High-SchoolTrack-and-XC: arizona

Former prep leapers take fast track to London Olympic medal stand

August, 17, 2012
Christian Taylor and Will ClayeCameron Spencer/GettyImagesFormer prep stars Christian Taylor and Will Claye celebrate their 1-2 finish in the Olympic triple jump.

When you saw the success of Team USA’s youth movement in the 2012 London Olympic jumps last week, accounting for five of the eight medals won in those four men’s and four women’s events, you knew Christian Taylor, Will Claye, Erik Kynard, and Brigetta Barrett were young. But did you know how young?

To wit: In August of 2008, during the last Olympiad, Taylor was finishing a fine senior year at Sandy Creek (Tyrone, Ga.) High School in the triple jump (US#1 52-8), long jump (US#2 25-6) and 400 (US#4 46.60), with a pair of top-eight finishes at the World Junior Championships in Poland. He had won the World Youth triple jump as a junior. Claye, just a junior at Mountain Pointe (Phoenix, Ariz.), was not far behind Taylor’s marks, including a US#2 52-4.75 TJ, and his post-season included wins at Great Southwest and USATF JOs.

Kynard, a Rogers (Toledo, Ohio) junior, had made the 2008 Olympic Trials off of a 7-3.75 indoors and while he didn’t make the final in Eugene that June, he did muster 7-0.5 in qualifying there. Barrett, yet another junior (Duncanville, Texas), had been one of three girls from her state over 6-0 at Great Southwest. Both Barrett and Kynard finished second at USATF Juniors, but Barrett didn’t compete in Poland while Kynard didn’t make the final.

Taylor, Claye, Kynard and Barrett. Three of them still had another year of high school, while Taylor was headed to University of Florida for his freshman year. No doubt all of them hoped for NCAA success and probably had Olympic dreams in the backs of their minds.

But the 2012 London Olympic team? And making the finals in their respective events and earning gold, silver and bronze medals, with none of them older than Taylor’s just-turned-22? With all of them already among the top 10 Americans in history, save for Kynard, who’s just a centimeter away from joining that elite group?


In your dreams, folks might have said back then. But dreams sometimes come true much faster than expected, and so it was in London last week that Taylor and Claye gave Team USA a 1-2 finish in the men’s triple jump (with Claye also winning long jump bronze), and Kynard and Barrett both earned silver in their respective high jump events. It was clear that all of these athletes had a lot of talent and could possibly someday by national or international elites, but rarely have prep stars – beyond prodigies like Allyson Felix – risen up this fast. Each of the four were outstanding preps, but it’s not like they really threatened any high school records. All have improved tremendously during the past four years, however, going from being very good (if not truly great) preps to among the best collegians and young pros the U.S. has ever seen. And they each have many more years to get even better.

Gator power

It was Taylor and Claye who gave the quickest indication after high school that they had London medal potential. Claye skipped his final semester at Mountain Pointe and enrolled at Oklahoma in time for the 2009 indoor and outdoor seasons. He claimed a Big 12 title indoors as he began to improve dramatically, while Taylor was doing the same at Florida. Taylor topped Claye for the NCAA indoor title, 55-8.5 to 55-1.5, both three feet beyond what they’d done in 2008, but outdoors it was Claye turning the tables at NCAAs with an even-better U.S. Junior record 56-4.75. In what would have been his senior year in high school and as he was just turning 18, Claye won six major titles, including the Pan Am Juniors.

Claye had an injury-plagued off-year in 2010, while Taylor improved to 56-4.25 and won the NCAA outdoor title. Then Claye transferred to Florida, joining Taylor, and both exploded in 2011. They continued to dominate NCAAs and inch toward the 57-foot mark indoors. Then at the outdoor NCAAs, they soared to PRs of 58-4.75 (Taylor) and 57-9.75 (Claye), though both were wind-aided. They were now contenders for the 2011 World Championships podium and both turned pro. They were rewarded in Daegu, with Taylor (the youngest jumper in the final) nearly beating the American record and assuming the global yearly lead with a 58-11.25 gold-medal performance, and Claye taking bronze.

While the biggest breakthrough came in 2011, Taylor and Claye still had to elevate their games for the pressure of the Olympic cauldron. But throughout 2012, they never really left any doubt they’d be ready, going 1-2 in the World Indoor Champs (Claye winning) and Olympic Trials (Taylor winning) and building their resumes in other meets leading up to London.

Taylor and his coach never had anything less than high expectations. “When I was recruiting him (to Florida), I sat him down and told him, ‘In four years, the goal is to be an Olympic medalist,’” said Coach Rana Reider to The Dayton Beach News-Journal (Taylor trained at Daytona Beach’s Embry-Riddle U. this past year). “That is what you can do if you stay on task and learn how to compete under not the greatest circumstances (tough collegiate schedule).”

And while Claye was super talented as well, the decision to head to Gainesville a few years ago was a key factor in his success. “Me and Christian have been going 1-2 for a long time,” Claye told USATF after they won their TJ medals. “We have a brotherhood, and jumping against your brother, you go harder than you do with anyone else. It feels like it is just me and Christian out there sometimes, you know. It is an awesome rivalry, and we definitely push each other and help each other.”

** Christian wins World Youth triple jump gold in 2007, plus long jump bronze
** He comes back in 2008 with NSIC triple capped with TJ victory
** Will edges rival Bryce Lamb at 2008 AZ state with US#1 TJ
** Interval Session with Will in 2008

Raw talent

Erik Kynard
Adam Pretty/GettyImagesErik Kynard, a prep junior just four years ago, is now the Olympic men's high jump silver medalist.
Few athletes displayed as much talent and potential as did Kynard as a prep, but he still wasn’t quite at the level of, say, a Scott Sellers and Andra Manson. But his progress since has been special. After that Trials experience as a junior in 2008, Kynard followed with US#1 7-4.5 indoors and #2 7-3.5 outdoors as a senior, claiming Nike Nationals titles in both seasons. He did all that with form that at times looked less than polished and one wondered what heights he could ascend to at Kansas State.

In 2010, as a KSU frosh, Kynard stayed at the 7-3, 7-4 level, indoors and out. But in February, 2011, he had his big breakthrough with a 7-7.75, becoming the third-best indoor collegian ever. Outdoors, he won the Drake and Texas relays, then the NCAA outdoor title before earning his Daegu ticket. Then earlier this year, he won his second NCAA outdoor title with a PR of 7-8 and that set the stage for his making Team USA at the Trials.

As the London final unfolded, Kynard’s talent was on display for all the world to see, as well as some daring. He clinched the silver with 7-7.75 on his first attempt, then duked it out with eventual gold medalist Ivan Ukhov of Russia by twice passing after misses to the next height, finally bowing out at 7-10.5.

While still getting the “raw” talent tag from the likes of NBC Olympics field event analyst Dwight Stones, a two-time Olympic bronze medalist himself, it’s clear Kynard is well beyond the jumper he was in high school.

“I was probably most impressed with his attempts at 2.38 (7-9.75) and 2.40 (7-10.5) as much as anything,” said his Kansas State Coach Cliff Rovelto in a press release from the school. “He’s come an awful long way in a relatively short period of time. We should all be very proud of him and what he did today.”

While calling it “the best second-place I’ve ever had,” Kynard was clearly at home trying to win gold in the world’s biggest meet. “Pressure doesn’t burst my pipes,” he told USATF. “I have faith in my abilities. No stage is too big.”

To the Cleveland Plain Dealer, he added, “I'm young and I’ll be around for a while. I'm going home with some hardware, so I can’t complain. I’ll be back. I’ll see you all in Rio.”

U.S. HJ teammate Jamie Neito called Kynard “the future and the present for high-jumping. He’s going to have an amazing career.”

** Erik wins 2009 Nike Indoor high jump
** And then takes Nike Outdoor high jump three months later
** 2008 Interval Session with Erik

Unlimited potential

Brigetta Barrett
Cameron Spencer/GettyImagesBrigetta Barrett during her silver medal performance in the Olympic women's high jump.
Barrett was on a bit of a plateau in 2009, winning state and, in another meet, matching her 2008 season’s best with 6-0. But at the University of Arizona, improvement came immediately as she cleared 6-2.25 during her frosh indoor campaign in 2010, then 6-3.25 outdoors – placing third in both NCAA national meets. 2011 was even better, as she claimed both NCAA titles, won the World University Games with a PR 6-5, and took 10th in the IAAF World Champs.

To begin 2012, she repeated both NCAA titles, but she saved her first major PR for the best possible time, taking second in the Olympic Trials at 6-7. Now with her 6-8 in the Olympics, only one American in history, the aforementioned Lowe, has gone higher.

“I’m definitely thankful I have the medal, but it is really what comes with the medal that means a lot,” Barrett told USATF. “I know that God has brought me so far and I know where I started, so to be able to stand here and look back on the journey, that is what it really means for me. My mom is in the stands smiling and healthy, so it’s great.”

Said fellow American Chaunte Lowe, who was sixth in the Olympic HJ: “My performance was not great, but I am really proud of Brigetta. She is a really great talent and I am glad that she was able to stay poised on this type of a stage.”

NBC’s Stones has called Barrett’s potential “unlimited” and said she’s got what it takes to be the “next world-record holder.”

The same can be said of all four of these Team USA high-flyers.

** Brigetta part of elite trio over six feet at 2008 Great Southwest

Bile, Burcham and Margey break through

June, 17, 2012
2012 NBNO SaturdayJohn Dye/ESPNHSAhmed Bile wins 800 - Kelsey Margey wins girls mile - Jacob Burcham wins boys mile

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- All three of them had built stellar resumes, made numerous appearances in big national races, and produced a lot of near-misses.

But Ahmed Bile (Annandale, Va.), Jacob Burcham (Ona, W.V.) and Kelsey Margey (Long Island, N.Y.) all became national champions on Saturday during the final day of competition at the New Balance Nationals Outdoor championships at Greensboro, N.C.

In a meet where some of the star power was siphoned off by the U.S. Junior Championships, all three of these first-time winners earned legit titles.

Bile, son of 1987 world 1,500 champ Abdi Bile, found an open seam in Lane 1 and strode past Zavon Watkins to win the 800 meters in a personal best 1:49.85.

"With 100 to go I thought, 'Well second isn't that bad,'" Bile said. "The whole inside lane opened up and I was like 'I think I could catch him if I go on the inside.' But it was a little risky. I'm just speechless."

Watkins was speechless, too. The senior from Liverpool, N.Y. could almost reach out and touch the national title it was so close. And in the blink of any eye, Bile's 6-foot-4 frame swept past him. Watkins ran 1:49.98.

"I was heartbroken," Watkins said. "I didn't hear him, I didn't see him. If I had I would have stepped over (into lane one) and stepped through, but it happens."

Bile had finished seventh at the adidas Dream Mile, fifth at the Penn Relays mile, and been a top-15 finisher twice at Foot Locker in cross country. Last year in the New Balance 800 he was fourth.

"It was my last high school race and I really wanted to go out with a bang," said Bile, who will enter Georgetown in the fall.

