High-SchoolTrack-and-XC: maryland

Womens USATF 100Errol Anderson/ESPNHSFL prep Shayla Sanders FL (left) finished third to Dezerea Bryant in the USATF Junior Womens 100, but both will represent Team USA in their favored WJC 4x100.


With a roster filled with experienced internationalists, including seven previous IAAF World Junior or World Youth medalists and seven more previous finalists, Team USA is in a word, loaded, going into the 14th IAAF World Junior Championships which begin Tuesday. There are arguably at least a dozen medal contenders competing (plus the relays), all of whom could help the U.S., combining with the men, to break its all-time championship best of 21 medals.

It’s good to start with the sprints, because therein lies Team USA’s true gold favorites: U. of Illinois frosh Ashley Spencer and both relays. A year ago, Spencer was a 42-second 300 hurdler from Warren Central HS in Indiana and had almost no experience running the 400 as a prep. Over the course of an incredible freshman year, she became the country’s top junior 400 runner and an NCAA champ with a 50.95 PR. She’s #1 in the world with that mark and, having run low-50-points for relay splits, she should be able to back up her talented teammates and bring home the gold on the anchor of the 4x400 to help the Americans defend their title.

The short sprints should be nearly as good, with 2011 World Youth champ and Texas prep Jennifer Madu and 2010 4x100 relay gold medalist and World #2 Dezerea Bryant of Clemson leading the way in the 100 and on the 4x100 relay – hoping for another title defense in the latter. Preps Shayla Sanders and Kali Davis-White, both from Boyd Anderson in Florida, will help take the stick around. Bryant and fellow collegian Olivia Ekpone are medal threats in the 200.

Injury-plagued 2011 World Youth champ and CA prep Trinity Wilson did not make Team USA, but collegian Morgan Snow and young gun Dior Hall – who claimed the New Balance Nationals Indoor 60H – lead 100H hopes. Illinois prep Shamier Little and collegian Kaila Barber should both make the final in the longer hurdles and contend.

In the 800, NJ prep Ajee Wilson is another returnee from the 2010 WJ squad, where she was fifth, and is now the reigning World Youth champ. With tougher competition this year, she is World #5 going into Barcelona. Unranked Danielle Aragon, a fast-improving Montana prep, should not be discounted, either. Other distance hopes for Team USA ride primarily on the shoulders of NY prep Mary Cain in the 1,500 (where she’s #2 all-time HS), 2011 World Youth steeplechase finalist Brianna Nerud (also of N.Y. and #2 in prep history), and very experienced Stanford frosh Aisling Cuffe in the 3,000 – though others could contend, as well.

Prep throws USR-holders Shelbi Vaughan, Haley Crouser, and Shelby Ashe (now post-HS) lead a superlative Team USA contingent on the field. Former GA prep Ashe is World #2 in the hammer, having set the American Junior record of 223-6 at the Trials, and returns from the 2010 WJ squad. Vaughan, who was fourth in the Olympic Trials discus and has thrown 198-9, trails only two on the World Junior list and won bronze in Lille last summer. Oregon prep Crouser was fourth at 2011 WY in the javelin, set her mark with 181-2 in March, was seventh at the Trials and is ninth on the WJ list.

Javelinist Brianna Bain (Stanford), 2009 WY discus medalist Alex Collatz (USC), and World top ten putters Christina Hillman (Iowa State) and GA prep Tori Owers (another 2011 WY finalist) will also support the American cause as likely finalists and possible medalists.

Among the jumpers, U. of Florida triple jumper Ciarra Brewer (seventh in 2009 WY Champs) is World #4 and U. of South Dakota vaulter Emily Grove is World #5. But don’t forget about preps like Madu in the TJ, Robin Reynolds FL in the LJ, and 2011 WY eighth-place finisher Sydney White NC in the PV.

And while Mississippi State’s Erica Bougard and GA prep Kendall Williams are not high on the heptathlon lists, both could threaten American junior or high school records.

How many medals can Team USA women win in Spain? How about at least 10? In terms of golds, expect a relay sweep and one from Spencer, plus at least one more in the sprints, hurdles or throws. For additional overall medals, plan on 2-3 more from the sprints/hurdles, one from the distances, and one or two in the throws.

2012 IAAF World Junior Championships Preview: Men's Track Events

July, 7, 2012
Tyler SorensenJohn Nepolitan/ESPNHSTyler Sorensen broke the American Junior record for the 10k walk at last summer's World Youth Champs and hopes to shine again in Spain. He is also the only member of Team USA who competed in the 2010 World Juniors.


Event-by-event capsule previews of the men's track events, noting Team USA hopes and leading global contenders for the 2012 IAAF World Junior Championships:

Men’s 100 Meters
WJR: 10.01, Darrell Brown, 2003
AJR: 10.01 Jeff Demps FL, 2008

Recent Champs (plus/other top U.S. finishers)
2010: Dexter Lee, JAM, 10.21 (2-Charles Silmon, 4-Michael Granger)
2008: Dexter Lee, JAM, 10.40 (3-Terrell Wilks, DQ-SF2-Antonio Sales)

Recent marks to medal / make final
2010: 10.28 / 10.71
2008: 10.45 / 10.59

2012 IAAF World Top 3 (plus Team USA, in bold, with rank if top 20)
1. Adam Gemili, GBR, 10.08 (+0.8w)
2. Aaron Ernest, USA/LSU, 10.17 (+1.2w)
3. Abraham Hall, USA/S. Grand Prairie TX sr, 10.19 (+1.3w)
3. Tyreek Hill, USA/Coffee Co. GA sr, 10.19 (+1.7w)
3. Julian Forte, JAM, 10.19 (+0.1w)

Analysis: With two-time champ Dexter Lee JAM finally having moved on, the meet will have its first new winner since 2006. Team USA fortunes have gradually improved each of the past two WJCs and maybe this will be the first gold since 2004. The top contenders are pretty light on international experience, with none “lighter” than Tyreek Hill – who was unknown beyond Georgia before his breakout marks at Golden South in late May. Hill and LSU frosh Aaron Ernest should each be medal contenders, along with Adam Gemili and Julian Forte. Also watch out for 2011 World Youth silver winner Oseto Kazuma JPN, who’s improved to 10.23 this year. It’s a shame that 2011 Pan Am Jr champ Marvin Bracy – the Florida prep who ran 10.06w this year before injury – won’t be here, too. Team USA has won gold three times here, the first two meets in 1986 and 1988, then in 2004 with Ivory Williams.

Men’s 200 Meters
WJR: 19.93, Usain Bolt, JAM, 2004
AJR: 20.13, Roy Martin TX, 1985

Recent Champs (plus/other top U.S. finishers)
2010: Shota Iizuka, JPN, 20.67 (3-SF1-Oliver Bradwell, 5-SF3-Eric Harris)
2008: Christophe Lemaitre, FRA, 20.83 (4-Curtis Mitchell, 6-Antonio Sales)

Recent marks to medal / make final
2010: 21.00 / 21.12
2008: 20.96 / 21.02

2012 IAAF World Top 3 (plus Team USA, in bold, with rank if top 20)
1. Tyreek Hill, Coffee County GA sr, 20.14 (+1.8w)
2. Julian Forte, JAM, 20.38 (+1.0w)
3. Delano Williams, TKS, 20.53 (+2.0w)
4. Aaron Ernest, LSU, 20.54 (+0.5w)
4. Zhenye Xie, CHN, 20.54 (+0.5w)

Analysis: The cast will be similar to the 100, with Tyreek Hill, Julian Forte (who may or may not double), Aaron Ernest and Adam Gemili (20.61) all contending for medals. But the US storyline is dramatically different. First, this is the event where Hill really made jaws drop at Golden South in May with his 20.14, just .01 off the WJR. He wasn’t as fast at US Juniors, but his 20.57 win was still very impressive. Like in the 100, if this newbie to the big time can maintain fitness and composure, a medal – possibly gold – could be his. The other thing is that this was a rough event for Team USA two years ago with no finalists. In fact, Team USA athletes won gold here in 1986, 1988, and 1994, but have had a dismal medal drought since Wes Felix's bronze in 2002. That drought could well end in Barcelona.

