:02.22, Glass
2. 1:02.88, Livingston
3. 1:04.23, Zavon Watkins, Liverpool (Liverpool, N.Y.), 2012
4. 1:04.64, Page
5. 1:05.02, Kenneth Williams, Woodrow Wilson (Portsmouth, Va.), 2012

600
National Record: 1:17.58, Strymar Livingston, Columbus (Bronx, N.Y.), 2012
2011 Best: 1:17.64, Strymar Livingston, Columbus (Bronx, N.Y.), 2012

2012 season best, name, school, class
1. 1:17.58, Strymar Livingston, Columbus (Bronx, N.Y.), 2012
2. 1:19.20, Zavon Watkins, Liverpool (Liverpool, N.Y.), 2012
3. 1:19.58, Haneef Hardy, Swenson Arts & Tech. (Philadelphia, Pa.), 2012
4. 1:19.97, Giancarlo Sainato, Colonie Central (Albany, N.Y.), 2012
5. 1:20.47, Najee Glass, St. Peters (Jersey City, N.J.), 2012

Top 2011 returnees entering 2012
1. 1:17.64, Livingston
2. 1:19.47, Robert Rhodes, Boys and Girls (Brooklyn, N.Y.), 2012
3. 1:20.47, Andre Rolim, Somerville (Somerville, Mass.), 2013
4. 1:20.90, Sainato
5. 1:22.06, Jair Cruikshank, Nashoba Reg. (Bolton, Mass.), 2012

55H
National Record: 7.05, Wayne Davis, Southeast (Raleigh, N.C.), 2009
2011 Best: 7.16, Demetrius Lindo, Coolidge (Washington, D.C.), 2011

2012 season best, name, school, class
1. 7.17, Dondre Echols, Potomac (Oxon Hill, Md.), 2012
2. 7.25, Trey Holloway, Grassfield (Chesapeake, Va.), 2012
3. 7.28, Jordan Moore, Union Grove (McDonough, Ga.), 2012
4. 7.33, Jermaine Collier, Trenton Central (Trenton, N.J.), 2012
5. 7.37, Kenneth Walker, John F. Kennedy (La Palma, Calif.), 2012

Top 2011 returnees entering 2012
1. 7.46, Walker
2. 7.47, Mark Jones, Hackensack (Hackensack, N.J.), 2013
3. 7.50, Echols
4. 7.51, Holloway
5. 7.53, Michael Smith, Salem (Virginia Beach, Va.), 2012
5. 7.53, Ben Bowers, Conant (Hoffman Estates, Ill.), 2012

60H
National Record: 7.60, Wayne Davis, Southeast (Raleigh, N.C.), 2009
2011 Best: 7.71, Demetrius Lindo, Coolidge (Washington, D.C.), 2011

2012 season best, name, school, class
1. 7.87, Chris Williams, Strath Haven (Wallingford, Pa.), 2012
2. 7.91, Devin Field, Lancaster (Lancaster, Texas), 2013
3. 7.94, Drake Johnson, Pioneer (Ann Arbor, Mi.), 2012
4. 7.96, Bryce Grace, Adams (Dallas, Texas), 2012
4. 7.96, Donovan Robertson, Berea (Berea, Ohio), 2012

Top 2011 returnees entering 2012
1. 7.82, Jordan Moore, Union Grove (McDonough, Ga.), 2012
2. 7.87, Williams
3. 7.92, Kenneth Walker, John F. Kennedy (La Palma, Calif.), 2012
4. 7.93, Robertson
5. 7.94, Johnson
5. 7.94, Jonathan Jones, Carrollton (Carrollton, Ga.), 2012

2012 Preview - Girls Jumps: Versatility a virtue for Forbes and other top leapers

January, 27, 2012
1/27/12
1:34
AM ET
Carla ForbesDoug Austin/ESPNHSCarla Forbes, holder of New Balance titles in both the LJ and TJ and the nation's #1 outdoor returnee in the latter, has started fast with a US#1 40-10 TJ.
Scroll down for More to Watch, and Top Indoor and Outdoor Returnees
Previous Previews: Boys Jumps | Next: Boys Sprints

After competing for the U.S. in France last summer and attending an elite triple jumping clinic in the Bahamas, Carla Forbes is bringing a new perspective to her budding track and field career.

The Newton North (Newtonville, Mass.) junior is already one of the top high school jumpers in the nation, based on a sophomore season in which she went 42-1.50 in the triple jump (at the World Youth Trials). Forbes has also gone 19-5.5 in the long jump and demonstrated versatility in sprint events as well. She made a big impact from the start at Newton North, winning the triple jump at Nike Indoor Nationals as a freshman in 2010, the long jump at New Balance Indoor Nationals in 2011, and several state titles indoors and out.

“Her work ethic is second to none,” Newton North coach Joe Tranchita said. “Sometimes you have to chase her out of practice. She’s a coach’s dream.”

The above-mentioned versatility of Forbes is a common theme among 2012’s top returning girls jumpers. You can’t be much more versatile than Kell (Marietta, Ga.) junior Kendell Williams, who is probably best known as a heptathlete, but has 6-0 high jump hops and has long-jumped 19-8.75. When it comes to combining both horizontal jumps and the high jump, Monroe (Albany, Ga.) senior Mimieux Land may be the country’s best. And, like Forbes, Plano East (Plano, Texas) senior Jennifer Madu and Chandler (Chandler, Ariz.) senior Jasmine Todd are devastating in combining sprints and both horizontal jumps.