Burcham, a junior, was second in the Brooks PR Invite mile (Feb.), second in the Penn Relays mile (April) and second at the adidas Dream Mile (June). Those experiences all added up to something. He was the class of the field in Greensboro, pulling away almost immediately from a field that included Connecticut champion Henry Wynne and New Balance 5K champion Jake Leingang of North Dakota.

"I planned to go a little faster but it didn't work out," Burcham said. "I still won and that was all that I cared about, really."

Burcham ran 4:08.80 and was more than two seconds clear of the field.

"I should have some confidence knowing I won my last race of the year, and national champion (sounds) good too," he said.

Margey was part of Nike's Elite camp last summer and had placed third and sixth, respectively, in the New Balance Outdoors mile in 2010 and 2011. She had placed in the top five in a wide variety of big events, including fourth at the Manhattan Invitational (cross country), fourth at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix, third at the adidas Dream Mile (in 2010) and second at Penn Relays (in 2011).

She came into New Balance Outdoors fresh off a victory at the New York state meet in the 800 and second place in the 1,500.

On Saturday, she smartly ran the kick out of defending champion Wesley Frazier (Raleigh, N.C.) by pushing from 800 meters out and cruised to the win in 4:45.84. The Friends Academy senior will attend Villanova in the fall.

2012 NBNO Saturday
John Dye/ESPNHSKadecia Baird wins 400
"The spring season of my senior year I grew a lot and got a lot stronger, physically and mentally," Margey said. "Today it all came together for me. I was nervous because it was my last race and it means a lot. I was really happy with how I did."

Frazier, for the second year in a row, was irrepressible despite an ambitious schedule. On Saturday, she ran the mile in 4:48.28 for second place and then less than half an hour later ran a 4:48 split for 1,600 meters on her team's distance medley relay, kicking late to grab fourth.

In seven championship races over 2011 and 2012 (six individual, one relay), Frazier has won three times and never finished outside the top four.

"I was tired. My legs were so heavy," Frazier said of the short recovery after the mile. "I was just like, 'I've just got to go one more mile. I can do it.'"

Frazier barely had time to think about her second place finish in the mile. She went straight to the check-in area to get a new hip number and confer with her teammates for the DMR. She was determined to finish in the top six so her three teammates, including freshman sister Ryen, could make All-American.

Another gutsy double came from Robert Rhodes of Boys and Girls (Brooklyn, N.Y.), who finished third in the 800 (1:50.53) and then quickly turned around and split 47.5 to anchor his team's 4x400 to victory in 3:14.95.

Rhodes had made a bold promise back in November that he would break his coach's school record in the 800 (1:50.83) by the time he graduated. After he hit the finish line he had no idea whether he had kept his promise but he laid on the ground for several minutes. It was a sweet relief that he had come through because a weak earlier he had faltered and run 1:54.06 and placed fourth at the New York state meet.

After accepting his third-place award, Rhodes jogged over to get his sweats and then found his teammates.

"I told my teammates, 'Listen, usually I'm the one coming through for you guys. Today, you guys have to come through for me because I'm very tired,'" Rhodes said. "And my third leg got me the lead and I was able to hold it."

2012 NBNO Saturday
John Dye/ESPNHSBoys and Girls wins 4x400
Earlier in the day, Sam Mattis of East Brunswick, N.J. successfully defended his title in the discus. He sent three towering throws beyond 200 feet on his fourth, fifth and sixth attempts and won it with 203-2.

"It wasn't perfect but it was a national championship and a good way to end the season," said Mattis, who concluded his senior year ranked No. 1 with 218-4. He had winning throws in excess of 200 feet in five meets this spring.

Carla Forbes of Newtonville, Mass. swept the horizontal jumps, taking the long jump crown with 19-9 to complete an unbeaten spring. Forbes, a junior, won the triple jump on Saturday with 42-9.50.

The other double winner was sophomore Ky Westbrook of Chandler, Ariz., who added the 200 (23.92w) to the 100 title she won Friday.

Kadecia Baird of Brooklyn (Medgar Evers) turned in one of the most impressive performances of the day by winning the 400 in US#1 52.12. But she opted out of the 200 final despite running 23.26 (+3.5w) in the prelims.

Raevyn Rogers, a sophomore from Houston, Texas, hadn't raced since May 4 because of a hamstring injury but she returned to form and ran a surprising US#4 2:05.50 to win the 800 meters. That race also included amazing seventh grader Daesha Rogers from Plantation, Fla., who placed sixth in 2:09.89.

The girls from Ridgewood, N.J., who came to the meet hoping that with two chances they could get at least one podium finish, instead got two national championships. Anchored by freshman, Catherine Pagano, Ridgewood ran US#4 11:50.73 to win the distance medley relay just one day after a stunning win in the 4x800.

Marshfield (Mass.) won the boys DMR with US#1 10:01.32 as anchor leg Joel Hubbard closed his 1,600-meter leg with a 58-second last lap.

Shawn Barber of Kingwood Park, Texas won the pole vault with 16-4 but his real achievement this weekend may have been survival. Barber, his father, and two companions rented an SUV and drove it from their home near Houston and drove it to Bloomington, Ind. so he could compete at U.S. Juniors on Friday (16-4.75 for sixth). As soon as that was over, they packed up and drove to Greensboro for Saturday's competition.

Was the road trip fun?

"It was fun if you like driving," Barber dead-panned. Before the sun was down, he was packed up and on the road again, headed west for Texas and the final leg of a 2,600-mile odyssey.

Other athletes may have dug deeper for their titles at this meet. None were as travel-weary as Barber.

CBA boys savor another championship ring

June, 16, 2012
2012 NBNO 4x800John Dye/ESPNHSCBA gets lead over Westfield and Red Tide

GREENSBORO, N.C. – As he studied his options for a championship keepsake, George Kelly turned in his folding chair and asked Christian Brothers Academy assistant coach Chris Bennett a question:

“When you get a second ring what finger does it go on?” Kelly asked.

Kelly and his CBA teammates were on top of the world Friday night at New Balance Nationals Outdoor after running No. 11 all-time 7:34.67 to win the 4x800 relay. The New Jersey school won the Nike Cross Nationals last December, but there have been some trying times since then.

At NBN Indoor, CBA didn’t perform up to their usual standards.

And at Penn Relays, Kelly took the baton in the distance medley relay with a huge lead but misplayed it and lost to Edward Cheserek of St. Benedict’s. Kelly, who bleeds for his school, was crestfallen that day. He went home feeling blue and soon became sick and missed 10 days of training.

Everything after that was a slow process of building up to what happened Friday – an anchor leg of 1:53.10 – and Kelly’s will to get to the finish line first. Westfield (Va.), the Penn Relays champs and national leaders, improved by more than four seconds but had to settle for second in 7:35.10.

“(Westfield) is an awesome team,” Kelly said. “We weren’t going for (a fast) time. We just wanted to win.”

Kelly has been the face of the CBA franchise this year and the emotion that wears – from elation to despair – have told the story of the program in 2011-12.

How did he bounce back after Penn?

“I did every little thing that I possibly could,” Kelly said. “I made sure I would never let my team down again like I did at Penn. I didn’t want that feeling. I wanted to make sure I gave 110 percent in every single thing. I did it, and it paid off.”

Kevin Olsen, Clark Mangini and Tim Gorman got the baton to Kelly with a chance to earn some redemption. The same ‘A’ group will go after the distance medley title on Saturday.

More hardware for two-mile champs

Wesley Frazier and Cheserek know a thing or two about multiple rings.

Frazier, who lives an hour away in Raleigh, earned the NBNO in a third distance event on Friday, sprinting past Natalie Shields of Utah to win the two-mile in US#1 10:13.43. In 2011, Frazier won the 5,000 and the mile.

This year, the junior from Ravencroft School is tackling four events. She placed third in the 5,000 on Thursday and has the mile and the 1,600-meter leg on her team’s DMR still to come on Saturday.

Frazier said the secret to racing all of those laps is ice. She sits on bags of ice in the car on the way home each night.

“Icing has a lot to do with (success),” Frazier said. She got a lot of sleep, took an ice bath, and was good as new after a somewhat sluggish 5,000 the night before.

“I felt a lot of pressure because of last year and didn’t feel very good in the (5,000),” she said. “I felt tired at the end. I hoped to have a better finish (Friday).”

There were six girls still together at the front with a lap to go. Dana Giordano of Bernardsville, N.J. made a move to the lead with 300 meters left. Shields, of Salt Lake City, was in the lead coming off the final turn.

But Frazier, who ran a state record 4:42.78 mile in New York City last weekend, kicked into overdrive and her speed carried her to the win.

Cheserek will travel home to Kenya on Monday and see his family for the first time since he arrived at St. Benedict’s in the summer of 2010. He could show off a bagful of rings and other awards when he gets there.

The junior had things go haywire earlier in the afternoon during the sprint medley relay but came back to run expertly in the two-mile, which he won in 8:55.12. Cheserek played the right notes, asserting himself at key moments and yet conserving for a decisive kick over the final 120 meters to break away from Thomas Graham (Cary, N.C.).

In the sprint medley relay, Cheserek took the baton for the 800-meter anchor leg in sixth place and worked his way to first. But after losing the lead with less than 300 meters left, someone bumped him and he dropped the baton. He picked it up and finished last.

“If you have a good day or a bad day, I’m OK with that,” Cheserek said. “We can come back next year and get (the sprint medley) again.”

Cheserek ran comfortably in the pack for much of the two-mile and had the spike marks to prove it on both legs.

Already a prep running legend, Cheserek said he would be back at St. Benedict’s in the fall for his senior year and try to defend his Foot Locker championship. He is due to return from Kenya on July 15.

Graham, bound for Stanford in the fall, finished with a strong 8:56.52. He and others said that Cheserek’s 12th place finish in the Dream Mile (and his difficulty in the sprint medley) showed that he was human.

“I didn’t feel like he was as untouchable as I might have after Foot Locker,” Graham said. “We watched the Dream mile and figured he was coming back from an injury or lost some speed sharpness. My whole strategy was to stay on his shoulder and be ready to cover when his move came.”

Cheserek didn't make his move until he was sure his sprint could overtake Graham.

Big anchors lead sprint medley titles

In the girls sprint medley relay, Megan Moye split 2:08.02 to push Cosby (Va.) to its first national championship. (Later in the evening, Moye ran about 2:09 on the team’s seventh place 4x800 team).

“Going into the final stretch I was pumping my arms to get a kick (going),” Moye said. “I was getting a little wobbly. I just kept thinking I’ve got to get the title and make my team proud.”

Cosby finished in 3:55.17, good for No. 16 all-time.

In the boys sprint medley, Allen Eke ran a ferocious anchor leg in 1:49.39 to lift Union Catholic (Scotch Plains, N.J.) to the title in 3:23.15 – No. 15 all-time. Eke overcame Cheserek's bid for the lead, and behind him, Zavon Watkins anchored in 1:48.05 for second-place Liverpool (N.Y.), which finished in 3:23.98.

“It was insane,” Eke said of the win. “I couldn’t believe it. I thought, ‘Did that really happen?’”

In the 100-meter finals, Tevin Hester of Oxford (N.C.) ran 10.50 for the victory and his second national championship. He also won the 60-meter title indoors.