Men’s 400 Meters
WJR, AJR: 43.87, Steve Lewis, USA, 1988

Recent Champs (plus/other top U.S. finishers)
2010: Kirani James, GRN, 45.89 (3-Errol Nolan, 5-Josh Mance)
2008: Marcus Boyd, USA, 45.53 (3-O’Neal Wilder)

Recent marks to medal / make final

2010: 46.36 / 47.02
2008: 45.76 / 47.13

2012 IAAF World Top 3 (plus Team USA, in bold, with rank if top 20)
1. Luquelin Santos, DOM, 44.45
2. Aldrich Bailey, Mansfield Timberview TX sr, 45.19
3. Bafetoleng Mogami, BOT, 45.46
4. Steven Solomon, AUS, 45.54
6. Arman Hall, St. Thomas Aquinas FL sr, 45.59

Analysis: Goodbye, Kirani James; hello, Luquelin Santos. The 2011 World (Senior) champ James had four straight years of winning silvers, then golds in IAAF World Youth and World Junior meets, finally ending with his 2010 WJC gold, before moving on to the elite. But Santos, who was sixth at the 2010 WJC, exploded to 44.71 late last fall, then has hit 44.45 this summer (plus three more times at 45.29 or better) to become the #3 junior ever. So that’s what US prep Aldrich Bailey TX, the WJ#2, is up against in Spain. He’ll likely have to achieve his sub-45 dreams to earn gold. 2011 World Youth Champ Arman Hall is certainly a medal contender as well, part of a group of several between 45.4 and 45.7. Americans have won three of the last five WJC 400s, with the last being Marcus Boyd’s 2008 victory.

Men’s 800 Meters
WJR: 1:42.69, Abubaker Kaki, SUD, 2008
AJR: 1:44.9h, Jim Ryun, U. of Kansas, 1966

Recent Champs (plus/other top U.S. finishers)
2010: David Mutinda Mutua, KEN, 1:46.41 (2-Cas Loxsom, 3-Robby Andrews)
2008: Abubaker Kaki, SUD, 1:45.60 (6-SF3-Elijah Greer, 8-H2-Donte Holmes)

Recent marks to medal / make final
2010: 1:47.00 / 1:48.38
2008: 1:47.57 / 1:49.25

2012 IAAF World Top 3 (plus Team USA, in bold, with rank if top 10)
1. Nijel Amos, BOT, 1:43.11
2. Mohammed Aman, ETH, 1:43.51
3. Leonard Kirwa Kosencha, KEN, 1:43.60
-- Tanner Sork, Camas Union WA, 1:48.74
-- Shaquille Walker, BYU, 1:49.41

Analysis: 2010 was an amazing year for Team USA in this event as collegiate frosh Cas Loxsom and Robby Andrews earned silver and bronze to end a 16-year-span of no Americans even making the final. The U.S. talent isn’t at the same level this time, but don’t underestimate WA prep Tanner Sork, one of the biggest surprises late this spring in any event in the country. He made a giant one-meet leap, from 1:52 to 1:48.74 in early June, and has backed it up with two more sub-1:50s. He has a solid chance to be the fifth American ever to make the final. Meanwhile, two of the three medalists from last summer’s insane World Youth final (three under 1:45) should be here. The winner of that race, Leonard Kosencha KEN, is now down to 1:43.60 but is competing at the senior level. But #1 on the WJ list is Nijel Amos BOT – fifth in Lille last summer in 1:47.28, but with a dramatic improvement now to 1:43.11 - #2 all-time on the WJ list. This WJ field will likely be much, much better than it was in 2010.

Men’s 1500 Meters
WJR: 3:36.1h, Jim Ryun, U. of Kansas, 1966
AJR: 3:30.24, Cornelius Chirchir, KEN, 2002

Recent Champs (plus/other top U.S. finishers)
2010: Caleb M. Ndiku, KEN, 3:37.30 (12-SF2-Elias Gedyon, 6-SF3-Peter Callahan)
2008: Imad Touil, ALG, 3:47.40 (8-Evan Jager, 5-H2-Duncan Phillips)

Recent marks to medal / make final
2010: 3:38.91 / 3:44.05
2008: 3:47.65 / 3:47.71

2012 IAAF World Top 3 (plus Team USA, in bold, with rank if top 20)
1. Geoffrey Barusei, KEN, 3:33.69
2. Hamza Driouch, QAT, 3:33.69
3. Teshome Dirirsa, ETH, 3:34.55
19. Austin Mudd, U of Wisconsin, 3:40.87
-- Izaic Yorks, Lakes WA, 3:46.67

Analysis: Since the East Africans took over, this (and the other distances) have been tough for the U.S. to crack. The best-ever finishes by Team USA were fifths by Jason Pyrah (1988) and Gabe Jennings (1998) and just making the final is seen as an accomplishment. Collegiate frosh Austin Mudd, though, has a good chance of advancing and finishing in the top half, especially if it’s a kicker’s race. WA prep Izaic Yorks will be hard-pressed to make the final, but don’t count out this super talent. World #1 Geoffrey Barusei KEN did not try out for his team, but #3 Teshome Dirirsa ETH was the World Youth champ in 2011 and #2 Hamza Driouch QAT has made WJ and WY 800 finals the past two years, and was second in the Youth Olympic 1k in 2010.

Men’s 3000 Meter Steeplechase
WJR: 7:58.66, Saif Saaeed Shaheen, KEN, 2001
AJR: 8:33.8h, John Gregorek, Georgetown, 1979

Recent Champs (plus/other top U.S. finishers)
2010: Jonathan M. Ndiku, KEN, 8:23.48 (10-Jared Berman, 15-H1-Dakota Peachee)
2008: Jonathan M. Ndiku, KEN, 8:17.28 (9-Dylan Knight, 10-Curtis Carr)

Recent marks to medal / make final
2010: 8:37.02 / 8:55.77
2008: 8:25.14 / 8:55.28

2012 IAAF World Top 3 (plus Team USA, in bold, with rank if top 20)
1. Conseslus Kipruto, KEN, 8:08.92
2. Gilbert Kiplangat Kirui, KEN, 8:11.27
3. Jaouad Chemlal, MAR, 8:25.98
-- Edward Owens, Princeton, 8:53.55
-- Darren Fahy, La Costa Canyon CA, 9:03.15

Analysis: In no event has one country been as dominant as Kenya has been in the steeple, with victories in all 13 WJCs. Like in the 100, a 2-time champ has moved on in Ndiku, but one of his countrymen will surely fill the spot. World #1-2 Conseslus Kipruto and Gilbert Kirui were last year’s 1-2 finishers in the World Youth 2k steeple and they have 14 seconds on the rest of the world list. The best U.S. finish ever was fifth by Chris Dugan in 1998 and it’s unlikely that will be bettered this year. CA prep Darren Fahy is unlucky that his WJC year comes when he’s a HS senior instead of a collegiate frosh; it will likely take an improvement of several seconds for him to make the final. Collegian Eddie Owens, who lost to Fahy in the US Junior race but has a PR 10 seconds faster, should make it if he’s fit and on top of his game.