Project Triple Jump a boon to Forbes

With all of the competition this year will bring, getting off to a great start doesn’t hurt and that’s what Forbes has done. A little more than a week after taking part in the Project Triple Jump clinic, sponsored by NSSF, she broke her indoor PR in the triple jump, going a US#1 40-10.

“I like the challenge of the triple jump,” she said. “It’s a challenging event (to master) and it’s a lot of work. The reward when you get there is definitely great.”

Forbes pours herself into her work. She not only accepted the invitation to be part of Project Triple Jump, she also wrote blog posts to give the outside world a sense for what was going on.

In the Bahamas, she had the opportunity to see new training techniques and listen to renowned Bahamian coach Peter Pratt.

“It’s definitely raising expectations, just to be able to say you’ve worked with (Coach Pratt),” Forbes said. “I definitely think there’s a higher expectation because you’ve put yourself on the radar. It’s an extra thing to push you.”

She added that her trip to the Bahamas served to reinforce that she was doing many of the right things in training. “Some of what they taught was an emphasis on things I was already doing.”

But Forbes also came back home with a clearer idea about how to approach competition. “The big thing that helped me down there were lessons on centering and taking control of each jump,” she said. “I’m definitely learning that, how to focus on myself and not to have a cloudy mind.”

And she also has a better understanding of where she is in relation to the top athletes in the country, if not the world.

“Being stuck up north sometimes you get a one-dimensional view,” Forbes said. “When you go to something like (World Youth Games or Project Triple Jump) you get the overall view of what people can really do. It definitely broadens my view of track.”

MORE TO WATCH

KENDELL WILLIAMS, Kell (Marietta, Ga.), 2013
Even if she wasn’t a top national-class hurdler and heptathlete, Williams deserves mention here just for her jumping … with her current US#1 5-10.75 HJ, she has already exceeded her 2011 indoor best of 5-9.25 from the NBIN pentathlon … was extremely consistent in HJ outdoors last year, with 6-0 best that makes her top US returnee … her overall LJ PR came indoors last winter at Kentucky Invite; her 19-8.75 there makes her top indoor returnee (went 19-7.5 outdoors) … often gets her best LJ and HJ marks in multis.

MADDIE MORROW, Hoover (North Canton, Ohio), 2012
Last year, Morrow divided New Balance nationals HJ titles with now-graduated Ohio rival Taylor Burke, taking 2nd at NBIN and 1st at NBON … her current US#2 of 5-10 gives her more than a dozen clearances over that mark in her career … was knocking at door of 6 feet last year both indoors and outdoors as she hit 5-11 marks to win indoor state and in taking 2nd at outdoor state (behind Burke’s US#1) … has committed to Duke.

RACHAL PROTEAU, West Albany (Albany, Ore.), 2013
Proteau had a stunning late-season surge last spring as a sophomore to move into the national HJ elite … by late May her PR was just 5-7, which she leapt to win 5A state … went up to 5-9 in taking BorderDuel, but it was her unlooked-for US#5 5-10.75 for 2nd at USATF Juniors that really opened eyes … she earned Pan-Am Junior ticket, where she was 5th … came back at end of July for USATF JOs Intermediate Girls title … is #3 returnee outdoors.

DerRENAE FREEMAN, West Orange (Winter Garden, Fla.), 2012
Freeman made her mark at end of Fla. outdoor season as she went 19-10. 5 (nwi) in LJ at region meet, then a legal then-US#1 20-0.75 to win 4A state … wound up the season US#3 and is top returnee … later won Golden South (19-4, nwi), but had disappointing World Youth Trials (6th) … came back in the summer for AAU Club Nats title … improved almost a foot during junior season from 19-1 PR as soph … also a 12.08/24.60 sprinter (both nwi).

JASMINE TODD, Chandler (Chandler, Ariz.), 2012
Has been a major jumping/sprinting force for national powerhouse Chandler her entire career … #2 returnee in TJ outdoors with her 41-5 (+1.3w) from Chandler Rotary last spring and #5 LJ returnee with 19-8.75 best … won both at D1 state, AZ Meet of Champs and LJ at Nike Track Nationals … tripled the 60, LJ and TJ at Great Southwest Indoor last year … LJ PR came in 2010 state meet with 19-11; she also won GSW outdoor LJ that year (19-9w).

JENNIFER MADU, Plano East (Plano, Texas), 2012
Like Kendell Williams, Madu will get extensive mention in sprints/hurdles, as well as here … in TJ, she was 2nd at World Youth Trials with US#6 41-3 (#3 returnee) to make Team USA in 2 events (also 100, where she’d win gold) … was US#1 in TJ in 2010 with 42-0.75 to win Great Southwest … LJ PRs are 19-4nwi and 19-2 legal … TJ win and LJ 2nd were part of quadruple attempt at 5A state last year … strong start to indoor already, including US#5 39-6.75 at Arkansas.

MIMIEUX LAND, Monroe (Albany, Ga.), 2012
Land is an impressive do-it-all jumper with (legal) PRs of 5-8.75 HJ, 19-6.25 LJ (#8 returnee) and 40-4 TJ (#7 returnee); no one else combines the three quite so well … won Golden West with TJ PR last spring … has won all 3 events at 3A state two years running … at World Youth Trials, she was 2nd in HJ and LJ, but not named to Team USA … won Golden South HJ and TJ, and 3rd in LJ … also took USATF JOs (YW) in HJ … has committed to Florida.