Ky Westbrook of Chandler, Ariz. won the girls race in 11.63, a wind-legal PR. Westbrook has been staying busy since winning state titles in Arizona. She competed in Puerto Rico and at last’s Golden West Invitational in California before coming to North Carolina.

“I was extremely nervous,” she said. “I came here thinking it’d be very good competition.”

Carla Forbes of Hyde Park, Mass. also won her second New Balance title of the year, adding the triple jump crown to the one she earned indoors. Forbes cranked out a winning mark of 42-9.50 on her second attempt that was wind-aided (+4.7). It’s an all-conditions best in the country this spring. Runner-up Marshay Ryan of Chambersburg, Pa. improved to US#3 with her wind-legal 42-2.75.

Junior Jeremiah Green of Tampa, Fla. won the boys triple jump with 50-10.25 – taking the title by two feet.

In the hurdles, Skylar Ross-Ransom from Houston ran 13.59 to win the girls title. Zaza Wellington of Swarthmore, Pa. got a narrow win the boys 110 hurdles in 13.91.

In the multis, Kris Horn from Pembroke, Mass. won the decathlon by almost 650 points, with 6,720. In one of the meet’s new events, the octathlon, Zachary McDermott of Christian Brothers Academy score 5,180 and beat Michael Cummings of Hackensack, N.J. on the second tiebreaker criteria (most points in a single event). The first tiebreaker was also a tie because each of them had won four of the eight events.

In the heptathlon, Aaron Howell of Farmington Hills, Mich. scored 5,071 points to win the championship. Howell said her expectation was to score about 4,500 points, but she surprised herself with a 118-8 in the javelin, an event she’d only practiced a couple of times. She earned PRs in six of seven events, everything except the long jump, normally her best event.
Bernie MontoyaJohn Nepolitan/ESPNHSBernie Montoya (Ieft) leapt into everyone's national radar with his 8:48.25 for second at the Arcadia 3200.
It was 100 degrees in Yuma, Ariz. on Thursday, where Cibola High junior Bernie Montoya was preparing for the Arizona state championships this weekend.

On Friday, he’ll run in the 1,600 and 800 at Mesa Community College. On Saturday, he has a leg on the 4x800 relay, and finally, the 3,200 meters.

This spring, Montoya has emerged as one of the standout members of a junior class of distance runners that includes Edward Cheserek, Jake Leingang, Jacob Burcham and Andrew Gardner.

A month after taking the lead on the last lap and finishing second in the blockbuster Arcadia 3,200 meters, in an Arizona record 8:48.25, Montoya is still coming to grips with his sudden rise to the prep distance ultra-elite.

“Honestly, I never thought I’d be at this level,” he said.

At Arcadia, he went to the starting line unsure whether he could break nine minutes.

“I was just hoping to survive,” Montoya said. “It gives me goose bumps and chills just thinking about (what happened). To challenge Futsum (Zeinasellassie), I didn’t think I’d be a contender for the gold. But with two laps left I thought, ‘I’ve gone this far. No reason to quit now. Why not go for it?’”

Montoya has the U.S. lead in the 3,000 meters, 8:18.81, because he was leading the race when the runners hit that point and timed en route to the finish line.

Since then, he has run 4:07.72 in the 1,600 meters and 1:53.22 in the 800.

In 2011, Montoya made news in Arizona when he won the 1,600 at the state championships despite losing his shoe midway through the race. He ran 4:12.01, crossing the finish line and then limping off the track because of torn skin on the bottom of his foot.

He didn’t race again on the track last spring, though Arizona’s state meet is in mid-May.

“The reality is, we saw it coming,” Cibola coach Kris Norton said of Montoya’s improvement. “His sophomore year, at a dual meet, he ran 9:22 goofing around and smiling. There was no way he couldn’t have run nine flat, but he only had one good chance with Billy Orman. But that state race got tactical. They were running together and came through the mile in 4:50.”

So Norton said he was thinking 8:55 at Arcadia – great, but not the eye-popping 8:48 that broke Orman’s state record.

But the most noticeable change in Montoya might be his physique. He came out of his sophomore year looking like a high school kid. He emerged from Yuma’s furnace of a summer this past September with a physique more typical of a college runner. That led to a fall campaign that included a state title and, eventually, a 12th-place finish at Nike Cross Nationals. But it seems the fruition of that summer work has truly come this spring on the flat, fast ovals of California and Arizona.

“I think it’s just more experience,” Montoya said. “My sophomore year, I was barely entering the sport. With a year of solid summer training and winter training, and resistance training that I’ve done, it defined and toned the body.”

Montoya was already blessed with impeccable running form. With a bigger base, natural maturation and repeated exposure to Yuma’s tough running conditions, he has moved to the forefront.

Over the summer, Montoya trained with Norton and his college-aged son, Ryan, on the flat paths that follow the Colorado River and assorted canals.

They would rise at 4:30 or 5 a.m. to get up and go run 10-12 miles early in the morning when the temperatures were still cool. Norton and three other coaches were in charge of transporting water to them at checkpoints on the route.

“We just need to be careful with training because the heat is really dangerous,” Montoya said. “It could toughen you up a little bit.”

In July, the average daily high temperature in Yuma is 107 degrees; in August, it’s 106 but there is more humidity.

Montoya also has easy access to sand dunes, which he runs in early in the season for a challenging leg-strengthening workout.

“It’s mostly very dry and scorching hot,” he said. “I’ve always been able to manage (the heat). You learn to adapt here. You have to drink a lot of water and stay out of the sun. For training, we find a way around (the challenges) and get our workouts in.”

After this weekend, Montoya will begin to focus on the Dream Mile at the Adidas Grand Prix. Beyond that, the schedule is still up in the air. He has also been invited to the Nike Elite Camp in July.

Norton and Montoya are still getting used to the opportunities that come from being a national caliber elite.

“It’s a little strange,” Norton said. “You’ve been doing the coaching, and doing all the training, and then you get a kid like this. You want to make sure you are doing everything you can for the kid to make sure he fulfills his potential. That’s the main thing, taking little extra steps to challenge a kid at this level.”

Arizona state meet halted by T-storm

May, 10, 2012
The Arizona Interscholastic Association pulled the plug on the Division I and II track and field championships at Mesa Community College on Wednesday when a thunderstorm rolled in and forced athletes, officials and spectators to leave the stadium because of lightning.

The delay came about an hour into a session that likely would have taken about six hours to complete.

Thursday is a day off in the meet schedule, so the competition that was delayed Wednesday will be layered into Friday's program. The state championships for all four of Arizona's divisions conclude on Saturday.

For some athletes, the new compressed schedule will cause a new challenge. Athletes doubling in the distance events will go on back to back days rather than have two days' rest.

It's been an eventful year in Arizona, where juniors Devon Allen of Brophy Prep (Phoenix) and Bernie Montoya of Cibola (Yuma) have emerged as two of the best athletes in the Class of 2013.

Phoenix's newspaper, the Arizona Republic, has followed several high school track and field stories this week:

Glendale Independence missed sending its 22-member squad to state because the coach missed an entry deadline established by the AIA by 15 minutes. Columnist Scott Bordow says blame rests with the coach.

In addition to the Glendale story, Richard Obert also filed this piece on Devon Allen.

A select few have Olympic Trials in sights

May, 7, 2012
Aldrich BaileyBert Richardson/ESPNHSAldrich Bailey, shown here at the Texas Relays, ran a US#1 45.19 400 meters and could test himself against the nation's best at the Olympic Trials in June in Eugene, Ore.

The Olympic Trials, which will decide which U.S. track and field athletes make it to the 2012 London Games, are just six weeks away.

As the high school season moves toward state championships from coast to coast, we have an eye on which preps may crash the party in Eugene and go head to head with professionals and collegians in competition for a spot in the U.S. Olympic team.

Making it to the Olympics as a high school student (or recent graduate) is exceedingly rare in modern track and field. Dwayne Evans made the team in 200 in 1976, shortly after graduating from Arizona’s South Mountain High School. The same year, Johnny "Lam" Jones, a legend from Lampassas High (Texas) made it in the 100 meters and won a gold medal in the 4x100 relay.

No high school male has competed in the Olympic Games in a U.S. uniform since then.

Sisters Sherri and Denean Howard of Kennedy High (Los Angeles) went 1-2 in the 400 meters at the 1980 Olympic Trials, but that year’s U.S. team didn’t get compete in Moscow, Russia because of a boycott. Denean was just 15 at the time, coming out of her sophomore year. (She would go on to make three more Olympic teams).

Before Title IX became law in the 1970s it was common for teenagers to make the U.S. women’s Olympic team. But the advent of college scholarships, plus professional opportunities, has made it exceedingly difficult for a high school athlete to make the team ever again.

However, the very best prep athletes do make it into the Trials on occasion, soaking up the experience of being one step away from their dream. The starts lists usually include 24-32 athletes per event.

Here is a closer look at where some of this year’s top high school athletes stand. Some of these athletes may choose not to do the Trials for scheduling reasons. The U.S. Junior Championships, which is the qualifying meet for World Juniors (and a trip to Barcelona) is just days before the Trials start at Eugene, Oregon's Hayward Field.

Olympic Trials Qualifying Standards

2012 US High School Leaders

Marvin Bracy, Boone (Florida): A report in Monday’s Orlando Sentinel stated that there is hope that Bracy will be able to be at full strength for the Golden South Invitational on May 26. Bracy, who has a wind-legal best of 10.25 seconds (and 10.05 wind-aided), won the Florida state title in the 100 over the weekend, but had to pull out of the 200 with a slight hamstring strain. If he can get back to his best, Bracy should make the cut-off for the Trials. He would be a longshot to make the finals there.

Aldrich Bailey, Timberview (Texas): Based on the sizzling 45.19 he ran a little over a week ago, Bailey is a shoo-in to qualify for the Olympic Trials in the 400 meters. And if he can bring the time down even further, as he has suggested that he will, he could have a realistic chance of advancing beyond the first round. Arman Hall (Florida) and Najee Glass (N.J.) could potentially make it into the Trials, too, but both of them would need to PR and dip below 46 seconds.

Sean Keller, Heritage (Vancouver, Wash.): With the US #2 all-time throw of 244-1 at the end of April, Keller moved into the top 10 nationally (including pros and collegians). His place in the Trials is probably secure, but if he chooses to throw at the U.S Junior Championships the preceding week he may not have a rested arm.

Jacob Blankenship (Ohio), Shawn Barber (Texas), Reese Watson (Texas): During the indoor season, there was a lot of momentum happening for the top boys pole vaulters. But outdoors, not one of them has made 17 feet since April 1. And time is running out. The standard to make the Trials is 18-0.50, which none of them has made yet. However, Barber is eligible to compete for Canada and will likely compete in that nation's trials.

Devin Field (Texas) and Jarrion Lawson (Texas): Field was not allowed to compete this spring in varsity events for DeSoto because of the UIL’s residency issues, but his goal for the spring was 26 feet in the long jump. If he can get close to that number, he could make the Trials field (it takes 25-7 to qualify). Lawson, of Liberty-Eylau, has a wind-aided best of 25-10.75. If he can go big at the Texas state championships (without the wind), then he has a chance of making the cut.