Men’s 5000 Meters
WJR: 12:52.61, Eliud Kipchoge, KEN, 2002
AJR: 13:25.46, German Fernandez, Okla. State, 2009

Recent Champs (plus/other top U.S. finishers)
2010: David K. Bett, KEN, 13:23.76 (11-Trevor Dunbar)
2008: Abreham Cherkos, ETH, 13:08.57 (11-Matt Centrowitz, 16-Ryan Collins)

Recent marks to medal / make final
2010: 13:28.92 / (straight final)
2008: 13:11.97 / (straight final)

2012 IAAF World Top 3 (plus Team USA, in bold, with rank if top 20)
1. Hagos Gebrhiwet, ETH, 12:47.53
2. Isiah Kiplangat Koech, KEN, 12:57.63
3. Yigrem Demelash, ETH, 13:03.30
-- Kirubel Erassa, Okla. State, 13:47.26
-- Kyle King, U. of Virginia, 13:55.80

Analysis: A new world junior record in the event was set just Friday (July 6), but don’t expect the Ethiopian Gebrihiwet (or the World #2 and #3) to be in Barcelona, but rather the Olympic Games or Diamond League circuit. That doesn’t mean the race will be much easier. Kenya’s team will be led by 2011 World Youth 3k champ William Sitonik, who won the Kenyan Trials 5k. Team USA, which has never had an athlete finish higher than ninth in this event (most recently Galen Rupp in 2004), will counter with collegians Kirubel Erassa and Kyle King.

Men’s 10000 Meters
WJR: 26:41.75, Samuel Wanjiru KEN, 2005
AJR: 28:15.82, Galen Rupp OR, 2005

Recent Champs (plus/other top U.S. finishers)
2010: Dennis C. Masai, KEN, 27:53.88 (6-Parker Stinson, 16-Graham Bazell)
2008: Josphat Bett Kipkoech, KEN, 27:30.85 (17-Donn Cabral, 19-Dan Dunbar)

Recent marks to medal / make final
2010: 28:14.55 / (straight final)
2008: 28:07.98 / (straight final)

2012 IAAF World Top 3 (plus Team USA, in bold, with rank if top 20)
1. Geoffrey Kirui, KEN, 27:08.44
2. Charles Ndirango, KEN, 27:58.02
3. Enoch Omwamba, KEN, 28:18.93
-- Ryan Pickering, U. of Oregon, 30:56.77
-- Jacob Kildoo, Notre Dame, 31:04.61

Analysis: He may have finished “just” sixth and been lapped by the winner, but TX prep Parker Stinson’s 29:32.23 (#6 all-time HS) at the 2010 WJC was a spectacular PR and an effort that resounded in the prep distance community. This year’s US entries, collegians Ryan Pickering and Jacob Kildoo, are unlikely to top that – but then no one thought Stinson would run 29:32 two years ago, either. Meanwhile, in this event the world’s top junior distance runner IS expected to run this meet instead of the next level, so Geoffrey Kirui KEN – whose PR came at the Pre Classic (Kenyan Olympic Trials) last month – is the heavy favorite.

Men’s 10000 Meter Racewalk
WJR: 38:46.4h, Viktor Burayev, RUS, 2000
AJR: 41:23.14, Tyler Sorenson CA, 2011

Recent Champs (plus/other top U.S. finishers)
2010: Valery Filipchuk, RUS, 40:43.17 (7-Trevor Barron, 15-Tyler Sorensen)
2008: Stanislav Emelyanov, RUS, 39:35.01 (No USA)

Recent marks to medal / make final
2010: 40:50.37 / (straight final)
2008: 40:29.57 / (straight final)

2012 IAAF World Top 3 (Track) (plus Team USA, in bold, with rank if top 20)
1. Benjamin Thorne, CAN, 40:26.0h
2. Takumi Saito, JPN, 40:32.74
3. Pavel Parshin, RUS, 41.14.73
-- Tyler Sorensen, Torrey Pines CA sr, 44:11.35

2012 IAAF World Top 3 (Road)
1. Takumi Saito, JPN, 40:14
2. Ihor Lyashchenko, UKR, 40:35
3. Alexander Ivanov, RUS, 40:48

Analysis: 2010 was the best year ever for US walkers at this meet as Trevor Barron and Tyler Sorensen were seventh and 15th, with Barron setting the American Junior Record. Sorensen reset that mark last year at World Youths, where he was fifth, and has a chance to return here and improve his position. The only problem is that he was injured this winter and has only been training healthily for a few months. If he can match his 41:23.14 PR, he has a good chance to be in the top five or better. The favorites include Benjamin Thorne CAN, Takumi Saito JPN, and 2011 WY Champ Pavel Parshin RUS.

Men’s 110 Meter Hurdles
WJR: 13.12, Liu Xaing, CHN, 2002
AJR: 13.08, Wayne Davis NC, 2009

Recent Champs (plus/other top U.S. finishers)
2010: Pascal Martinot-Lagarde, FRA, 13.52 (5-Caleb Cross, 4-SF2-Jonathan Cabral)
2008: Konstantin Shabanov, RUS, 13.27 (2-Booker Nunley, 4-SF2-Ron Brookins)

Recent marks to medal / make final
2010: 13.59 / 13.77
2008: 13.51 / 13.62

2012 IAAF World Top 3 (plus Team USA, in bold, with rank if top 20)
1. Yordan L. O’Farrill, CUB, 13.27 (0.0w)
2. James Gladman, GBR, 13.30 (1.2w)
3. Artie Burns, Miami N’Western FL jr, 13.35 (-1.4w)
7. Dondre Echols, Potomac MD sr, 13.56 (-1.8w)
9. Joshua Thompson, Pitt, 13.59 (-1.8w)

Analysis: It’s too bad injuries cut short Artie Burns’ campaign as the Florida prep would have been a gold medal contender had he stayed healthy and made it to Spain. But don’t sell Dondre Echols MD or collegian Joshua Thompson short. Both could make the final and be in the medal mix. Echols has progressed sharply in the past few months after a fine indoor season. Thompson, of course, is readjusting to the lower hurdle height after his collegiate season. The World #1-2 are relatively inexperienced at this level, but World #4 Nicholas Hough AUS won the Youth Olympic title in 2010 over the shorter hurdles.

Men’s 400 Meter Hurdles
WJR, AJR: 48.02, Danny Harris, Team USA, 1984

Recent Champs (plus/other top U.S. finishers)
2010: Jehue Gordon, TRI, 49.30 (7-SF2-Sheroid Evans, 4-H5-Steven White)
2008: Jeshua Anderson, USA, 48.68 (2-Johnny Dutch)

Recent marks to medal / make final
2010: 50.22 / 51.22
2008: 49.56 / 51.48

2012 IAAF World Top 3 (plus Team USA, in bold, with rank if top 20)
1. Felix Franz, GER, 50.48
2. Shota Madokoro, JPN, 50.62
3. Egor Kuznetsov, RUS, 50.62
4. Eric Futch, Penn Wood PA sr, 50.73
11. Gregory Coleman, Texas A&M, 51.01

Analysis: After enjoying global domination in 2006 and 2008 – with gold/silver sweeps – Team USA was shut out of the 400H final in 2010. PA prep Eric Futch hopes to lead the way back on to the medal stand after his PR at US Juniors rocketed him up to World #4. So little time separates the top dozen, that the medals are really up for grabs. World #3 Egor Kuznetsov RUS was the World Youth champ in 2011 over the shorter barriers.

Men’s 4x100 Meter Relay
WJR, AJR: 38.66, Team USA, 2004

Recent Champs
2010: USA, 38.93
2008: USA, 38.98

Recent marks to medal / make final
2010: 39.72 / 40.07
2008: 39.70 / 40.40

2012 IAAF World Top 3
1. Japan, 39.16
2. US All-Stars (Great Southwest), 39.93
3. Jamaica, 39.39

Analysis: Team USA has grabbed four of the last five titles and three in a row. They certainly have the speed for another sub-39 with Tyreek Hill, Aaron Ernest and relay pool picks Arthur Delaney (Oregon frosh) and Cameron Burrell (Texas prep). Could the 38.66 World Junior record by Team USA from 2004 be threatened? Meanwhile, the world list means little with most national squads not having marks yet, but Japan (second in 2011 WY medley relay) is a serious threat now and Jamaica is always dangerous (DNS in 2011 WY medley).