JESSIE JOHNSON, Argyle (Argyle, Texas), 2012
Johnson had her best jump early last spring, a 13-3 in March that would stand up for US#6 for the year and makes her the top returnee for 2012 … in early January this year, she matched her 2nd best meet ever at 13-0 to own the current US#1 … won her second straight 3A state title last spring with 12-9 … she has committed to Auburn.

SYDNEY WHITE, East Forsyth (Kernersville, N.C.), 2012
With her US#7 13-1.25 PR, White placed 8th at the World Youth Championships last summer and is the #2 US returnee … has gotten off strong in 2012 already with 12-8 victory at the Reno PV Summit … great consistency in big meets last year, including runner-up finishes behind Morgan LeLeux at both NBIN and NBON … her 12-10.25 indoor PR at NBIN made her US#6 and she is #2 returnee there, as well, this time behind Megan Clark … her 12-3.5 soph best in 2010 earned her USATF JOs title in Intermediate Girls.

DANIELLE WILLIAMS, Eaglecrest (Centennial, Colo.), 2012
Not too many athletes become TJ specialists in HS, but Williams is about as close to that as you can get … does some sprinting and long jumping, but TJ by far her best event … very fast start to 2012 with 40-10 PR at Colo. School of Mines Open to tie US#1, one of 3 meets over 40 already for her … 40-4.25 outdoor PR at 5A state last year, but lost by an inch … won Great Southwest with 39-10 leap … 2nd at USATF JOs (Young Women) with 39-8.5 … 2nd at Simplot last winter at 38-8.5.

MEGAN CLARK, Columbus (Columbus, Ga.), 2012
After an outstanding 2011 at James O’Neill HS in NY, Clark is now in Georgia after a move dictated by family military obligations … her US#4 13-0 PR indoors at Eastern States in 2011 makes her #1 returnee and she has a 12-4 best (7th PV Summit) so far this winter … her best outdoors last spring was 12-8 at the Ahern Classic and she’s #7 returnee there … she was also 3rd at WY Trials and 7th at NBON in spring, after a 4th at NBIN … took state titles both indoors and out in 2011.

NATION'S TOP RETURNEES
OUTDOOR EVENTS
- Scroll down for indoor lists

High Jump
National Record: 6-4, Amy Acuff, Calallen (Corpus Christi, Texas), 1993, and Toni
Young, Del City (Del City, Okla.), 2009
2011 Best: 6-1.25, Taylor Burke, Medina (Medina, Ohio), 2011

2011 season best, name, school, class
1. 6-0, Kendell Williams, Kell (Marietta, Ga.), 2013
2. 5-11, Maddie Morrow, Hoover (North Canton, Ohio), 2012
3. 5-10.75, Rachel Proteau, West Albany (Albany, Ore.), 2013
4. 5-10, Taylor Twedt, Westfork (Sheffield, Iowa), 2012
4. 5-10, Kiara Wright, Clear Lake (Houston, Texas), 2012
4. 5-10, Emily Godwin, Buckhann Upshur (Buckhannon, W.Va.), 2013
4. 5-10, Sara Henry, Somerset (Somerset, Wis.), 2012
4. 5-10, Audrey Ketcham, Wenatchee (Wenatchee, Wash.), 2012
4. 5-10, Ashlee Moore, Hamilton (Chandler, Ariz.), 2014
4. 5-10, Julisa Tindall, Northwestern (Rock Hill, S.C.), 2013

Long Jump
National Record: 22-3, Kathy McMillan, Hoke County (Raeford, N.C.), 1976
2011 Best: 20-4.25, Jenna Prandini, Clovis (Clovis, Calif.), 2011

2011 season best, name, school, class
1. 20-0.75, DerRenae Freeman, West Orange (Winter Garden, Fla.), 2012
2. 19-11, Robin Reynolds, Jackson (Miami, Fla.), 2012
3. 19-10.75, Ashlie Curenton, Silverado (Mission Viejo, Calif.), 2012
4. 19-10.25, Kyla Walker, White Station (Memphis, Tenn.), 2012
5. 19-8.75, Jasmine Todd, Chandler (Chandler, Ariz.), 2012
6. 19-7.5, Kendell Williams, Kell (Marietta, Ga.), 2013
7. 19-6.5, Clariwin Dameus, Santaluces (Lantana, Fla.), 2012
8. 19-6.25, Aliyah Harmon, Rich Central (Olympia Fields, Ill.), 2013
8. 19-6.25, Mimieux Land, Monroe (Albany, Ga.), 2012
10. 19-6, Alexis Faulknor, Junipero Serra (Gardena, Calif.), 2012

Wind-aided/NWI additions
1. 20-0.5, Kira Moreland, Los Osos (Ontario, Calif.), 2012
2. 19-10.75, Anna Robinson, DeSoto (DeSoto, Texas), 2013
3. 19-9.5, Chyna Ries, Washington (Denver, Colo.), 2014
4. 19-9, Chantavia Johnson, Molina (Dallas, Texas), 2012
5. 19-6.25, Sidney Conley, Fayetteville (Fayetteville, Ark.), 2012