Tyler Sorenson (California): The record-breaking junior racewalker earned a spot in the 20-kilometer even last year as a 17-year-old, making him one of the youngest Trials qualifiers ever for this event.


Haley Crouser, Gresham (Ore.): Only a high school junior, Crouser joined her older brother Sam and cousin Ryan as a national record holder this spring when she threw her javelin 181-2. She is a lock to make it into the Trials (along with Sam and Ryan), but she would need a huge PR in order to make it to London. (The Olympic A standard is 200-1). She has a realistic chance to finish in the top five at the Trials. Avione Allgood (Nev.) has been hoping all spring that her surgically repaired shoulder heals in time to throw at the Trials. She threw 176-8 for fourth at the U.S. Championships last year and competed at the Pan Am Games last fall.

Shelbi Vaughan, Legacy (Mansfield, Texas): She is consistently in the 180s with her discus and hit a best of 191-6 for a new U.S. high school record. That puts her squarely inside the top 10 nationally. On a good day, she could even make the finals at the Olympic Trials. But in 2008, the three who made the U.S. team all threw farther than 205 feet.

Gabrielle Williams, Reed (Sparks, Nev.): Still a little shy of the Trials standard (6-0.50), the U.S. leader has cleared six feet once and has a little more time to make an improvement that could put her into the field. It’s a lot to ask of a high school sophomore.

Shayla Sanders, Boyd H. Anderson (Lauderdale Lakes, Fla.): She has been the dominant high school sprinter this spring in the 100 (11.33) and 200 (23.25), but these are extremely competitive events in the U.S. What will it take for her lineup against the likes of Carmelita Jeter or Allyson Felix? Sanders has met the qualifying standard for the 100, but if a bunch of women run fast at the NCAA championships, it could bump her down the list. If she can improve her time by even a few hundredths, she’d have a good chance of making the field. In 2008, it took 23.12 to make the field in the 200, so that might be out of reach.

Robin Reynolds, Jackson (Miami): The US leader in the 400 (52.19) has the B standard for the Trials, but that’s not a guarantee of making the cut. In 2008, 52.58 was the last accepted entry (out of 27 in the field). Reynolds’ best time would have made the field (22nd). Reynolds also has a long jump best of 20-6.25, about eight inches short of the Trials qualifying mark.

Ajee Wilson, Neptune (N.J.), Mary Cain, Bronxville (N.Y.) and Amy Weissenbach, Harvard-Westlake (Calif.): These are three of the all-time best prep 800-meter runners and all three of them have credentials that could put them into the Trials. In 2008, the slowest woman in the field made it in with 2:04.90. This is becoming a deeper even in the U.S., so it could take something a little faster this time. Wilson ran 2:02.64 last July and has a best so far this spring of 2:05.28. Cain, who is only a sophomore, is coming on strong and has a best of 2:05.90, but split 2:03.7 on a relay last year. She is also very close to the Trials B standard in the 1,500 (4:17.00). Weissenbach, the California state champion, has a PR of 2:02.04, although she has not run a fast one yet this spring.

Trinity Wilson, St. Mary’s College (Calif.), Dior Hall, George Washington (Colo.), Traci Hicks, Long Beach Poly (Calif.): In 2008, Jacqueline Coward (Tenn.) was a prep elite who made the field, qualifying with her best time of 13.20. At the Trials, she ran 13.69 and was last in her prelim, demonstrating how massive the leap is to this level of competition. Wilson ran 13.41 on April 7, but also suffered a hairline fracture of her big toe and hasn’t competed since. If she can return in time to compete in the California state meet, and get back to her PR of 13.15, she could land in the Trials. Hall, a sophomore, is the indoor national champion and has a PR of 13.18 from last year. Hicks has a wind-aided best of 13.22 and could also be on the bubble for a berth. (In 2008, it took 13.24 to make it into the meet).

Brianna Nerud, North Shore (Glen Head, N.Y.): The senior has run a couple of 3,000-meter steeplechase races in order to see if she can make the Trials B standard of 10:15, but has a best so far of 10:24.95. It would take a startling improvement in order to make the field. In 2008, it took 10:09 to make it and this year will probably take something a few seconds faster.

Cayla Hatton, Phillips Academy (Andover, Mass.): She ran an eye-popping 10,000 meters time of 33:17.28 at a low-key college meet – second-fastest in U.S. high school history. At the time, it seemed like she might be a lock for the Trials. Now, it appears that time won’t make the cut. In 2008, 33:24.10 secured the last spot in the field. This time around, it is much more competitive thanks to a couple of fast races this spring at Stanford (April 6 and 27). Twenty-nine women broke 33 minutes in those two races.

Kendell Williams, Kell (Marietta, Ga.): Has she gotten well-rounded enough to score 5,600 points in the heptathlon? That’s what it takes to make it into the Trials (at a minimum), and last year as a sophomore Williams was an age-group record-breaker with 5,170. Williams can compete with the best in the hurdles, high jump and long jump. She was reportedly working on her throws with the Throw1Deep Club in Georgia and that was a smart move. If her shot put and javelin are consistently superior to where they were a year ago, 5,600 is within her range.

Futsum makes his choice: Northern Arizona

April, 12, 2012
Futsum ZeinasellassieJohn Nepolitan/ESPNHSFutsum Zeinasellassie, reacting after winning the Arcadia 3,200, has picked Northern Arizona to continue his education and running career.

INDIANAPOLIS -- 2011 Nike Cross Nationals champ and two-time Foot Locker Finals runner-up Futsum Zeinasellassie has finally made his college choice – just a couple of days after the best performance of his career on the track.

The North Central (Indianapolis) senior has committed to Northern Arizona, according to his coach Rick Stover in a report published by Indystar.com. At Arcadia Saturday, Zeinasellassie had said he was weighing the pros and cons of five schools he has visited: Indiana, Purdue, Butler, Northern Arizona and Oklahoma State. Bahlbi Gebreyohanns, his older brother, runs at Northern Arizona as well.

Zeinasellassie has won six state titles in Indiana (three cross country and three 3,200) going into this spring. His winning 8:47.75 at Arcadia was an all-time Indiana best. He also won the Gatorade National Cross Country Boys Runner of the Year award last fall.

Splits tell tale of epic Arcadia 3,200

April, 11, 2012
Craig NowakJohn Nepolitan/ESPNHSCraig Nowak (1446) was in the middle of the action during the Arcadia 3,200, mustering up the best kick of anyone for third in 8:49.12, second best in Texas history.

Four laps into the 3,200 meters at the Arcadia Invitational, Craig Nowak had a sinking feeling over what he saw on the clock: 4:33. He and the other runners at Arcadia’s signature event needed to pick up the pace if they wanted to dip under nine minutes.

“I was extremely nervous,” the senior from Cypress Woods (Texas) said. “I knew I was I great shape and I’d heard all the great things about the race at Arcadia. I was thinking ‘I can’t come all this way and not break nine.’”

Collectively, 31 runners went through the midpoint of the eight-lap race between 4:31 and 4:36. Twenty-three of them ran the second half of the race faster than the first. Winner Futsum Zeinasellassie of North Central (Indianapolis) ran 4:33.37 for the first half and 4:14.38 for the second, according to FAT split data compiled by EPI Sports.

And no one closed as hard as Nowak, who ran 27.25 seconds for his final 200 and 56.33 for his final 400.

“I was more excited than any race I’ve ever been in,” he said. “When I saw 7:52 on the clock with one lap to go, I thought if I ran like 63 I’d get my goal time.”

Nowak finished third – behind Zeinasellassie and Cibola (Arizona) junior Bernie Montoya – in 8:49.12. That’s the second-fastest 3,200 time ever by a Texas runner.

And in the wave of runners over the finish line ahead there were a total of six new state records: Indiana (Zeinasellassie), Arizona (Montoya 8:48.25), North Dakota (Jake Leingang 8:51.23), Montana (Zach Perrin 8:55.24), Idaho (Dallin Farnsworth 8:55.28) and Delaware (Sam Parsons 9:00.61).

The pace probably came off perfectly. Zeinasellassie ensured a fast first lap when he bolted out to a 64.77. Then, the entire field slowed down on Lap 2 to 72-73. The third lap picked up to 67-68 for most of the field and the fourth lap was slightly faster.

Jonah Diaz of Palos Verdes (Calif.) was in the lead at the midpoint (4:31.72). And Tony Smorgawiecz of Rapid City Central (S.D). edged into the lead on the fifth and sixth laps as the pace improved a bit more.

“It was a big group, but Jonah picked it up and so did Tony,” Nowak said. “They set up the middle of the race.”

Montoya asserted himself with a seventh lap in 61.54 and Zeinsellassie, back in the lead, ran 61.91. Montoya’s burst propelled him into the lead on the back stretch and he was the first to 3,000 meters (8:18.81), a half-second up on Zeinasellassie and three seconds ahead of Nowak.

Zeinasellassie caught Montoya with about 75 meters left and won it in 8:47.75 for an Indiana record. Montoya (previous PR: 9:22) was next in 8:48.25 for an Arizona record. And on it went.

Nowak feels he could have been in the hunt if he’d gone with the leaders from 600 out, instead of try to reel them back in from 400. It’s a recurring theme for him, because he has finished with similar late flourishes as Nike Cross Nationals and the Brooks PR Invite mile.

But three days later, the afterglow had not worn off.

“It’s boosted my confidence tremendously, in a big way,” Nowak said.

Futsum on college, Cheserek

Zeinasellassie is the one of the top recruits nationally who has not yet made a decision on which scholarship offer to accept.

He said Saturday that he is still weighing the pros and cons of the five schools he has visited: Indiana, Purdue, Butler, Northern Arizona and Oklahoma State. The first three schools are all close to home, in Indiana, and the fourth is where his older brother, Bahlbi Gebreyohanns, runs.

UPDATE (4/12): Zeinasellassie has chosen Northern Arizona, according to the Indianapolis Star.

Zeinasellassie also commented on the absence of Foot Locker champion Edward Cheserek from Arcadia’s 3,200.

“I wish he was in this race, but he would have been 10 seconds or 20 seconds ahead of me,” Zeinasellassie said. “He’s having a great track season, so good luck to him the rest of the season.”