Men’s 4x400 Meter Relay
WJR, AJR: 3:01.09, Team USA, 2004

Recent Champs
2010: USA, 3:04.76
2008: USA, 3:03.86

Recent marks to medal / make final
2010: 3:06.49 / 3:08.32
2008: 3:06.47 / 3:09.23

2012 IAAF World Top 3
1. Trinidad and Tobago, 3:05.95
2. Poland, 3:08.81
3. Bahamas, 3:09.23

Analysis: Team USA is nearly as dominant here as the Kenyans are in the steeple, with the last five titles in a row and 11 of 13 overall. Preps Aldrich Bailey TX and Arman Hall FL not only have World Youth relay experience, but also two of the world’s top five times. So victory not only seems really likely, but Team USA’s World Junior record of 3:01.09 from 2004 could be under siege. Collegians Chidi Okezie and Quincy Downing, both 46.10-20 performers, are the relay pool members. The toughest competition could come from Trinidad and Tobago, which has run 3:05.95 this year.

Record setters Tatnall, Cain share limelight

April, 27, 2012
Mary Cain Mile Penn 2012John Nepolitan/ESPNHSMary Cain raises her arms to celebrate victory in the girls mile on Thursday at the Penn Relays.

PHILADELPHIA – Haley Pierce and Mary Cain continued to cement their status as legends at the historic Penn Relays on Thursday at Franklin Field.

During an electric evening of racing for some of the country’s premier girls distance runners, Pierce and her Tatnall School (Wilmington, Del.) teammates smashed the Penn Relays record in the distance medley relay by more than five seconds, clocking 11 minutes, 28.86. That’s No. 3 all-time, trailing only the times Harvard-Westake (Calif.) and Fayetteville-Manlius (N.Y.) posted at last year’s New Balance Nationals.

Pierce, who anchored the victory with a 4:42.8 split, had made the difficult decision to push her chips in with her teammates rather than try to duplicate her stunning 3,000-meter victory over Aisling Cuffe last year.

She had no regrets.

“It was kind of a hard choice at first,” Pierce said. “I thought I could really go after the 3,000, but the more I thought about it, the relay had such strong competition this year and we had three or four girls in position to run that (and win). It wasn’t that hard to decide once I thought about it. I’m really happy.”

North Shore (N.Y.) threw down the gantlet early, with Brianna Nerud gapping the field quickly and turning a scintillating opening leg of 3:26.7 for the 1,200 – and Penn Relays record split. Only four women in the college DMR championship race ran faster than Nerud did on the lead-off leg.

Tatnall Penn Relays
John Nepolitan/ESPNHSTatnall teammates Haley Pierce, Reagan Anderson, Julie Williams and Lindsey Voltz hold prized Penn Relays trophy after winning the DMR.
When she handed off the baton, Nerud had her team up by nine seconds.

But Tatnall’s Reagan Anderson ran a solid 3:35.7, and then Lindsey Voltz made up four seconds with a 57.8 split on the 400. Then, on the 800-meter leg, Julie Williams stalked North Shore’s Elizabeth Caldwell and ran 2:12.5, a whopping five seconds faster than her PR.

Williams put the baton in Pierce’s hand a half step behind North Shore’s Samantha Nadel. It was a perfect spot to be. North Shore’s lead and confidence were evaporated. Pierce remained tucked comfortably behind Nadel for a lap and then couldn’t resist going around her and pulling away.

“It was a perfect setup,” Pierce said. “At first I wanted to stay relaxed and just kick (at the end), but I felt good and I didn’t want to regret staying behind just because.”

North Shore finished second in 10:39.29.

A kick to ‘mess with’

As Tatnall celebrated its victory, Cain, the sensational sophomore from Bronxville, N.Y. dropped a devastating last-lap 62.5 to tear away from all contenders in a loaded girls mile. She finished in 4:39.28, breaking the meet record and moving to No. 7 on the all-time list. It is the fastest full mile ever for a sophomore, although Jordan Hasay ran a 1,600 that converts to 4:39.13 in 2007.

Cain bolted off the starting line and led the first lap but then two-time defending champ Angel Piccirillo of Homer Center (Homer City, Pa.) refused to yield and surged to the lead.

“Angel was amazing,” Cain said. “She was an angel to me. I wanted to go out and lead it, but she was going with me that whole time. She took the lead on the second lap and had it in the third. But with 600 (left) I was like ‘No, I want this so bad.’”

Cain ramped up her speed and sailed away from Piccirillo and everyone else.

“I got a kick to mess with,” Cain said. “That last 400, (I thought) just kill it.”

Piccirillo was second in 4:47.49 – running faster than she did in her wins in 2010 and 2011. Samantha George of Millbrook (Raleigh, N.C.) was third in 4:48.11 and Ajee Wilson of Neptune (Neptune, N.J.) was fourth in 4:52.89.

Lake Braddock 1-3 in 3K

Right after Cain’s heroics, Sophie Chase of Lake Braddock (Burke, Pa.) ran a lifetime best 9:37.86 to win the 3,000 meters. And perhaps more surprising was that her sophomore teammate, Hannah Christen, was right behind her, finishing third in 9:42.97.

It was a seven-second PR for Chase, a junior, and a breakthrough 17-second PR for Christen.

“I’m so proud of her,” Chase said of Christen. “It was great experience for us to be able to do it together.”

Tori Gerlach of Pennridge (Perkasie, Pa.) nosed ahead of Christen for second, with 9:42.92.

LB Poly, Wakefield vs. Jamaicans

The bulk of the day’s action on the track was devoted to 4x100s and 4x400s, events that Jamaican schools have used to stamp their collective identity on the Penn Relays.

But a couple of U.S. sprints powers also were formidable during Thursday’s qualifying action. Long Beach Poly, the 2011 Penn champion, turned the fastest 4x100 relay of the day, clocking 46.39 seconds. Edwin Allen (Jamaica) ran 46.45 and Wakefield (N.C.) was third-fastest with 47.17.

Of the eight teams qualifying for the championship final, five hail from Jamaica, three from the U.S.
In the 4x400, Wakefield got a 54.7 anchor split from Ariah Graham and put together a US#6 time of 3:46.64. That was the second-fastest time of the day, trailing Jamaica power Holmwood Tech’s 3:45.58. The championship final will feature four U.S. teams and four Jamaican teams.

The split of the day belonged to Shaunae Miller of St. Augustine’s (Bahamas), who ran a blistering second leg of 51.7 for her team.

In the 4x800 relay, Fayetteville-Manlius (N.Y.) clocked a US#1 9:04.21 to set up a championship showdown with Jamaica’s Edwin Allen, which led qualifying by winning its heat in 8:58.51.

In the 400-meter hurdles, Alexis Franklin of Old Mill (Millersville, Md.) won the first high school championship of the day by running US#1 59.05 seconds.

In the field events, there seemed to be a Pennsylvania vs. Jamaica theme. The home state collected three victories and Jamaicans four.

Rachel Fatherly of Williamsport, Pa. won the shot put with 47-5, Christine Streisel of Tamaqua, Pa. won the javelin with 154-11 and Larisa Debich of Hempfield Area, Pa. won the pole vault by clearing 12-5.50.

Meanwhile, Chanice Porter of Manchester won the long jump at 19-5.50, Shardia Lawrence of Vere Tech won the triple jump with 40-8.25, Danniel Thomas of Edwin Allen led a 1-5 Jamaican sweep in the discus with 167-4 and Kimberly Williamson of Edwin Allen leapt 6-0 to win the high jump.
Boys 800John Nepolitan/ESPNHSThe last time (from left) Ned Willig, Zavon Watkins, and Ben Malone were on the track together, great drama ensued at the NB Collegiate 1k. What will happen in the 800 Sunday?

NBNI Index

There’s so much to love at the New Balance Nationals Indoor, the second straight year of a single national championship meet indoors for preps to settle who’s the best in the U.S. Here’s a primer to Baker’s Dozen best of the best over the three-day stretch (boys followed by girls, but in no pecking order).