Triple Jump
National Record: 44-11.75, Brittany Daniels, West (Tracy, Calif.), 2004
2011 Best: 43-2.5, Ciarra Brewer, James Logan (Union City, Calif.), 2011

2011 season best, name, school, class
1. 42-1.5, Carla Forbes, Newton North (Newtonville, Ma.), 2013
2. 41-5, Jasmine Todd, Chandler (Chandler, Ariz.), 2012
3. 41-3, Jennifer Madu, Plano East (Plano, Texas), 2012
4. 40-6, Cydney Leath, Mt. Pleasant (San Jose, Calif.), 2012
5. 40-4.25, Danielle Williams, Eaglecrest (Centennial, Colo.), 2012
5. 40-4.25, Rachel Toliver, St. Mary’s Acad. (Berkeley, Calif.), 2013
7. 40-4, Mimieux Land, Monroe (Albany, Ga.), 2012
8. 40-3.5, Brianna Richardson, Rockwell-Heath (Heath, Texas), 2012
9. 40-3.25, Jessica Caldwell, McDonogh (Owings Mill, Md.), 2012
10. 39-11.5, Molly Gribbin, South Burlington (S. Burlington, Vt.), 2012

Wind-aided/NWI additions
1. 41-3.5, Melodee Riley, Riverhead (Riverhead, N.Y.), 2012
2. 41-2.75, Richardson
3. 40-9.5, Gribbin
4. 40-8.75, Sasha Wallace, Holy Names (Oakland, Calif.), 2013
5. 40-5, Imani Wright, Liberty-Eylau (Texarkana, Texas), 2013
6. 40-4.5, Adefunke Sonaike, Montgomery (Skillman, N.J.), 2012
7. 40-3.25, Simone Charley, Spain Park (Hoover, Ala.), 2013
8. 40-2.25, Nataliyah Friar, E.E. Holt (Wentzville, Mo.), 2013
9. 40-0.75, Alyssa Kelly, Blue Valley West (Overland Park, Kan.), 2012
10. 40-0.5, Ashley Ivey, Washington County (Sandersville, Ga.), 2012

Pole Vault
National Record: 14-2.75, Morgann Leleux, Catholic (New Iberia, La.), 2011
2011 Best: 14-2.75, Morgann Leleux, Catholic (New Iberia, La.), 2011

2011 season best, name, school, class
1. 13-3, Jessie Johnson, Argyle (Argyle, Texas), 2012
2. 13-1.25, Sydney White, East Forsyth (Kernersville, N.C.), 2012
3. 13-0, McKenzie Johnson, Clairemont (San Diego, Calif.), 2012
4. 12-9.75, Victoria Rische, Foothill (Santa Ana, Calif.), 2012
5. 12-9, Alyssa Applebee, Seneca (Seneca, Ill.), 2012
5. 12-9, Cimran Virdi, Las Lomas (Walnut Creek, Calif.), 2012
7. 12-8, Megan Clark, Columbus (Columbus, Ga.), 2012
8. 12-7.5, Hannah Acton, Bloomington South (Bloomington, Ind.), 2012
9. 12-7.25, Katie Rancourt, East Kentwood (Kentwood, Mich.), 2012
10. 12-7, Alex Flucke, Ashwaubenon (Green Bay, Wis.), 2013
10. 12-7, Chanel Krause, St. Paul Episcopal (Mobile, Ala.), 2013

NATION'S TOP RETURNEES (and current leaders)
INDOOR EVENTS


High Jump
National Record: 6-3, Lisa Berhagen, Wood River (Hailey, Id.), 1984
2011 Best: 5-11, Maddie Morrow, Hoover (North Canton, Ohio), 2012

2011 season best, name, school, class
1. 5-11, Maddie Morrow, Hoover (North Canton, Ohio), 2012
2. 5-9.25, Kendell Williams, Kell (Marietta, Ga.), 2013
3. 5-8, Taylor Morgan, Upper Dublin (Ft. Washington, Pa.), 2012
3. 5-8, Lexy Boschee, Glacier (Glacier, Mont.), 2012
7 tied at 5-7
**Current 2012 Leaders
1. 5-10.75, Williams
2. 5-10, Morrow

Long Jump
National Record: 21-7.5, Carol Lewis, Willingboro (Willingboro, N.J.), 1981
2011 Best: 20-1, Keilah Tyson, Western Branch (Chesapeake, Va.), 2011

2011 season best, name, school, class
1. 19-8.75, Kendell Williams, Kell (Marietta, Ga.), 2013
2. 19-5.5, Carla Forbes, Newton North (Newtonville, Ma.), 2013
3. 19-2.5, Jordan Matthews, Abington (Abington, Pa.), 2012
3. 19-2.5, Sarah Bowens, Suffern (Suffern, N.Y.), 2012
5. 19-2, Shannen Rose-Forde, Dominion Christian (Marietta, Ga.), 2012
**Current 2012 Leader
1. 20-0.25, Shakeela Saunders, Nansemond River (Suffolk, Va.), 2012

Triple Jump
National Record: 44-6.75, Ke'Nyia Richardson, Holy Names (Oakland, Calif.), 2007
2011 Best: 42-3.5, Ciarra Brewer, James Logan (Union City, Calif.), 2011