Event 34 Men 3200 Meter Run Invitational (FinishLynx Image)
Name Year School Finals
1 Futsum Zienasellassie 12 Ind. N Cen (In) 8:47.75
64.77 (64.77),2:17.44 (72.67),3:25.83 (68.40),4:33.37 (67.54),5:39.89 (66.53),6:48.75 (68.86),7:50.65 (61.91),3K-8:19.38 (28.73),8:47.75 (28.38)
2 Bernie Montoya 11 Cibola (Az) 8:48.25
67.40 (67.40),2:20.73 (73.33),3:27.77 (67.05),4:35.33 (67.57),5:40.99 (65.66),6:49.33 (68.35),7:50.86 (61.54),3K-8:18.81 (27.95),8:48.25 (29.44)
3 Craig Nowak 12 Houston CyprW(TX 8:49.12
64.85 (64.85),2:17.68 (72.83),3:25.95 (68.28),4:33.04 (67.09),5:39.87 (66.83),6:48.47 (68.61),7:52.80 (64.33),3K-8:21.87 (29.08),8:49.12 (27.25)
4 Jake Leingang 11 Bismarck(ND) 8:51.23
65.83 (65.83),2:19.44 (73.61),3:26.49 (67.06),4:33.91 (67.43),5:40.67 (66.76),6:48.84 (68.18),7:52.66 (63.83),3K-8:22.15 (29.50),8:51.23 (29.08)
5 Michael Clevenger 12 MacArthurGen(IL) 8:54.12
67.14 (67.14),2:19.54 (72.40),3:27.31 (67.78),4:34.49 (67.19),5:41.26 (66.77),6:49.60 (68.34),7:54.97 (65.38),3K-8:25.45 (30.49),8:54.12 (28.67)
6 Darren Fahy 12 La Costa Cnyn/SD 8:54.51
66.94 (66.94),2:18.10 (71.16),3:26.25 (68.16),4:33.86 (67.61),5:40.46 (66.61),6:49.52 (69.06),7:55.12 (65.61),3K-8:26.48 (31.36),8:54.51 (28.04)
7 Blake Haney 10 Stockdale /ce 8:54.65
66.03 (66.03),2:18.69 (72.67),3:26.70 (68.01),4:33.42 (66.73),5:40.32 (66.90),6:49.28 (68.96),7:55.46 (66.19),3K-8:25.61 (30.15),8:54.65 (29.05)
8 Zach Perrin 11 Flathead (Mt) 8:55.24
65.69 (65.69),2:19.07 (73.39),3:26.19 (67.12),4:33.69 (67.50),5:40.19 (66.51),6:49.16 (68.97),7:53.94 (64.78),3K-8:23.90 (29.97),8:55.24 (31.34)
9 Dallin Farnsworth 12 Highland (Id) 8:55.28
65.46 (65.46),2:18.13 (72.67),3:25.90 (67.77),4:32.89 (67.00),5:40.03 (67.14),6:49.30 (69.28),7:54.61 (65.31),3K-8:26.06 (31.45),8:55.28 (29.23)
10 Craig Engels 12 Ronald Reagan(NC 8:55.51
66.11 (66.11),2:18.83 (72.72),3:26.75 (67.92),4:33.95 (67.21),5:40.97 (67.02),6:48.95 (67.99),7:52.92 (63.97),3K-8:24.16 (31.25),8:55.51 (31.35)
11 Leland Later 12 New Trier (Il) 8:55.61
66.08 (66.08),2:18.52 (72.45),3:26.82 (68.30),4:34.68 (67.87),5:41.40 (66.72),6:49.55 (68.15),7:55.45 (65.91),3K-8:26.17 (30.73),8:55.61 (29.44)
12 Jack Keelan 11 St.Ignatius (Il) 8:55.86
66.43 (66.43),2:20.38 (73.95),3:27.96 (67.59),4:35.13 (67.18),5:41.68 (66.55),6:49.76 (68.09),7:55.69 (65.93),3K-8:26.45 (30.77),8:55.86 (29.41)
13 Thomas Graham 12 Cary Acad (Nc) 8:56.21
66.54 (66.54),2:19.20 (72.66),3:26.61 (67.42),4:33.90 (67.29),5:40.53 (66.63),6:49.11 (68.59),7:53.27 (64.16),3K-8:24.76 (31.50),8:56.21 (31.45)
14 Tony Smoragiewicz 12 Rapid City C (Sd 8:57.10
65.64 (65.64),2:18.18 (72.54),3:25.75 (67.57),4:32.64 (66.90),5:39.59 (66.95),6:48.24 (68.65),7:53.14 (64.90),3K-8:24.52 (31.38),8:57.10 (32.58)
15 Jacob Thomson 11 Holy Cross (Ky) 8:58.12
66.89 (66.89),2:18.93 (72.04),3:27.18 (68.26),4:34.99 (67.81),5:43.11 (68.12),6:50.37 (67.27),7:58.10 (67.73),3K-8:29.04 (30.95),8:58.12 (29.09)
16 Brock Baker 11 Oakland (Tn) 8:58.51
67.04 (67.04),2:19.94 (72.91),3:26.97 (67.03),4:34.13 (67.17),5:40.76 (66.63),6:48.96 (68.20),7:53.05 (64.10),3K-8:24.05 (31.00),8:58.51 (34.47)
17 Billy Gaudreau 12 St. Margarets/SS 9:00.24
66.69 (66.69),2:18.80 (72.12),3:27.23 (68.43),4:35.44 (68.22),5:43.24 (67.81),6:51.98 (68.74),7:59.42 (67.44),3K-8:30.67 (31.26),9:00.24 (29.58)
18 Sam Parsons 12 Tatnall (De) 9:00.61
66.34 (66.34),2:20.07 (73.73),3:27.17 (67.11),4:34.53 (67.36),5:41.58 (67.05),6:49.83 (68.25),7:55.83 (66.01),3K-8:28.20 (32.38),9:00.61 (32.42)
19 Korey Krotzer 12 Auburn Riv (Wa) 9:01.11
65.56 (65.56),2:18.77 (73.21),3:27.03 (68.26),4:34.89 (67.87),5:40.75 (65.86),6:49.69 (68.95),7:57.08 (67.39),3K-8:29.12 (32.04),9:01.11 (32.00)
20 Jonah Diaz 12 Palos Verdes /ss 9:01.42
67.01 (67.01),2:18.40 (71.39),3:25.33 (66.93),4:31.72 (66.40),5:39.41 (67.69),6:48.57 (69.17),7:54.96 (66.39),3K-8:27.33 (32.38),9:01.42 (34.09)
21 Tyler Yunk 11 Belvidere N (Il) 9:03.09
66.88 (66.88),2:20.29 (73.42),3:27.62 (67.34),4:34.23 (66.62),5:41.78 (67.55),6:50.70 (68.92),7:59.22 (68.53),3K-8:32.52 (33.30),9:03.09 (30.58)
22 Thomas Joyce 12 Campolindo /nc 9:03.23
66.82 (66.82),2:20.06 (73.24),3:27.43 (67.38),4:35.58 (68.16),5:42.75 (67.17),6:51.68 (68.94),8:00.34 (68.66),3K-8:32.69 (32.35),9:03.23 (30.55)
23 Drew White 12 Festus (Mo) 9:04.08
66.39 (66.39),2:19.06 (72.67),3:26.58 (67.52),4:34.41 (67.83),5:41.95 (67.55),6:50.90 (68.96),7:58.24 (67.34),3K-8:31.27 (33.04),9:04.08 (32.81)
24 Bryan Guijarro 12 Knight /ss 9:07.42
65.04 (65.04),2:17.93 (72.90),3:25.98 (68.05),4:33.14 (67.17),5:40.08 (66.95),6:48.90 (68.82),7:56.41 (67.51),3K-8:30.89 (34.49),9:07.42 (36.54)
25 Cameron Miller 12 Stockdale /ce 9:08.08
65.94 (65.94),2:17.08 (71.14),3:25.10 (68.02),4:33.64 (68.55),5:41.42 (67.79),6:50.46 (69.04),7:59.76 (69.30),3K-8:33.89 (34.14),9:08.08 (34.19)
26 Sam Roberson 12 Needham Br (Nc) 9:08.58
66.64 (66.64),2:20.50 (73.86),3:26.92 (66.42),4:34.15 (67.23),5:41.02 (66.87),6:49.18 (68.17),7:56.47 (67.29),3K-8:31.26 (34.80),9:08.58 (37.32)
27 Keifer Johnson 12 ThunderRidge(CO) 9:11.01
66.61 (66.61),2:20.02 (73.41),3:27.41 (67.40),4:35.07 (67.67),5:42.16 (67.09),6:51.23 (69.08),8:02.70 (71.47),3K-8:37.51 (34.82),9:11.01 (33.50)
28 Kevin Bishop 12 Monta Vista /cc 9:13.24
66.27 (66.27),2:18.49 (72.22),3:26.30 (67.82),4:34.22 (67.92),5:41.84 (67.62),6:51.01 (69.18),8:02.96 (71.95),3K-8:37.88 (34.93),9:13.24 (35.36)
29 Gil Walton 12 McCallie (Tn) 9:18.11
66.63 (66.63),2:19.34 (72.72),3:27.70 (68.36),4:35.23 (67.54),5:43.82 (68.59),6:55.24 (71.43),8:09.07 (73.83),3K-8:43.85 (34.78),9:18.11 (34.26)
30 Troy Fraley 11 Glacier (Mt) 9:26.78
65.95 (65.95),2:19.38 (73.43),3:26.51 (67.14),4:34.86 (68.35),5:43.63 (68.78),6:58.27 (74.64),8:13.73 (75.47),3K-8:50.56 (36.83),9:26.78 (36.23)
DNF Anthony Armstrong 12 Kamiakin (Wa)
65.30 (65.30),2:19.80 (74.50),3:27.76 (67.97),4:36.28 (68.53),5:46.04 (69.76),7:01.58 (75.55),8:20.70 (79.12)

Devon Allen shines brightest at Arcadia

April, 8, 2012
Arcadia Allen Brophy John Nepolitan/ESPNHSDevon Allen stretches for the finish line at the end of the 200 meters on Saturday at the Arcadia Invitational.

ARCADIA, Calif. – The maximum number of events an athlete can enter at the Arcadia Invitational is four.

No one apparently told Devon Allen, because he won five times over two days at the country's biggest in-season high school track meet. And if he happened to step into a sixth or seventh event, he might have won those too.

The junior from Brophy Prep (Phoenix) was unstoppable over two days at Arcadia, earning four gold medals Saturday on top of the one he picked up Friday. Allen ran the second leg on Brophy Prep’s winning 4x100 relay team (41.15), swept the hurdles races (13.52 in the 110s, 36.39 in the 300s), and also beat an elite field in the 200 (21.10).

The hurdles performances were both Arizona all-time records. On Friday, Allen had anchored the shuttle hurdles relay – crashing on the final barrier and then getting back to his feet to complete his team’s win.

Allen was named the outstanding boys performer of the meet, although his victory in his fifth event (the 200) may be vacated from the meet records because of the four-event limit.

“I came here feeling pretty confident about the hurdles and I thought our 4-by-1 team could win if we had good hand-offs,” Allen said. “In the 200 I just wanted to run fast.”

He is the first male athlete to win three individual events at Arcadia since Xavier Carter (2003).

Records bonanza in 3,200

More history was made in the meet’s signature event, the boys 3,200, where 16 runners charged across the finish line in less than nine minutes and six state records were broken.

Over a dramatic final lap, unheralded Bernie Montoya kicked into high gear and rocketed past Futsum Zeinasellassie with about 280 to go.

The Nike Cross National champ was momentarily stunned to see Montoya cruise past him and gathered himself to make a final attempt at the win. Zeinasellassie caught Montoya with 80 meters left and pulled clear, taking the win in 8:47.75.