Boys 800: Talent and drama to burn
The boys 4-lapper at NBNI isn’t getting the buzz of, say, the 400 or pole vault, but there’s no doubt that there will be high drama, especially with the following four protagonists:
Liverpool (Liverpool, N.Y.) senior Zavon Watkins: Defending champ and the only sub-1:50 (outdoors) in the field, Watkins had a great run of mile victories, but at shorter distances (600, 800, 1k) he’s dealt with a few defeats and a DQ. He still has something to prove.
Columbus (Bronx, N.Y.) senior Strymar Livingston: USRs at 500 and 600, but definitely has something to prove at 800 (2nd at Simplot), which will be his main outdoor event.
Great Valley (Malvern, Pa.) senior Ned Willig: Still US#1 at 800 this winter at 1:51.25, he “won” the 1k where he and Watkins were DQ’d and might still be burning a little from his 10th at Millrose (mile).
Pascack Valley (Hillsdale, N.J.) junior Ben Malone might be the most talented of all. He was the official winner of the NB Collegiate 1k (2:23.56) when the DQs came in, and has a US#1 4:11.66 1600, a 1:51 800 relay leg, and even a 1:21 600 to his credit. A dark horse who could take it all for sure, but he’s also entered in the mile.
Don’t be surprised if Robby Andrews' USR comes under attack and more than one runner goes under 1:50.

Boys PV: Best indoor trio ever
There have never been three pole vaulters at 17-6 or better in a single year, indoors. And, suffice it to say then that there has never been an undercover competition with three guys doing battle at such high altitude. It’s not completely shocking that Spring (Spring, Texas) senior Reese Watson and Lincoln (Gahanna, Ohio) senior Jacob Blankenship have reached that level, given their creds from 2011. But Kingwood Park (Houston) senior Shawn Barber was “only” a 16-6 vaulter when the season began. With his 17-8 outdoors last weekend, he actually leads the trio now. Interestingly, Texans Watson and Barber have not met this year, with Watson winning previous meetings between them before Barber’s big improvement. Blankenship has never vaulted against either of them, but his creds certainly match up: He was the surprise New Balance Nationals Outdoor (NBNO) champ last June and then earned a bronze at the World Youth Champs. These are three of the top six indoor vaulters in history, enjoy them.

Boys 400: From teammates back to rivals
While the above-mentioned vaulters have relatively little competitive history between them, the top guns in this epic 2-lap battle could hardly be more familiar with each other (See Doug Binder story). Still, the drama could hardly be higher. St. Thomas Aquinas (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) senior Arman Hall was the man almost all of last year – winning NBNO and World Youth titles – except when he was beaten by Timberview (Arlington, Texas) senior Aldrich Bailey at the World Youth Trials. That surely gave Bailey confidence, despite being second fiddle again at the World Youth Champs, and he came out sizzling this winter with 47.05 and 20.99 marks in January. But then St. Peters Prep (Jersey City, N.J.) Najee Glass – a runner-up in the biggest races last year – finally got his, too, when he beat Bailey by .01 at Brooks Feb. 26. Their 46.06 and 46.07 times are #2 and #3 all-time (all tracks). Hall has done little indoors, but is down to 46.41 outdoors now (his 46.01 PR is the best of the three). And that’s what has transpired to create a matchup that, despite the rivals’ familiarity with each other, will be as dramatic as any race in the meet. And don’t forget, Bailey and Hall are racing the 200, too.

Boys 60H: Can Robertson confirm?
The boys short hurdle scene (55, 60) coming into 2012 was characterized by a big handful of guys with similar PRs, but no one having quite broken through to the super-elite level yet. And by the Brooks PR meet, the story was the same, with Potomac (Oxon Hill, Md.) senior Dondre Echols (7.17 55H) and Berea (Berea, Ohio) senior Donovan Robertson (7.87 60H) having pushed closes to all-time great territory. But then, shockingly, Robertson became that super elite performer Feb. 26 at the Brooks PR meet, hitting 7.77 in his prelim and then an eye-popping 7.57 in the final – cutting .03 off Wayne Davis’ 2099 standard. On Sunday, Robertson gets a chance to back it up. There will be eight other hurdlers in the deep field who have run 7.27 or better for 55H, or 7.89 or better for 60H. Robertson will have a big target on his back and it will be fun to watch if he can “get to the first hurdle first” (his words) and do it again, or if a challenger will rise up and take him down. One more thing worth remembering: In Robertson’s last national meet, NBNO last June, he led 110H qualifying (13.74, -0.1w), but finished last in the final. Think he won’t be motivated by that?

Ed Cheserek: Doing the “Verzbicas”
The races and circumstances may be a little different, but for all intents and purposes, Ed Cheserek looks to be trying to pull a “Verzbicas” this weekend at NBNI. No, he won’t be running the 5,000 and going for a record there – he’s already done that this winter. But he is expected to anchor St. Benedict’s (Newark, N.J.) US#2 DMR (Friday) and US#1 SMR (Saturday), both with a solid chance to win. And he is entered in both the 2-mile and mile on Sunday. If he (and his team in the relays) wins all four, would it be as big a deal as what Verzbicas did last year? In comparing the Friday-Saturday part, Verzbicas pushed fairly hard to break his own 5k mark Friday before resting Saturday. With his respective 1600 and 800 relay legs, Cheserek would probably have to run PR-level marks to carry St. Bene’s to victories. On Sunday, Verzbicas had to beat Cheserek himself in the deuce, whereas Ches will not have nearly as tough a foe. And in the mile, Verzbicas faced a more experienced field for sure, but not necessarily more talented than what Cheserek will encounter. By Sunday night, we’ll see how the two historical efforts compared.

Boys Distance Relays: Can the Brothers beat ‘em all?
Whether or not a top cross-country program carries it through all year long to be a top indoor and outdoor distance power, in individual events and relays, is more hit and miss than people think. Some harrier outfits aren’t as well suited for the mile on down at the national level. So what the Christian Brothers Academy (Lincroft, N.J.) has done already this winter – US#1s in the 4x800 (#2 all-time) and DMR – and are poised to do this weekend is pretty special. Besides the favorite’s role in the above-mentioned events, you certainly have to give them the nod in the 4x1 Mile, where they are defending champions. Could they win all three, something no boys’ school has ever done? Certainly; they look to have a good margin on the fields in the 4x1 Mile and 4x800, while Ed Cheserek and St. Benedict’s (2011 outdoor champ) may offer the toughest challenge in the DMR. As for national records, CBA might not have quite the top-end power to take down the very tough 4x800 or DMR marks, but WWPN’s 17:21.58 4x1 Mile from two years ago could go down.

Girls 800: Cain chases Ajee chases the clock
One can hope for more competitive drama, but in all likelihood, the girls 800 will turn into three races:
1. Neptune (Neptune, N.J.) senior Ajee Wilson chasing the clock, trying to strengthen her hold on #2 all-time or even, perhaps, making a decent run at Mary Decker Slaney’s 38-year-old USR.
2. Bronxville (Bronxville, N.Y.) soph Mary Cain running in no-man’s land for a fast time, somewhere in the 2:05-2:08 range.
3. The rest of the pack having a good race for third place.
Can Cain challenge Wilson? Maybe, on a really good day. And remember, Wilson is a racer – not someone who’s often tried to push alone in a race where she’s the clear favorite. But for Wilson, who has run all of her fast races this winter against elites in the U.S. Open, Millrose Games, and New Balance Boston Indoor GP, what other motivation would there be to run here? She won last year in 2:06.17 and to come to The Armory Sunday just to run to win seems pointless. Been there, done that. Thus, if she really lays it on the line, maybe we’ll see something as special as we presumed two years ago when she authored that epic relay leg at NBON. Stay tuned.