2011 season best, name, school, class
1. 40-8, Jessica Caldwell, McDonogh (Owings Mill, Md.), 2012
2. 40-5.25, Sasha Wallace, Holy Names (Oakland, Calif.), 2013
3. 39-10.5, Jennifer Madu, Plano East (Plano, Texas), 2012
4. 39-8.5, Jasmine Todd, Chandler (Chandler, Ariz.), 2012
5. 39-7.25, Brianna Richardson, Rockwell-Heath (Heath, Texas), 2012
5. 39-7.25, Iana Amsterdam, Newark Tech (Newark, N.J.), 2013
**Current 2012 Leaders
1. 40-10, Carla Forbes, Newton North (Newtonville, Ma.), 2013
1. 40-10, Danielle Williams, Eaglecrest (Centennial, Colo.), 2012

Pole Vault
National Record: 14-2.5, Tori Anthony, Castilleja (Palo Alto, Calif.), 2007
2011 Best: 13-8.25, Morgann Leleux, Catholic (New Iberia, La.), 2011

2011 season best, name, school, class
1. 13-0, Megan Clark, Columbus (Columbus, Ga.), 2012
2. 12-10.25, Sydney White, East Forsyth (Kernersville, N.C.), 2012
3. 12-7, Jessie Johnson, Argyle (Argyle, Texas), 2012
3. 12-7, Larisa Debich, Hempfield (Landisville, Pa.), 2012
4. 12-6, Sydney Clute, Center Grove (Greenwood, Ind.), 2012
**Current 2012 Leaders
1. 13-0, Johnson

2012 Preview - Boys Jumps: Texans Watson, Barber, Field get off to fast start

January, 19, 2012
1/19/12
3:08
PM ET
Reese Watson and Shawn BarberDonna Dye/ESPNHS13 months ago (Club Altius Dec. '10 meet), they were just 16-6 and 14-6 vaulters; now Reese Watson and Shawn Barber are both over 17-6 (=#2, #4 all-time) and lead an impressive group of boys jumpers as we start our 2012 National Track Preview series.
Scroll down for More to Watch, and Top Indoor and Outdoor Returnees


If it all goes according to Reese Watson’s master plan, the senior from Spring (Spring, Texas) could make history this spring in the pole vault.

Already, Watson has kicked off the 2012 campaign with a 17-6 clearance at the Pole Vault Expo Explosion on New Year’s Eve in Belton, Texas – which at the time made him #3 all-time. His goals now include re-writing the national records indoors (17-9.25) and out (18-3) and earning a spot at the U.S. Olympic Trials at the end of June in Eugene, Ore.

Watson is one of three Texans who have already made a huge impact in the boys jumps early this indoor season, a big part of the reason that fireworks are almost guaranteed in this event category in 2012. Just a week after Watson’s clearance, Kingwood Park (Kingwood) senior Shawn Barber topped that with a 17-6.5 at the Texas A&M Classic, equaling #2 all-time. Then last weekend, Lancaster junior Devin Field exploded to a 25-5.75 long jump at the Arkansas Invite, equaling #6 all-time.

And that’s just part of the story. The boys prep jumps corps also this year, nationally, include 2011 World Youth Championship bronze medalists Jacob Blankenship from Ohio (pole vault) and Justin Fondren from Mississippi (high jump), two red-hot sons of Olympic champions (Allex Austin and Cameron Burrell, both also in Texas), and a deep group of triple jumpers than includes four legal 50-footers.

Watson’s preparation paying off


Whether or not he has company in the 17+ range, Watson is focused on the heights he wants to achieve.

“I’ve already gotten a lot faster and stronger,” said the 6-foot-4 Texan, who has a similar build to last year’s US#1 performer indoors and outdoors, Andrew Irwin. “After I jumped 17-6, we put it up to 18, which is close to the Olympic (Trials) standard. For that 18-foot bar there is still a lot of work to do, but it’s not out of reach.”

There were no preps in the field of 27 that competed at the 2008 Trials. In order to achieve the B standard, Watson would have to make 18-0.50. Only four high school vaulters in history have ever gone that high.

“It’d definitely be a dream of mine to compete against some of my role models, such as Brad Walker, and try to compete with some of those guys,” he said.

Watson had an excellent 2011 season, winning at the Texas Relays (17-2), the Class 5A Texas championships, and then hitting his outdoor PR to win the Great Southwest Invitational (17-3) in Albuquerque, N.M. He was the only vaulter in the country to clear 17-2 or better twice outdoors.

An extensive off-season workout program, including once-a-week workouts at Club Altius, paid off with immediate results. Watson will likely take aim at the national indoor record as soon as his next competition. The all-time indoor record of 17-9.25, set last year, by Irwin, came after the indoor competition window ended.

“We thought (a PR) would come pretty quick,” Watson’s coach at Spring, Aaron Shock, said. “He went for 18, but was out of gas. He has a good shot at 17-9. If he’s on, he’ll definitely take a shot at it.”

Watson’s program has been designed to increase speed, which will help him on the runway and also fulfill another one of his goals – running on the Spring’s 4x400 relay.

“I don’t spend much time jumping,” he said. “It’s mostly running and lifting.”

Watson got started in the pole vault in the seventh grade and was introduced to it by his father. “My dad used to (vault) in high school,” he said. “He always helps me out, in workouts, at the meet, or whenever he can.”