It turns out Zeinasellassie and Montoya connected at NXN in Portland. They met at breakfast and then warmed up and cooled down together after the cross country championship, which Zeinasellassie won (Montoya was 12th).

“I just got this adrenaline rush,” said Montoya, who PR’d by 34 seconds. “Me and Futsum are good friends. I was so excited to get past him and maybe win this, but he got me in the end.”

Said Zeinasellassie: “When he went by me I couldn’t believe it. I was like, ‘Is that (Montoya) or somebody else?’ I couldn’t respond to that (surge). I had to hope he would die a little bit in the last 100.”

State records tumbled in Indiana (Zeinasellassie), Arizona (Montoya 8:48.25), North Dakota (Jake Leingang 8:51.23), Montana (Zach Perrin 8:55.24), Idaho (Dallin Farnsworth 8:55.28) and Delaware (Sam Parsons 9:00.61). Zeinasellassie took down a Rudy Chapa equivalent two-mile record from the mid-1970s to set a new mark in the Hoosier state.

Forty-six boys broke 9:20 in the invitational and seeded sections of the event, including sophomore Blake Haney of Stockdale, Calif., who was seventh in the invitational race in 8:54.65, and freshman Elijah Armstrong of Pocatello, Idaho, who was third in the seeded race in 9:04.78.

Baxter repeats as girls 3,200 champ

Simi Valley sophomore Sarah Baxter led wire-to-wire to defend her Arcadia title in the girls 3,200, pulling away from Marina’s Laura Hollander in the final 300 meters to win in 10:08.02. She earned the girls’ athlete of the meet award.

Baxter ran a 4:52 anchor leg for Simi Valley in a second-place finish in Friday’s 4x1600 relay.

On Saturday, Baxter, Hollander and North Central (Spokane, Wash.) junior Katie Knight pulled away from the field by the start of the third lap. Those three were together for laps 3-4-5-6 before Knight fell off the pace.

Hollander, from Huntington Beach, Calif., has shaved more than a minute off her PR in the past year.

In the girls mile, Amy-Eloise Neale of Glacier Peak (Snohomish, Wash.) won her second straight title by running 4:51.43. Neale went through the first 400 in 72 seconds and staked a 10-meter lead on the field. On the second and third laps, fellow Washingtonian Maddie Meyers, the 2010 champ, moved up to challenge Neale, but then fell back again. Less than an hour later, Neale returned to the track and ran the 800, kicking too late to challenge winner Savannah Camacho of Templeton (Calif.), who won in 2:07.61. Neale was second in 2:10.00.

Illinois duo Aaliyah Brown and Shamier Little dominated the girls individual sprints. Brown won the 100 easily (11.48) and outleaned Long Beach Poly’s Arianna Washington to win a close 200 (23.96 to 23.97).

“It feels really good to run some good times. I’ve been trying to bust a 23 for over two years now,” Brown said.

Little, of Lindblom (Chicago), won the 400 in 53.79 and was also fifth (100) and third (300) in the hurdles races.

While Long Beach Poly’s Traci Hicks sped off with the 100 hurdles title (13.63), the 300 hurdles came down to a dramatic finish. Jordie Munford of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. and Jaide Stepter of Canyon del Oro (Tucson, Ariz.) were running side by side approaching the final hurdle when both of them lost the rhythm of their steps.

Munford reached out her hands and pushed over the final barrier and still managed to break the tape in 41.93, ahead of Stepter, who stutter-stepped before clearing the final hurdle and crossing in 42.22. Munford was disqualified, moving Stepter to first place.

Raymond Bozmans from Fort Collins, Colo. backed up his stunning early season results with a blistering 10.41-second clocking in the 100 meters. Then he returned in the 200 and finished in a near-tie with Allen.

In the 400, Champ Page of Henry Wise (Md.) ran 47.31 to beat Arnold Carrillo of McQueen (Nev.), who finished in 47.43 and Rashard Clark of Dorsey (Calif.), who posted 47.54.

Canadian Tyler Smith kept finding extra gears on the final lap of the 800, pulling away and winning the title in 1:49.23. It’s his third big 800 win in the U.S., coming on the heels of indoor wins at the Simplot Games and Brooks PR Invite.

In the mile, Brad Nye from Davis (Kaysville, Utah) replayed his victory from New Balance Nationals Indoor, summoning a kick at 300 that drove him into the lead. He held off Marcus Dickson of White River (Buckley, Wash.) to win the race in 4:08.80. Dickson, who will be his teammate at BYU, was next in 4:09.41.

Cochran PRs in the discus

Ethan Cochran of Newport Harbor, Calif. improved to 209-8 to win the discus, a mark that ranks fifth in Arcadia Invitational history and ranks US#1 this season.

“It’s exciting,” Cochran said of the early season success. “I can’t wait until the end of the year to see how it all comes together.”

Cochran is specifically targeting 213-11, which is the California state record. He also won the shot put with a best of 62-10.

Klyvens Delaunay of Claremont (Calif.) swept the horizontal jumps with wind-legal marks of 23-11.50 and 49-4.25.

Peter Chapman of Murrieta Valley (Calif.) cleared 16-6.50 to win the pole vault.

Sophomore Gabrielle Williams from Reed (Nev.), the U.S. leader in the high jump, won the event with a clearance at 5-10. Another talented Nevada sophomore, Ashlie Blake of Liberty (Las Vegas) won the shot put (49-10.5) and discus (152-5).

Freshman Margaux Jones of Redlands (Calif.) jumped 19 feet even to win the long jump, while Rachel Toliver from St. Mary’s Academy (Calif.) soared 40-3.75 to win the triple jump.

McKenzie Johnson of Clairmont (Calif.) won the pole vault at 12-7.50.

Vista Murrieta boys win DMR

The quartet of Tyler Dain, Kevin Gonzalez, Omar Solis and Porter Reddish pieced together a US#1 time of 10:08.52 to win the distance medley relay, with Reddish outkicking Centennial (Nev.) star Nick Hartle to take the win. Centennial was next in US#2 10:08.96. Those were the sixth and seventh fastest performances in meet history.

The girls distance medley also held some drama, but for a different reason. Big favorite Harvard-Westlake got a gutsy 800-meter leg from Elle Wilson, but fumbled the baton on the exchange to anchor Cami Chapus.

Two teams went flying by but Chapus reached down to grab the baton and then tore after the leaders. She dueled for three laps with Redondo Union’s Lyndsey Mull but then put her away on the final lap, bringing it home in 11:45.18. Amy Weissenbach led off with a 3:30.66 split for the 1,200.

It was a rough day for the sprinters from Wakefield (N.C.). The national indoor champions dropped the baton on the final exchange in the girls 4x100 relay. Later, Olicia Sharp pulled up with an apparent injury in the invitational 200 meters. Wakefield then withdrew from the 4x400 relay.

California schools closed the meet with victories in the 4x400. Serra anchor Chimere Ezumah tracked down St. Mary’s from behind and pulled into the lead in the last 120 meters to bring home victory in 3:47.18.

“I didn’t know if I could get her but I was like ‘I think I got a little bit left. I think I can pull it off,’” Ezumah said.

Long Beach Poly’s boys pulled out the win in the 4x400 in 3:18.55.

Team is the thing on first night at Arcadia

April, 7, 2012
Arcadia 2012 LawsonJohn Nepolitan/ESPNHSGiven a big lead by her teammates, Kelly Lawson handles the anchor duty for La Costa Canyon (San Diego) in the 4x1600 relay on Friday at the Arcadia Invitational.

ARCADIA, Calif. – On a night that celebrated the overwhelming depth of talent of track programs in Southern California and several points beyond, capable teammates were as valuable as superstars at the Arcadia Invitational.

Athletes such as Tori Myers, Imani Cook-Gist, Kelly Lawson and the members of Loyola’s boys 4x1600 relay did things that spoke volumes about trusting one another, strength-in-numbers and good coaching.

Myers is a senior at Long Beach Poly, possibly America’s most prolific assembly line of top-flight high school sprinters and hurdlers. Within the span of an hour, she helped her team move to No. 2 all-time in the shuttle hurdle relay (58.11 seconds) and also led off a 2012 US#1 in the 800-meter sprint medley relay (1:44.37).

“I worked hard for four years and stayed committed to track,” Myers said.

She is a cog in the Long Beach Poly machine, but the work to move up the chain to the varsity group is paying off.

“I’m excited today,” she said. “I think it’s a really special year for everybody (in the program).”

Cook-Gist and fellow freshman Shea Copeland made favorable impressions on Harvard-Westlake stars Amy Weissenbach and Cami Chapus, teaming up with them to break the meet record in the 1,600-meter medley relay.

Cook-Gist arrived in Los Angeles earlier Friday morning after a long flight home from Tahiti, where she had spent Spring Break studying marine biology.

“We knew the atmosphere (at Arcadia) would bring it out of the freshmen,” said Chapus, who anchored the 800-meter leg in 2:09.9.

Watching Cook-Gist, and then Copeland, bring the baton around with 25.5 and 25.6 splits, was a welcome sight for the veterans.

“I was jumping around, it was so exciting,” said Weissenbach, who split 55.1 for 400.

In the girls 4x1600 meters, Lawson of La Costa Canyon (San Diego) had a 60-meter lead when she took the baton for the anchor leg but knew she needed every bit of that cushion to stay in front of Simi Valley sophomore Sarah Baxter and Campolindo senior Carrie Verdon, two of the nation’s best distance runners.

Lawson didn’t let her teammates down, turning a 4:57.7 leg and not yielding an inch on the final lap to Baxter, who trimmed 60 meters to 25 in the first three circuits.

“I was nervous but I’m really confident in my team,” Lawson said. “I had faith in them and they pulled through.”

La Costa Canyon arranged its lineup with the intent of being first, with as wide a margin as possible, in order to overcome Baxter, Verdon and the other anchors. Emma Abrahamson, the school’s top runner, went first.

But it was Lawson, out there by herself and knowing that she had a target on her back, who ran the fastest for the team, turning in a 4:57.7 carry. (Baxter closed for Simi Valley in 4:52.0).

“I need to have a lead,” Lawson said. “We were coming in here just to see how it goes. When I got the baton my mentality was, ‘We can do this.’”

La Costa Canyon finished in 20:23.88.

Loyola got four consistent efforts – ranging from 4:15 to 4:20 – to hold off its rivals and break the meet record in the 4x1600 relay, clocking 17:12.23. Right behind them, Trabuco Hills also went under the previous record with 17:12.60.

A year ago, Loyola leaned heavily on its big gun, Elias Gedyon, to win this race at Arcadia. This time, Loyola was stronger one-through-four and broke the school record by 12 seconds.

“We knew we had the talent,” Loyola’s Andrew Verdin said. “Last week we had four guys go sub-4:20.”

On Friday, they pieced it all together.

“We brought four to the table and all clicked at the same time. That’s why the record went down,” Charles Marquardt said.

The evening session began with US#1s in the boys and girls 4x800s.

Redondo Union’s girls ran 9:05.86 for the fifth-fastest performance in meet history. Lyndsey Mull anchored the win by running 2:15.8 and helped her team win by nearly seven seconds.