Girls distance relays: New girls on the block
If you assess the girls distance relays starting with the 4x800 and 4x1 Mile, you’ll notice some typically good fields with a handful of teams that could go low 9s or just under 9:00 in the former, and another potential challenger (Haley Pierce and Tatnall, Del.) to Saratoga’s 2005 USR in the latter. But then you check out the girls DMR – now THAT could be interesting. Grosse Pointe South, Michigan and the amazing Meier twins have never entered a national meet relay since they burst on the scene two years ago. Now, just off 4:43.24 (Hannah Meier) and 4:48.10 (Haley Meier) indoor mile PRs at the Brooks PR meet, they will see if their combined talents can attack the 11:35.43 USR by Mountain View, Utah from 2004. Remember, they also have Kelsie Schwartz who has run 4:59 for 1600 and Ersula Farrow, who has run 5:05. One wonders why they didn’t go for the 4x1 mile, but running the Friday night DMR allows the Meiers a day of rest before tacking Sunday’s mile (Hannah his defending champ). If Schwartz and Farrow can combine for a 60-62 400 and a 2:18-20 800, the twins ought to be able to do the rest.

Girls 5K: Rematch for elite trio
While Tatnall (Wilmington, Del.) senior Haley Pierce, Ravenscroft (Raleigh, N.C.) junior Wesley Frazier and West Bloomfield (West Bloomfield, Mich.) junior Erin Finn may have a broader perspective on Friday’s 5,000 than how it compares to their NBNO 5,000 last June – the comparison is certainly interesting to fans (see Doug Binder’s story). Pierce’s creds coming in last spring had made her an exciting favorite, but when she faded mid-race, Frazier and Finn put on quite a show in finishing 1-2. Since then, Pierce and Finn both had national runner-up finishes in XC (NXN and Foot Locker, respectively), while Frazier was off form. But as evidenced by their 2-3-4 finishes in the Brooks 2M, quite a battle should be ahead. In grave danger may be the 16:35.15 USR set just last year by Waverly Neer. And don’t forget about North Shore (Glen Head, N.Y.) senior Brianna Nerud, who could beat all three with a really good day.

Girls 60H: Hall gets another shot at unseating the queen
St. Mary’s (Berkeley, Calif.) senior Trinity Wilson has been one of the nation’s elite hurdlers since before her high school years and she has absolutely owned the 60H and 100H for the last year-plus. But if there’s anyone that could deliver the upset, it’s George Washington (Denver, Colo.) super soph Dior Hall. As the track world saw at Simplot, Hall pressured Wilson to be at the absolute top of her game at Simplot, only to stumble herself at the end and finish sixth. Atonement was sweet at Brooks, as Hall lowered her 60H PR to 8.28. Now she gets a rematch with the World Youth 100H champion, with both having to face a very good field. Can the young gun top the senior veteran? Or might Wilson be better than ever and take down Jackie Coward’s 2008 USR of 8.16? Watch and see.

Girls LJ: Battle of the 20-footers
Given that the national record in the girls indoor long jump is 21-7.5 (Carol Lewis, 1981), a 20-foot jump isn’t necessarily something to get really excited about. But five of them in the same years is pretty good, and having four of those five competing together for a national title is special indeed. The key players really haven’t crossed each other’s path much and don’t have a lot in common. Newton North (Newtonville, Mass.) junior Carla Forbes (20-1.25) is defending champ (and 2010 Nike Indoor TJ champ), so this meet is familiar to her. Fayetteville (Fayetteville, Ark.) senior Sydney Conley (20-1.5) has Olympic genes (her father is 1992 TJ Gold Medalist Michael), but is a relatively late bloomer and this is her first NSSF championship, in or out. And in Virginians Javanique Burress (junior AA champ from Louisa County at 20-1) and Shakeela Saunders (senior AAA runner-up from Nansemond River at 20-0.5), you have another national newcomer who’s made a big leap up this winter (Burress) and a veteran all-arounder (hurdles, TJ, long sprints) who has starred since her frosh year but popped that huge one way back in December (Saunders). These four girls have PRs within an inch of each other.

Multis: Familiar names
If it seems like Kendell Williams has been around forever, you may be surprised to realize that the Kell (Marietta, Ga.) junior is … still just a junior. Williams is everywhere, whether it’s in the number of events she competes in at a meet, or the number of meets she competes in during a given year. One of her many successes last year was winning NBNI with 3,792 points (#3 all-time) and while she must missed Shana Woods’ soph USR, she can get the junior class mark with just a 36-point improvement. Oh, and she’s also entered in the high jump (current US#1 5-10.75) and 60H (US#4 8.39). Meanwhile, on the boys side, the last name of the leading light should be familiar (Lazas), even if the first name (Jake) isn’t. Jake’s older brother Kevin battled Gunnar Nixon in 2010 in becoming one of history’s great multi-eventers in and out and is now a star at Arkansas (as is Nixon). But Jake, now a Brentwood (Tenn.) senior, has struggled with injuries somewhat. There’s no question, however, that he has tremendous physical talent and attributes and with a healthy senior year could challenge or surpass some of his brother’s marks. So don’t be surprised if you see a coming out party.

Girls sprint relays: Open the door for new powers
When you think of schools that have been all-around sprint and sprint relay powers at the nationals in the past several years, you think of Long Beach Poly, Eleanor Roosevelt, Benjamin Cardozo and Medgar Evers. But it may be time in 2012 to open the door to some new names, like Wakefield (N.C.) and Martin Luther King (Ga.). Wakefield isn’t new on the scene, but they’ve never run like they have this year, led by senior Ariah Graham and with US#1 marks of 1:38.35 4x200 and 3:45.64 4x400. Meanwhile, MLK – with athletes trained by Sprint Athletics – has developed stars like Felicia Brown (US#2 53.53 400) and Jada Martin (US#3 24.00 200). Perhaps the sprint relay race of the meet for either gender will be the 4x200, where both schools, plus Poly, will lock up.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bailey has started 2012 on a new level, though.

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


Top Returnees from 2011 - Scroll down for indoor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Top 2011 returnees entering 2012
1. 7.82, Jordan Moore, Union Grove (McDonough, Ga.), 2012
2. 7.87, Williams
3. 7.92, Kenneth Walker, John F. Kennedy (La Palma, Calif.), 2012
4. 7.93, Robertson
5. 7.94, Johnson
5. 7.94, Jonathan Jones, Carrollton (Carrollton, Ga.), 2012
WakefieldMatt SaundersBringing back almost everyone from their outstanding 2011 sprint crew (2011 VT Invite 4x2 winners shown), Wakefield's girls defending their relay titles with US#1s in the 4x2 and 4x4.
Coverage of the Virginia Tech Invitational
Fri.-Sat., Jan. 27-28 - Rector Field House, Blacksburg VA

LINKS: Full Results | DyeStat Elites


  • G-4x200/4x200: A pair of US#1s for Wakefield NC with blistering 1:38.35 (#19 all-time) and 3:46.58. Six teams were under 4:00 in the 4x4, with McDonough MD 2nd in US#4 3:54.71.
  • B-1000: US#1 2:26.36 (#15 all-time) for Annandale VA sr Ahmed Bile.
  • B-4x200: US#1 1:28.23 for Suitland MD, improving on their own US leader, with Western Branch VA also under 1:30 with US#5 1:29.97.
  • B-300/500: Blistering double for Wise MD sr Champ Page with US#2 33.93 and US#3 1:03.71 (#19 all-time). Page nipped Suitland MD jr Teyvon Jacobs’ US#3 33.94 in the 300, with 3 more under 35, while his improvement on his 500 mark from the NB Games turned back Laurel MD sr Christian White’s US#5 1:04.59.
  • G-500: US#2 1:14.01 for Wakefield NC jr Tiana Patillo.
  • G-300: US#2 38.83 for Wakefield NC sr Ariah Graham to win a great battle over Archbishop Carroll DC sr Kiah Seymour 38.95.
  • G-1000: US#3 2:49.76 (#15 all-time) for Cosby VA jr Megan Moye, with Hidden Valley jr Carolyn Bethel 2nd in #5 2:55.36. Moye also anchored her team’s winning 4x800 the night before in US#4 9:19.10.
  • B-4x400: Laurel MD runs US#3 3:21.30.
  • B-55 dash/55H: Swift double for Potomac MD with US#5 6.42 in the dash and 7.34 (already US#2 with 7.30) over the barriers.
  • B-LJ: US#6 23-3.5 for Western Branch VA sr Chris Crawford.
  • G-Mile: US#7 4:55.68 for Mtn. View VA sr Kimberly Fincenec.
  • B-4x800: US#8 8:01.00 for Colonial Forge VA.
Strymar LivingstonJohn Nepolitan/ESPNHSStrymar Livingston breaks the tape in a 500 meter USR of 1:01.68, and avenging a 2011 defeat to Najee Glass.
Coverage of the 2012 New Balance Games
Sat., Jan. 21, 2012 - The Armory, New York, N.Y.