For his indoor finale, Watson has the New Balance Indoor Nationals circled on his calendar. “I want to put a big jump out (in New York),” he said.

MORE TO WATCH

DEVIN FIELD, Lancaster (Lancaster, Texas), 2013
His aforementioned 25-5.75 LJ just part of the reason he’s the country’s brightest young horizontal jumper … during monster stretch last spring, he won 2nd straight Texas 4A title (24-11.25w), USATF Juniors on 5th jump (24-8.5w), Pan Am Juniors on 5th jump (24-10.5w), and USATF JOs (US#2 24-10.5) … showed veteran poise all spring, with consistency well beyond his years … also fine TJ’er and hurdler … at Arkansas he also leapt US#1 49-8.25 TJ and ran nation-leading 7.91 60H … 50-1.75w TJ last spring … recently took part in the Project Triple Jump clinic in the Bahamas.

SHAWN BARBER, Kingwood Park (Kingwood, Texas), 2012
Wasn’t even a 15-foot vaulter at this time a year ago and who could have thought he’d be where he is now? In February, though, he became a 16-footer and went on to take 2nd in state 4A meet outdoors … by summer’s end, had captured the AAU JOs with a 16-6 … nice improvement in a year, but still, adding a foot to that as he did at Texas A&M January 6 could never have been anticipated … is suddenly the 2nd best vaulter in U.S. history and stage is set for great clashes with him and Watson the rest of the year.

JUSTIN FONDREN, Oxford (Oxford, Miss.) 2012
With US#1 7-2.25, he was the nation’s dominant high jumper last year, having made steady progress upon exceptional freshman (frosh USR 7-0) and sophomore seasons … very consistent, having cleared 7-foot bars at eight meets in 2011 … won World Youth Trials at 7-0.5, then captured bronze at the World Youth Champs in France (6-11.75) … he has openly discussed the ambitious goal of 7-7 (matching Andra Manson’s USR and making Olympic Trials) during his senior year … occupied by basketball in the winter and has never competed indoors.

JACOB BLANKENSHIP, Lincoln (Gahanna, Ohio), 2012
Vaulter’s timely breakthrough last year began with 17-0 at D1 state, beating standout senior twins Joey and Chris Uhle during a watershed year for the event in Ohio … then he went to NBON where eight 17-foot vaulters were assembled and came out on top with PR 17-0.25 … easily qualified for the U.S. team that competed at the World Youth Champs and earned the bronze in France with 16-6.75 … just gearing up for season now and cleared 16-0.75 in low key opener last weekend.

CHRIS BROWN, Hanahan (Hanahan, S.C.), 2012
Amazing finish to 2011 outdoor season puts Brown right at top of list of TJ returnees … on the night he broke 33-year old state TJ record – oldest on the books at the time in South Carolina – he broke it not once, but twice (with a best of 51-2.5) … had two other meets over 50 feet, including NBON, where he finished second (50-6w/50-5.5) … additionally, he went 23-9 in the long jump … he is also part of the NSSF’s Triple Jump Project.

CAMERON BURRELL, Ridge Point (Missouri City, Texas) 2013
Nearly as impressive in the LJ as fellow soph Field last year, he had bests of 24-7 at USATF JOs (2nd to Field) and 24-8w (regional qualifier) … following in the footsteps of his legendary father, Olympic sprinter Leroy Burrell, Cameron represented the U.S. overseas last year … he made the World Youth team with 24-2.25 at Trials, then was 14th in the World Youth prelims … like his dad, he’s also a sprinter, having placed 2nd in state 5A 100 last spring … currently leads the nation at 60 meters indoors with 6.82 and also jumped 23-8.75 in first indoor meet.

IMANI BROWN, Reading (Reading, Pa.), 2012
Has started fast this indoor season, triple jumping over 48 feet in December to temporarily hold US#1 … reigning champion at the New Balance Outdoor Nationals, having jumped 50-6.75w (4.1) in Greensboro last June to beat a field that included Marquis Dendy, Chris Brown and others … followed that up by making the World Youth team, though he didn’t advance to finals in France … earlier, was seventh at NBIN and won the Pennsylvania state championship during the 2011 indoor season.

JOSH DIXON, Cedarburg (Cedarburg, Wis.), 2012
Became the 2nd TJ’er in state history to surpass 50 ft. when he went 50-4.75 at USATF JOs last July … had an off day in TJ at state meet, but he did win LJ at 23-9.5 … indoors, he has already jumped US#2 49-0.75, finishing 2nd to Field at Arkansas … this spring, he has his sights set on the 29-year-old state TJ mark of 52-4.5, held by 1996 Olympic Champion Kenny Harrison, who set it while competing at Brookfield Central … recently committed to the U. of Arkansas.

ALLEX AUSTIN, San Marcos (San Marcos, Texas), 2012
His father may be 1996 Olympic HJ gold medalist Charles Austin, but Allex didn’t take up the discipline in earnest until last year … even with the good genes, his progress was stunning … was a 6-6 leaper by early March and kept adding inches every few weeks … at his district meet in mid-April, he scaled a then-US#1 7-2 (#3 by year’s end) … would go 6-10 three times, including a clearance that netted him a 5A state title, but consistency is still a work in progress.