Centennial (Nevada) got the stick to anchor Nick Hartle about 20 meters behind Bishop O’Dowd but the UCLA-bound senior split 1:50.6 and moved to the lead with 300 meters left. Centennial finished in 7:44.00 – third-fastest in meet history.

“I felt I could catch him if I just stayed strong,” Hartle said. “(My teammates) ran great. They knew they had to run strong. I told them they were going to have to run fast, run PRs, and I’m pretty sure they did that.”

Wakefield (North Carolina) put on another dazzling display of team excellence. The New Balance Nationals Indoor champions began their outdoor campaign by winning the 4x200 title in 1:35.98. That’s second-fastest in meet history, trailing only the 2004 Long Beach Poly team.

Anchor Ariah Graham was one of the night’s brightest stars and she gladly explained the success as a team effort.

“One thing we bank on is our team,” she said. “Everything we do, from stretching, counting, running, warming up, it’s all team. There’s nothing individual there. We motivate each other and run.”

Arcadia veterans take the lead in multis

April, 5, 2012
Arcadia Invitational Page | Arcadia Multis

Grant Zebold and Tori Usgaard have a couple of things in common.

They both finished eighth in their respective multi competitions last year at Arcadia, and on Thursday they both sprung out to the lead.

Zebold, a junior from Cathedral Catholic (San Diego), scored 3,365 points to open up a 234 point lead after the first five events of the decathlon at Arcadia High School. That's 229 points ahead of where he was at this point last year.

His biggest gain was in the 400, where he ran 51.02 to lead all 12 competitors. That was a 108-point improvement from 2011, when Zebold ran 53.51. He also posted the best time in the 100 meters, clocking 11.08.

Brendan Weaver of Palos Verdes (Palos Verdes Estates, Calif.) is second with 3,131 points and Keith Messinger of Dana Hills (Dana Point, Calif.) is third with 3,086.

In the girls heptathlon, Usgaard has 2,707 points and a 42-point lead over Alyssa Thompson.

Usgaard, from Dana Hills, staked her lead on first-place peformances in the 100 hurdles (15.17) and high jump (5-5). She is 300 points ahead of where she was after four events last year, the biggest improvement coming from a 151-point bump in the high jump.

Thompson, a junior from Salpointe Catholic (Tucson, Ariz.), closed the day with the fastest 200 meters (25.51).

Shaina Burns, a sophomore from Lakeville South (Lakeville, Minn.) is third with 2,633 points and freshman Lauren McCluskey of Pullman (Pullman, Wash.) is fourth with 2,578.

The multis competition concludes Friday.

ACL injury sidelines Jasmine Todd

April, 5, 2012
Jasmine Todd of Chandler, Ariz., one of the nation’s top sprinters and jumpers, tore a knee ligament last week and will miss the remainder of the outdoor track and field season.

Todd had planned to be at the Arcadia Invitational this week with her Chandler teammates.

The University of Oregon-bound senior was off to a great start in 2012. She placed second in the long jump at New Balance Nationals Indoor (19-11.50) and owned the US#2 mark outdoors, 20-1.50, set at the Chandler Invitational on March 24. She also ranks US#3 in the triple jump (39-1.75) and US#5 in the 100 meters (11.76).

Chandler High School’s athletics office release this statement Thursday morning:

“Chandler High School regrets to inform you that an MRI has confirmed that Jasmine Todd has torn her ACL during practice last week. Todd, one of the nation’s top 100 meter sprinters, long and triple jumper, injured her knee practicing the triple jump. The University of Oregon has been notified.”

Todd is a seven-time Arizona state champion and the state record holder in the triple jump (41-5).
Coverage of the 2012 USATF XC Championships
Forest Park, St. Louis MO

LINKS: Meet Home Page | Junior Entries
Runnerspace.com Webcast
Scroll down for schedule

  • St. Mary's WV jr Maggie Drazba, the WV state champ and 13th at FL South, was the top prep in either junior race, taking 2nd with 21:07.7 for the Junior Women's 6k. DyeStat alum (8th in 2010 Foot Locker Finals) Shannon Osika, a U of Michigan frosh, won overall in 21:04.3. La Costa Canyon CA soph Emma Abrahamson was 7th (21:37), Xavier Prep AZ jr Sarah Fakler 11th (22:00), and Eureka MO frosh Hannah Long 14th (22:07).
  • In the Junior Men's race, La Costa Canyon CA sr Darren Fahy was the top prep, finishing 7th in 25:09.2 for 8k, just out of the money for NACAC team. Former Indiana prep Jacy Lowry (now a Syracuse frosh) won in 24:54.3. Hebron TX senior teammates Kevyn Hoyos (25:27) and Robert Domanic (25:35) were 11th and 13th, topping fellow Texan and Cypress Woods sr Craig Nowak's 16th (25:49).
  • Phillips Andover Acad. MA sr Cayla Hatton, who was 2nd last weekend in the NB Indoor GP girls mile, ran a very strong 13th in the Open (senior) Women's race with 28:26.6 for 8k. Sara Bei topped Molly Huddle in a battle of DyeStat alums for the win, both clocking 26:50.1.

PREVIEW: Fahy, Tinkey lead prep entries

By Bob Geiger and SteveU

The year 2012 is a very unusual one in international cross country: For the first time, since the meet was inaugurated back in 1973 (previously ICCU Championships since 1903), there will be no IAAF World Cross Country Championships. The sport’s international governing body made the decision in 2009 to go to an every-other-year format beginning with 2011, so the only Team USA berths on the line are for the NACAC Cross Country Championships, a continental meet taking place March 17, 2012, at Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. Hence, there’s less incentive for preps (or collegians or elites) to travel to St. Louis in the middle of February to battle over hill and dale in the Junior or Senior races.

Still, a hardy handful of top high schoolers from last fall’s harrier wars will take part in the Junior event, as well as some “DyeStat Alums,” and there will be some storylines worth following.

Junior Men’s 8K Race: Fahy’s chance at redemption

If there’s one prep to watch with an eagle eye Saturday, it’s Darren Fahy. The LaCosta Canyon (Carlsbad, Calif.) senior was ranked in the top 3-4 in the country much of the year as he went undefeated through Foot Locker West, winning the Stanford and Mt. SAC Invitationals, as well as the D2 state meet. In front of the home crowd at Balboa Park for Foot Locker Finals, however, Fahy was a crushing 17th. Before he starts the track season, this is a chance at redemption for the Californian – if he can fare well in what might be dismal weather.

At least another half dozen preps bear significant watching. Three of the other top entries are Texans. Cypress Woods (Cypress, Texas) senior Craig Nowak was tremendous last fall, taking his 5A state meet and then embarking on a nationals double quest: He was third at NXN South, then won Foot Locker South. After a tremendous third in Portland at the NXN Finals, he wound it up with a somewhat disappointing 14th in San Diego. So maybe he’d like a little redemption, too, but he’s still one of the most intriguing entries given that he’s considered a miler above all in track and could be tearing it up on the indoor oval.

That same Texas 5A meet saw Hebron seniors Kevyn Hoyos and Robert Domanic take third and fourth. At NXN South, Hoyos was 2nd and Domanic 7th, so while Hoyos then was 34th in Portland, Domanic went to Charlotte and placed 10th at Foot Locker South and 20th in the finals. Saturday, they’ll be racing together again.

Finally, not surprisingly the St. Louis location for USATFs has drawn some top Missouri runners. Rockhurst (Kansas City, Mo.) senior Zach Herriott was 4th at NXN Midwest, then 9th in the Finals. Festus (Festus, Mo.) senior Drew White was the 3A state champ, then 17th at NXN Midwest.

The favorite in the Junior Men’s race will be Ohio State freshman Michael Bradjic. Bradjic, who as a prep broke Bobby Kennedy's state meet course record, just competed last month in the Great Edinburgh International Cross Country Team Challenge, where he finished seventh to help lead the USA squad to the team title.

Junior Women: Tinkey leads contenders

In the Junior Women’s race, a pair of USATF Junior XC veterans from Arizona and a 3-time Foot Locker Finalist are among the prep contenders.

The latter would be Presbyterian Day School (Macon, Ga.) junior Grace Tinkey, who was 6th in the Finals in December after taking 10th and 20th as a soph and frosh, respectively. Tinkey recently ran 10:04 for 3000 meters at the Jimmy Carnes Invitational in Florida. The Arizonans include Chinle senior Rolonda Jumbo, who was 9th as a frosh in 2009, then 31st and 12th the past two seasons. Xavier College Prep (Phoenix, Ariz.) junior Sarah Fakler was 11th here last year for a NACAC berth.

As for local favorites, watch for impressive Eureka frosh Hannah Long, who was 2nd in the Missouri 4A state meet and 11th at Foot Locker Midwest. Then a pair of Californians to watch for are two-time NXN Finals top-20 finisher Rebecca Mehra (Palos Verdes senior; 3rd in 2009, 16th in 2011) and Emma Abrahamson a soph for powerhouse La Costa Canyon. From West Virginia, there’s St. Mary’s jr Maggie Drazba, state champ and 13th at Foot Locker South.

Some post high school runners to look out for include Julie Nacouzi, who was a member of Team USA at last year's IAAF meet in Punta Umbria, Spain, and 3rd at the 2010 Foot Locker Finals. There’s also former Michigan preps Gabby Anzalone (now at Wisconsin; 11th in 2010 Foot Locker) and Shannon Osika (now at Michigan and a sub-4:40 miler; 8th in 2010 Foot Locker), for New York prep Shaylyn Tuite (now at Syracuse; 7th in 2010 NXN Finals).


8:30 a.m. High School 4 km
9:00 a.m. Community Race 4 km
9:45 a.m. Masters Women's 8 km
10:45 a.m. Masters Men's 8 km
11:45 a.m. Junior Women's 6 km
12:30 p.m. Junior Men's 8 km
1:15 p.m. Open Women's 8 km
2:00 p.m. Open Men's 12 km
This is a list of reported Division I college commitments updated with news of this week''s signings. It is arranged by home state. Please let us know if any of these non-binding commitments have changed. We know this list is far from complete. Tell us where you are headed next fall and we can add you to the list. After you sign, send us a photo for our gallery and/or Facebook wall. Names in bold are confirmed as signed. The complete listings of college choices is HERE.