LINKS: Meet's Own Site with Entries | ARCHIVED WEBCAST
Coming Post Meet: Full Results | DyeStat Elite |
Nepo's Photos: Cheserek in Elite Mile | Sprints | HS Miles |
Scroll down for highlights and meet schedule
Ed CheserekJohn Nepolitan/ESPNHSEd Cheserek was in a rare situation Saturday -- running the middle of a pack -- but he competed well against the elites for a US#1 4:02.21, 7th place and #2 all-time.


  • B-500: USR 1:01.68 for Christopher Columbus NY sr Strymar Livingston, topping the old mark of 1:02.40 (Mike Greene 1984). St. Peter's Prep NJ sr Najee Glass was 2nd, also under the old mark with 1:02.16. Last year, Glass beat Livingston in this race, 1:02.22-1:02.88, but the apparent record was not accepted due to a lane violation.
  • Elite-1M: US#1 4:02.21 for St. Benedict's NJ jr Ed Cheserek, finishing 7th among the elites and good for #2 all-time behind Alan Webb's 3:59.86. He went out in 60.4 and was 3:00.8 at 3/4 mile. Historical Links: Coverage of 2001 New Balance Games | John Dye's story of Webb's sub-4 | 23 Photos from Webb's great day
  • Boys-1M: US#3 4:14.52 for Liverpool sr Zavon Watkins, moving ahead of Chariho RI sr Mike Marsella US#4 4:15.27 on the last lap -- after Marsella had led the entire race through 65.4-2:10.6-3:14.3 -- and both qualifying for the Millrose Games Boys HS Mile.
  • Girls-1M: US#2 4:48.96 for West Genesee NY soph Laura Leff, ahead of US#5 4:49.36 by Cosby VA jr Megan Moye and #7 4:55.79 by Lake Braddock VA sr Sophie Chase. The top 2 qualify for the Millrose Games Girls HS Mile.
  • B-4x800: 7:52.45 for Boys & Girls NY, improving their own US#1.
  • G-4x800: US#1 9:09.69 for Mt. St. Dominic NJ, with 5 more teams between 9:21 and 9:28.
  • G-4x200: US#3 1:41.20 for Mt. Vernon NY, surprising US#2 Medgar Evers NY at 1:41.52.
  • B-4x200: US#2 1:29.29 for Uniondale NY, edging Penn Wood PA #3 1:29.69.
  • B-SMR: Not super fast, but Liverpool NY anchor Zavon Watkins (mile winner) outlegs Columbus NY anchor Strymar Livingston (500 USR setter) in the final 800 for the 3:36.45-3:36.53 victory.
  • G-SMR: US#3 4:07.38 for Garden City NY.
  • G-400: US#4 55.60 for Medgar Evers NY jr Kadecia Baird; Paramus Catholic NJ sr Myasia Jacobs was expected, but did not run.
  • G-55H: US#3 7.99 for Cardozo NY sr Akayla Anderson.
  • B-55H: US#6 7.42 by Willingboro NJ sr Issac Williams.


Preview: Top Storyline:

Elite 1M: In a race that features elites as good as Great Britain’s Andy Baddeley (3:55.64 indoor/3:49.38 outdoor PRs), St. Benedict’s NJ jr Ed Cheserek will have a great chance to make history, just as Alan Webb did in the same race 11 years ago. In the 2001 New Balance Games, Webb became the first prep sub-4 miler indoors with a 3:59.86. Cheserek’s PR is 4:03.29 from last spring and he’s coming off an unbeaten, record-breaking Foot Locker championship XC season this past fall and an 8:43.16 2M (#5 performance ever) last week. Cheserek won’t be the only teen in the race as 16-year-old World Youth Champs 3k finalist (7:57.45) Mohammed Abid of Morocco is competing, sporting a 3:42.32 PR.

More anticipated storylines

  • B-500: A year ago, Seton Hall Prep NJ sr Najee Glass crossed the line in the 500 meters on this track in an apparent USR 1:02.22, but when video later revealed he’d run outside his line, the record wasn’t accepted (though the results stood). So he’ll go for it again here, with last year’s runner-up Strymar Livingston (a #3 all-time 1:02.88) also with a great chance for the record. As if that’s not enough, current US#1 and Henry Wise MD sr Champ Page – 1:05.43 on a flat track – could well play the spoiler.
  • G-400: Paramus Catholic NJ sr Myasia Jacobs – US#1 at 55M and best known for her deep short creds from 55-200, in and out, moves up to the 400 to battle 300 US#1 Medgar Evers NY sr Kadecia Baird and a deep field of long sprint standouts.
  • G-1M: Some new faces to The Armory this winter will do battle in this one, as entries include Virginia’s Foot Locker Finalists Megan Moye (Cosby jr) and Sophie Chase (Lake Braddock sr), and from the home state West Genesee soph Laura Leff, who was 3rd at Foot Locker. Moye sports a 4:48 1600 PR from last spring.
  • B-1M: 4:09 outdoor miler and Chariho RI sr Mike Marsella has taken his time to get into things after a long XC season, but he heads up the field here in his big-meet debut. Again, Foot Locker Finalists are in force with Tim Ball (Piscataway NJ sr), Daniel Lennon (Peru NY sr) and Connor Rog (Fairfield Prep CT sr) in the field. Then there’s also the speed of 2011 New Balance Indoor Nationals 800 champ and Liverpool NY sr Zavon Watkins (1:49.70 800 / 4:11.13 1600 PRs outdoors).



2012 New Balance Games Order of Events

Time Event
9 am Varsity Girls' Shot Put Relay
9 am Varsity Boys' Long Jump Relay
9 am Varsity Girls' Long Jump Relay
9 am Varsity Boys' Pole Vault Relay
9 am Varsity Girls' Shuttle Hurdle Relay (Final on Time)
9 am Freshman Girls' 4x200m Relay (Final on Time)
9:20 am Freshman Boys' 4x200m Relay (Final on Time)
9:35 am Varsity Boys' Shuttle Hurdle Relay (Final on Time)
9:45 am Sophomore Girls' 4x200m Relay (Final on Time)
10:05 am Sophomore Boys' 4x200m Relay (Final on Time)
10:25 am Varsity Girls' 4x200m Relay Trials
11:05 am Varsity Boys' 4x200m Relay Trials
11:45 am Freshman Girls' 4x400m Relay Final
12:10 pm Freshman Boys' 4x400m Relay Final
12:35 pm Sophomore Girls' 4x400m Relay Final
12:55 pm Sophomore Boys' 4x400m Relay Final