LOGAN BRITTAIN, Randall (Amarillo, Texas), 2013
Cleared seven feet in HJ five times in 2011 as soph and won Texas 4A title … also won the Great Southwest Invite when he cleared the bar at 6-11.75 … at 5-foot-10, he is already jumping more than a foot over his head … he is a three-sport standout who also plays football and basketball.

JAELEN SPENCER, Sultana (Hesperia, Calif.), 2013
As a soph, Spencer made big TJ breakthrough to 49-0.5 in mid-May at Southern Section D2 prelims … a week later, bounded to first 50-footer (50-02.25) to win SS Finals … though he was just 3rd at state, bounced back to take World Youth Trials with 50-4.5w … was unable to make finals in France at World Youth Champs, but has lots of potential and bright future.

BOYS JUMPS TOP RETURNEES

Lists and records from DyeStat TFX and Jack Shepard's High School Track

OUTDOOR EVENTS - Scroll down for indoor lists

High Jump
National Record: 7-7, Andra Manson, Brenham (Brenham, Texas), 2002
2011 Best: 7-3, Carlos Hernandez, Santa Teresa (Anthony, N.M.), 2011

2011 season best, name, school, class
1. 7-2.25, Justin Fondren, Oxford (Oxford, Miss.), 2012
2. 7-2, Allex Austin, San Marcos (San Marcos, Texas), 2012
3. 7-2, Tyler Donels, Southeast Polk (Pleasant Hill, Iowa), 2012
4. 7-0.25, Errin Baynes, Park (Wheeling, W. Va.), 2012
5. 7-0, Logan Brittain, Randall (Amarillo, Texas), 2013
5. 7-0, Carl Heinz, River Forest (Oak Park, Ill.), 2012
5. 7-0, Brandon Stone, Trenton (Trenton, Fla.), 2012
5. 7-0, Bradley Atkins, Idalou (Idalou, Texas), 2012
9. 6-11, Kevin Spejcher, Lake Park (Roselle, Ill.), 2012
9. 6-11, Noel Frazier, California (San Ramon, Calif.), 2012
9. 6-11, Miles Poullard, Colony (Ontario, Calif.), 2012
9. 6-11, Wally Ellenson, Rice Lake (Rice Lake, Wis.), 2012
9. 6-11, Cody Crampton, Canyon (Anaheim, Calif.), 2012

Pole Vault
National Record: 18-3, Tommy Skipper, Sandy (Sandy, Ore.), 2003
2011 Best: 17-6.5, Andrew Irwin, Mount Ida (Mount Ida, Ark.), 2011

2011 season best, name, school, class
1. 17-3, Reese Watson, Spring (Spring, Texas), 2012
2. 17-0.75, Jacob Blankenship, Lincoln (Gahanna, Ohio), 2012
3. 16-7, Dylan Bell, Alvarado (Alvarado, Texas), 2012
4. 16-6, Josh Sonnen, Midlothian (Midlothian, Texas), 2012
4. 16-6, Dillon Lookout, Jenks (Jenks, Okla.), 2012
4. 16-6, Shawn Barber, Kingwood Park (Kingwood, Texas), 2012
7. 16-5.5, Garrett Starkey, Basha (Chandler, Ariz.), 2012
8. 16-3, Marques Hicks, Hallsville (Hallsville, Texas), 2012
9. 16-1, Kyle Padalecki, East Central (San Antonio, Texas), 2012
9. 16-1, Connor Stark, Oak Park (Oak Park, Calif.), 2012
9. 16-1, Patrick Anderson, Kane Area (Kane, Pa.), 2012

Long Jump
National Record: 26-10, Marquise Goodwin, Rowlett (Rowlett, Texas), 2009
2011 Best: 25-0.5, Josh McClam, Holly Springs (Holly Springs, N.C.), 2011

2011 season best, name, school, class
1. 24-10.5, Devin Field, Lancaster (Lancaster, Texas), 2013
2. 24-7, Cameron Burrell, Ridge Point (Missouri City, Texas), 2013
3. 24-3.5, Janarion Grant, Pasco (Dade City, Fla.), 2013
4. 23-11, Michael Tillman, Buchholz (Gainesville, Fla.), 2012
5. 23-10.75, Tyris Jefferson, Robert E. Lee (Tyler, Texas), 2012
6. 23-9.75, Jarrion Lawson, Liberty-Eylau (Texarkana, Texas), 2012
7. 23-9, Chris Brown, Hanahan (Halahan, S.C.), 2012
8. 23-8.75, Elijah Mitchell, West (Tracy, Calif.), 2012
9. 23-8.5, Blake Selig, Rio Mesa (Oxnard, Calif.), 2012
10. 23-7.5, Dereck Knott, Colonial (Orlando, Fla.), 2012

Wind-aided/NWI additions
1. 24-11.25, Field
2. 24-8, Burrell
2. 24-8, J.T. Washington, Satellite (Satellite Beach, Fla.), 2012
4. 24-5.75, Lawson
5. 24-3.25, Tevin Coleman, Oak Forest (Oak Forest, Ill.), 2012
6. 24-2, Kaleb Moore, Cy-Fair (Cypress, Texas), 2012
6. 24-2, Ryan Jackson, Angleton (Angleton, Texas), 2012
8. 24-0.5, Jerrell Morrow, Emporia (Emporia, Ks.), 2013

Triple Jump
National Record: 54-10.25, Kenny Hall, Tara (Baton Rouge, La.), 2004
2011 Best: 51-3, Marquis Dendy, Middletown (Middletown, Del.), 2011