Andrew Harris (distance) - Alabama
Kevin Shannon (throws) - Alabama
Quincy Smith (sprints) - Alabama
Jonathan Stiegler (jumps) - Alabama
Lacey Dent (sprints) - Alabama
Joy Maneice-Marbury (sprints) - Alabama
Analisa Patrick (distance) - Alabama

Trae Armstrong (football/sprints) – Idaho
Jasmine Todd (sprints/jumps) - Oregon
Bacall Sterling (hurdles/sprints) - Sacramento State
Ashley Weber (throws) - Arizona State

Sydney Conley (jumps) - Alabama

Trinity Wilson (hurdles) - UCLA
Cami Chapus (distance) – Stanford
Amy Weissenbach (mid-distance) – Stanford
C.J. Albertson (distance) – Arizona State
Carrie Verdon (distance) – Colorado
Darren Fahy (distance) – Georgetown
Dylan Blankenbaker (distance) – Oklahoma
Kevin Mihalik (distance) – Air Force
Savannah Comacho (mid-distance) – Oklahoma State
Allison Sturges (distance) – Duke
Cameron Miller (distance) – Stanford
Kevin Bishop (distance) – Stanford
Cody Crampton (high jump) – UCLA
Rebecca Mehra (distance) – Stanford
Deon Pinder (jumps) – Oklahoma
Lyndsey Mull (distance) – UCLA
Blake Selig (sprints/jumps) – UCLA
Julian Todd-Borden (hurdles) – Drake
Ashlyn Dadkhah (mid-distance) – California
Shea Taylor (jumps and hurdles) – BYU
Kendal Nielsen (jumps) – Cal Poly
Rachel Bush (distance) - Cal Poly
Justin Unno (distance) - UCLA
Annie Grove (distance) - South Carolina
Erika Reddish (distance) - BYU
Adriana Olivas (distance) - Arizona State
Klyvens Delaunay (jumps) - Arkansas
Danica Wyson (distance) - BYU
Ashton Padberg (distance) - San Diego
Steve Michaelson (throws) - Wake Forest
Rashard Clark (sprints) - Arizona State
Alex Conner (distance) - Yale
Melanie Joerger (distance) - Loyola Marymount

Sierra Williams (sprints) - Florida State
Kirk Webb (mid-distance) - Penn
Karina Ernst (distance) - Syracuse

Connor Rog (distance) – Virginia
Matt Klein (distance) - Dartmouth
Clark Shurtleff (distance) - Penn

Julie Macedo (distance) – Florida
Haley Pierce (distance) – Georgetown
Sam Parsons (mid-distance) - N.C. State

Marvin Bracy (football/sprints) – Florida State
Robin Reynolds (sprints) – Florida
Arman Hall (sprints) – Florida
Shayla Sanders (sprints) – Florida
DerRenae Freeman (jumps) – Florida State
Kyri Tabor (sprints) - Alabama
Dwight Davis (sprints) - Alabama
Carly Thomas (distance) - Florida State
Katelyn Greenleaf (distance) - Alabama
Randy Johnson (sprints) - Miami

Cameron Thornton (mid-distance) – Texas A&M
Jonathan Jones (football/hurdles) – Auburn
Reed Hancock (jumps) - Alabama
Caroline Kissel (distance) - Georgia Tech
Sarah Howard (throws) - North Carolina
Avana Story (throws) - North Carolina
Devon Williams (multi) - Georgia

Emily Nist (distance) – Syracuse
Rebecca Lassere (distance) - Seattle

Malachy Schrobilgen (distance) – Wisconsin
Morolake Akinosun (sprints) – Illinois
Trevor Holm (distance) - Western Illinois
Danielle DeVito (distance) - Bradley
Lindsey Rakosnik (distance) - Illinois
Sydni Meunier (mid-distance) - Notre Dame
Jacob Bender (sprints) - Nebraska
Chelsea Blaase (mid-distance) - Tennessee
Zeke Elkins (mid-distance) - Drake
Ali Olson (distance) - Northern Illinois
Ellen Renk (jumps) - Northern Illinois
Olivia Herzog (throws) - Northern Illinois
Leah Raffety (distance) - Northern Illinois
Mallory Abel (distance) - Northwestern
Jacquelyn Thate (distance) - Murray State
Ben Bowers (mid-distance) - Penn
Rebecca Stearns (mid-distance) - Loyola Chicago
Will Crocker (distance) - Missouri
Leland Later (distance) - California
Tom Schutt (throws) - Ohio State
Dan Vitale (hurdles) - Northwestern
Jaylaan Slaughter (hurdles/sprints) - Northern Illinois
Lauren Lindholm (distance) - Illinois-Chicago
Carl Heinz (jumps) - Duke

Mary Davis (distances) - Miami (Ohio)
Maggie Bell (sprints) - Indiana
Meredith Jackson (mid-distance) - Baylor

James Harrington (sprints) – Alabama
Hannah Savage (mid-distance) - Northern Illinois
Taylor Twedt (jumps/multi) - Wisconsin
Tyler Donels (hurdles/jumps) - Missouri

Kavahra Holmes (football/sprints) – Louisiana State
Kelci Lyons (mid-distance) - Columbia

Abbey Leonardi (distance) – Oregon
Matt McClintock (distance) - Purdue

Champ Page (sprints) - Ohio State
Ronald Darby (football/sprints) - Florida State
Justin Ahalt (distance) - Alabama

Jennifer Esposito (sprints/hurdles) - Elon

Tyrus Conley (throws) - Tulsa
Zachary Kughn (distance) - Montana State

Thomas Anderson (throws) - Arizona State
Brandon Clark (distance) - Penn
Riley Macon (distance) - Minnesota
Mark Harries (distance) - North Dakota

Justin Fondren (HJ) - Alabama
Conner Foxworth (jumps) - Alabama
Asia Cooper (sprints) - Ole Miss

Dorial Green-Beckham (sprints/jumps) - Missouri
Brittany Kallenberger (sprints/jumps) - Central Missouri

Morgan Woitzel (mid distance) - Nebraska

New Hampshire
Hillary Holmes (hurdles/jumps) - Cornell

New Jersey
Ajee Wilson (mid-distance) – Florida State
Tim Ball (distance) – Notre Dame
Caroline Kellner (distance) – Cornell
Holly Bischof (distance) – Duke
Blake Udland (distance) – Duke
Najee Glass (sprints) – Florida
Myasia Jacobs (sprints) – Georgia
Samuel Mattis (discus) – Penn
Alicia Osley (sprints) - Northern Illinois
Darrell Bush (sprints) - LSU
Elly Wardle (jumps/multi) - Lehigh
Greg Caldwell (hurdles) - Princeton
Jermaine Collier (hurdles) - South Carolina
George Kelly (distance) - Michigan
Stephen Lewandowski (distance) - Clemson
Theresa Picciallo (throws) - Penn
Everett Price (mid-distance) - Princeton

New York
Samantha Nadel (distance) – Georgetown
Brianna Nerud (distance) – Syracuse
Katie Sischo (distance) – Providence
Kelsey Margey (distance) – Villanova
Alexis Panisse (distance) – Tennessee
Zavon Watkins (mid-distance) - Penn State
Lauren Fontana (mid-distance) - Texas A&M
Olicia Williams (sprints) - Baylor
Giancarlo Sainato (mid-distance) - Georgetown
Thomas Awad, (distance) - Penn
Brendan Smith (distance) - Penn
Valencia Hannon (sprints) - Clemson
Daniel Lennon (distance) - Syracuse
Patrizio Grandinali (distance) - High Point
Cody Israel (sprints/jumps) - Lehigh
Heather Martin (distance) - Georgetown
Christie Rutledge (distance) - Dartmouth

North Carolina
Samantha George (distance) – N.C. State
Thomas Graham (distance) – Stanford
Craig Engels (distance) - N.C. State
Tevin Hester (sprints) - Clemson
Gabrielle Gray (sprints) - South Carolina
Anna Gelbach (sprints) - North Carolina-Charlotte
Alexis Perry (hurdles/jumps) - N.C. State
Hezekiah Ward (hurdles) - North Carolina-Wilmington
Francesca Evans (sprints/jumps) - North Carolina A&T

Destinee Gause (sprints) – Florida
Donovan Robertson (hurdles) – Ohio State
Maddie Morrow (high jump) – Duke
Coy Blair (throws) - Purdue
Taylor Hatfield (distance) - Alabama
Jacob Blankenship (pole vault) - Tennessee
Stephen Lyons (throws) - Eastern Michigan

Isaiah Duke (sprints) - Baylor

Megan Fristoe (distance) - Oregon
Sara Fristoe (distance) - Oregon State
Ashley Maton (distance) - Oregon
Kira Kelly (distance) - Oregon State
Jefferson Jarvis (throws) - BYU

Angel Piccirillo (distance) – Villanova
Tori Gerlach (distance) – Penn State
Drew Magaha (distance) – Penn
Thomas Pitt (HJ) - Penn
Imani Brown (jumps) - Alabama
Kyle Felpel (throws) - Alabama
Chris Williams (hurdles) - Washington
Kyle Long (throws) - Arizona State
Margo Malone (distance) - Syracuse
Ned Willig (mid-distance) - Brown
Meredith Speakman (distance) - Syracuse

South Carolina
Chris Brown (football/jumps) – Notre Dame

South Dakota
Tony Smoragiewicz (distance) – Michigan
Kari Heck (sprints/jumps) - Nebraska

Rebecca Stover (distance) - Alabama
Emily Yarnell (sprints) - Tennessee
Emily Davis (sprints) - Belmont
Will Templeton (distance) - Liberty

Daniel Vertiz (distance) – Texas
Craig Nowak (distance) – Oklahoma State
Cali Roper (distance) – Rice
Jessie Johnson (pole vault) – Auburn
Reese Watson (pole vault) - Texas
Aldrich Bailey (sprints) - Texas A&M
Shelbi Vaughan (volleyball/discus) – Texas A&M
Hector Hernandez (mid-distance) - Texas A&M
Laura Craig (distance) - Texas A&M
India Daniels (sprints) - Texas A&M
LaKesha Jelks (mid-distance) - Texas A&M
Jennifer Madu (sprints/jumps) - Texas A&M
Sierra Patrick (HJ) - Texas A&M
Brittany Wooten (pole vault) - Texas A&M
Samantha Turner (throws) - Jacksonville
Jordan Chavez (distance) - Richmond
Taije Jordan (hurdles) - Baylor
Brianna Richardson (jumps) - Baylor
Richard Gary (sprints) - Baylor
Felix Obi (jumps) - Baylor
Alex Reece (sprints) - Baylor
Chris McElroy (mid-distance) - Baylor
Kristin Smithey (throws) - Baylor
Jonathan Wells (sprints) - Wichita State
Jermaine Authorlee (sprints) - Alabama
Hayden Reed (throws) - Alabama
Susie Kemper (distance) - Alabama
Chance Griffin (jumps) - Columbia
Kierra Hamilton (sprints) - Kansas State
Shelby Poncik (pole vault) - Texas Tech

Ahmed Bile (distance) – Georgetown
Megan Moye (distance) – N.C. State
Shaquera Leach (sprints) - Virginia Tech
Harrison Scharf (sprints) - Penn
Nick Wolfe (distance) - Alabama
Kimberly Ficenec (distance) - Alabama
Hannah Brown (mid-distance) - Stanford
Joel Coleman (sprints) - Virginia Tech

Maddie Meyers (distance) – Washington
Anthony Lee (distance) - Vanderbilt
Andrew Matthews (sprints) - Kansas
Aaron Castle (throws) - Arizona
Jacob Smith (distance) - Portland

Molly Seidel (distance) – Notre Dame
Joshua Dixon (jumps) – Arkansas
Olivia Pratt (distance) - Butler
Andrew Faris (distance) - Alabama
Ali Olson (distance) - Northern Illinois
Taylor Vinhal (distance) - Northern Illinois

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

January, 27, 2012
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.”


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.

- 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)

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