2011 season best, name, school, class
1. 51-2.5, Chris Brown, Hanahan (Halahan, S.C.), 2012
2. 50-4.75, Josh Dixon, Cedarburg (Cedarburg, Wis.), 2012
3. 50-2.25, Jaelen Spencer, Sultana (Hesperia, Calif.), 2013
4. 50-0, Felix Obi, Franklin (El Paso, Texas), 2012
5. 49-6.25, Imani Brown, Reading (Reading, Pa.), 2012
6. 48-11.5, Devin Field, Lancaster (Lancaster, Texas), 2013
7. 48-10, Jarrion Lawson, Liberty-Eylau (Texarkana, Texas), 2012
7. 48-10, Kylvens Delaunay, Claremont (Claremont, Calif.), 2012
9. 48-4.5, Adarius Barnes, Port Gibson (Port Gibson, Miss.), 2012
10. 48-4, Dominique Irons, Haddon Heights (Haddon Heights, N.J.), 2013
10. 48-4, Myles Charley, Spain Park (Hoover, Ala.), 2012

Wind-aided/NWI additions
1. 50-6.75, I. Brown
2. 50-4.5, Spencer
3. 50-1.75, Field
4. 49-1.5, Lawson
5. 49-0.75, Eric England, Mtn. View (Meridian, Id.), 2012
5. 49-0.75, Kylvens Delaunay, Claremont (Claremont, Calif.), 2012
7. 48-9.5, Matthew O’Neal, Callaway (Jackson, Miss.), 2012
8. 48-7.75, David Johnson, Charlottesville (Charlottesville, Va.), 2012
9. 48-4.5, Marcellis Childs, Aransas Pass (Aransas Pass, Texas), 2012
10. 48-4.25, John Warren, Killeen (Killeen, Texas), 2014

INDOOR EVENTS
**Current Indoor Leader(s) for 2012 listed below returnees for each event.

High Jump
National Record: 7-5.25, Scott Sellers, Cinco Ranch (Katy, Texas), 2004
2011 Best: 7-2.5, Jonathan Christensen, Southmont (Crawfordsville, Ind.), 2011

2011 season best, name, school, class
1. 7-0, Marcus Mason, Granite City (Granite City, Ill.), 2012
2. 6-10.5, C.J. Smith, Lawrence Central (Indianapolis, Ind.), 2012
3. 6-10, Wally Ellenson, Rice Lake (Rice Lake, Wis.), 2012
3. 6-10, Carl Heinz, River Forest (Oak Park, Ill.), 2012
3. 6-10, Kevin Spejcher, Lake Park (Roselle, Ill.), 2012
**Current 2012 Leaders
1. 7-0, Victor Glaze, Killeen (Killeen, Texas), 2012
1. (tie) 7-0, Rashaan Jones, South Lakes (Reston, Va.), 2013


Pole Vault
National Record: 17-9.25, Andrew Irwin, Mt. Ida (Mt. Ida, Ark.), 2011
2011 Best: 17-9.25, Andrew Irwin, Mt. Ida (Mt. Ida, Ark.), 2011

2011 season best, name, school, class
1. 16-6, Reese Watson, Spring (Spring, Texas), 2012
2. 16-1, Jacob Blankenship, Lincoln (Gahanna, Ohio), 2012
3. 16-0, Shawn Barber, Kingwood Park (Kingwood, Texas), 2012
4. 15-8.25, Dillon Lookout, Jenks (Jenks, Okla.), 2012
5. 15-8.25, Terry Batemon, Warren Central (Indianapolis, Ind.), 2012
**Current 2012 Leaders
1. Barber, 17-6.5
2. Watson, 17-6


Long Jump
National Record: 26-6.5, Dion Bentley, Penn Hills (Pittsburgh, Pa.), 1989
2011 Best: 25-9.5, Marquis Dendy, Middletown (Middletown, Del.), 2011

2011 season best, name, school, class
1. 24-3.75, Devin Field, Lancaster (Lancaster, Texas), 2013
2. 23-8.5, Ray Beverly, Pike (Indianapolis, Ind.), 2012
3. 23-6, Anaquan Peterson, Lakeland (Suffolk, Va.), 2012
4. 23-5.5, Cameron Burrell, Ridge Point (Missouri City, Texas), 2013
5. 23-3.25, Ismail El-amin, Wilson Magnet (Rochester, N.Y.), 2012
**Current 2012 Leader
1. Field, 25-5.75


Triple Jump
National Record: 52-7.5, Keith Holley, Bayside (Virginia Beach, Va.), 1988
2011 Best: 52-1.5, Marquis Dendy, Middletown (Middletown, Del.), 2011

2011 season best, name, school, class
1. 48-7.5, Anaquan Peterson, Lakeland (Suffolk, Va.), 2012
2. 48-5.5, Imani Brown, Reading (Reading, Pa.), 2012
3. 48-3.75, Josh Dixon, Cedarburg (Cedarburg, Wis.), 2012
4. 47-4.5, David Johnson, Charlottesville (Charlottesville, Va.), 2012
5. 47-2.25, Jared Posey, William Penn (York, Pa.), 2012
**Current 2012 Leader
1. 49-8.25, Devin Field, Lancaster (Lancaster, Texas), 2013

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