ArmoryTrack.com YouTube webcast begins

12:55 pm Varsity Boys' Invitational 55m Hurdles
1 pm Varsity Girls' Invitational 55m Hurdles
1:15 pm Varsity Girls' Invitational 400m Dash
1:20 pm Varsity Boys' Invitational 400m Dash
1:25 pm Youth Girls' 4x200m Relay Final
1:28 pm Youth Boys' 4x200m Relay Final
1:30 pm Opening Ceremony
1:40 pm Elite Men's Mile Run
1:50 pm Elite Women's 800m Run
1:55 pm Varsity Girls' Invitational Mile Run
2 pm Varsity Boys' Triple Jump Relay
2 pm Varsity Girls' Triple Jump Relay
2 pm Varsity Girls' High Jump Relay
2 pm Varsity Boys' Shot Put Relay
2 pm Varsity Boys' High Jump Relay
2 pm Varsity Girls' Pole Vault Relay
2:05 pm Varsity Girls' 4x200m Relay Final
2:15 pm Elite Women's 400m Dash
2:20 pm Elite Men's 400m Dash
2:25 pm Varsity Boys' Invitational Mile Run
2:35 pm Varsity Boys' 4x200m Relay Final
2:45 pm Elite Women's Mile Run
2:50 pm Varsity Boys' Invitational 500m Dash
2:55 pm Elite Men's 800m Run

ArmoryTrack.com YouTube webcast concludes

3:20 pm Varsity Girls' 4x400m Relay Final
4:10 pm Varsity Boys' 4x400m Relay Final
5:10 pm Varsity Girls' 4x800m Relay Final
6:10 pm Varsity Boys' 4x800m Relay Final
7 pm Varsity Girls' Sprint Medley Relay Final
7:40 pm Varsity Boys' Sprint Medley Relay Final

1/6-1/8 Weekend Meet Sheet

January, 6, 2012

January 6-8, 2011
Major Meets

HISPANIC GAMES, Friday-Saturday
The Armory, New York, NY
DyeStat Home Page | Meet’s Own Site
Overview: The meet of the weekend is highlighted with a great girls mile (a Millrose Games qualifier), featuring four of the best girls in the country: 4:43.92 1600 runner (and 800 megastar) Ajee Wilson NJ, frosh class 1500 record setter (4:17.84) Mary Cain NY, defending Millrose champ Samantha Nadel, and 4:43.91 miler (2010) Kelsey Margey NY. That’s only the beginning of the list of talent assembled at The Armory. The numerous other US leaders or stars from 2011 getting their 2012’s under way include long sprinters Najee Glass NJ, Eric Futch PA and Kadecia Baird NY (both US#1 300), dashers Myasia Jacobs NJ (2011 NBIN 60 champ) and Ronald Darby MD (2011 NBIN 200 champ), distance runners Dan Lennon NY and Brianna Nerud (current US#1 miler, but in the 3k), US#1 long jumper Shakeela Saunders VA, and many others.

LSU CLASSIC, Friday-Saturday
Carl Maddox Fieldhouse, Baton Rouge LA
Overview: While the advent of the Texas A&M meet the same weekend has cut down on the Texas crowd a bit, this is still a huge season-opening meet for (primarily) schools in the South and Southeast regions. Multi-event superstar Kendell Williams GA is entered in the HJ, LJ, and 55H; she won two of those in 2011. Dasher Jeryl Brazil LA (6.34 55 in ’11), quarter miler Michael Newton GA (48.79 in, 47.15 out in ’11), and sprinter Jada Martin TN (24.36i in ’11) are just a few of the elites entered.

TEXAS A&M CLASSIC, Friday-Saturday
Gilliam Indoor Stadium, College Station TX
Overview: Lots of elite Texans plus a few from surrounding states converge on this still-new facility with its fast 200 banked track, most making their seasonal debuts. It will be interesting to see how the boys and girls 200s and 400s stack up with the Hispanic Games in New York; World Youth finalist Aldrich Bailey TX and 46.79 400 runner (outdoors) Richard Gary are among the boys entries, while 53.03 (outdoor) 400 star Courtney Okolo TX is among the girls’ best while Aaliyah Brown is coming down from Illinois. In the jumps, USATF Junior and Pan Am Junior champ Devin Field TX – still just a junior – will be opening.

DARTMOUTH RELAYS, Friday-Sunday (Preps are Fri.-Sat.)
Leverone Fieldhouse, Dartmouth NH
Meet’s Own Site | LIVE RESULTS
Overview: This long-standing fixture (this is 43rd annual) draws from many northeastern and New England states, and also includes collegiate, open and masters competition. Some top entries include long sprinters Kyle Plante NY (38.87 300 in ’11), Precious Holmes (US#5 53.16 400 out in ’11) and the Hillhouse CT relays (US#2 3:59.87 outdoor SMR in ’11), the Molly Keating-led LaSalle RI distance crew and the Lizzie Predmore-led Shenendehowa NY distance crew, sprinter/jumpers Carla Forbes MA (US#2 in out TJ in ’11, NBIN LJ champ) and Mollie Gribbin VT (4 state titles in ’11), and long sprinter Andre Rolim MA (current US#1 600).

PG Sportsplex, Landover MD
Meet’s Own Site
Overview: Generally the biggest invite of the year at the former home of the Nike Indoor Nationals, the meet is a magnet for Virginians and other nearby athletes in addition to the home state. The meet typically has impressive distance and 500 fields, and Virginian Foot Locker All-Americans Ahmed Bile VA (mile), Sean McGorty VA (2-mile), and Sophie Chase VA (2-mile) are entered. Old Mill MD sr Alexis Franklin (55H) and Archbishop DC sr Kiah Seymour (500) are threats to win big. Mtn View VA sr Kim Ficenec could take both the girls mile and HJ.

Boo Williams Sportsplex, Hampton VA
Overview: One of two large meets and a few somewhat smaller ones pulling in Virginia’s deep indoor corps, this one will feature the likes of US#1 putter Kiara Howell (46-7) and 55 dasher Ayo Raymond (6.43), super soph 55 hurdler Chantel Ray (US#2 8.04), veteran 500 specialist Genamarie McCant (top 10 US all four years), and versatile combo sprinter Justin Burke.

Freeman Center, Newport News VA
Meet’s Own Site
Overview: Another of the slew of strong Virginia meets this weekend, this one features Foot Locker Finalist and 4:48 1600-runner Megan Moye and short/long sprinter Kenneth Williams (6.45 55, 49.97 400 this winter), among others.

Mackel Fieldhouse, Kingston RI
Meet’s Own Site
Overview: Attracting mostly in-state and Connecticut athletes to the University of Rhode Island, some of the top entries include Hope RI sr jumps/sprints/hurdles star Royal Cheatham and US#1 weight thrower and Classical RI sr Joe Velez.

Hispanic Games: Samantha Nadel rips US#1 4:46.11 to win big girls mile

January, 6, 2012
Samantha NadelJohn Nepolitan/ESPNHSSamantha Nadel displays the joy of winning the Hispanic Games mile in a US#1 4:46.11.
Coverage of the 2012 Hispanic Games
Sat., Jan. 7, 2012 - The Armory, New York, N.Y.

LINKS: Meet's Own Site and seeded entries
John Nepolitan Photos | Results (coming)
MEET WEBCAST (12:30pm ET to 3:50pm)
Scroll down for meet schedule


  • North Shore NY sr and defending Millrose champ Samantha Nadel rolls a US#1 and Armory record 4:46.11 (#13 all-time) to win her showdown with Bronxville NY soph Mary Cain (US#2 4:48.98). Leader splits are 70.2-2:24.1 and 3:37.0 as Nadel pushes early to get away from Cain’s kick. Both qualify for Millrose.
  • Chaminade NY sr Thomas Awad pulls away from Peru NY sr and Foot Locker Finalist Dan Lennon in the boys 2M for a US#1 9:10.97 victory. Early splits were 67.9 - 2:17.8 - 3:27.4 - 4:38.3 as the top two pulled away and made it a 2-man race.
  • Cardozo NY sr Alexis Panisse kicks from 5 meters down in the final lap to beat North Shore NY sr Brianna Nerud in the girls 3k, US#2 10:05.41 to 10:07.46. The leaders were 5:20.5 at 1600.
  • After early splits of 61.8 and 2:10.3, Carmel NY’s Eric Holt leads through three-quarters at 3:14 before Ned Willig jumps to the lead and battles New Providence NJ Everett Price for the final two laps. Willig wins, US#3 4:15.61 to 4:16.22 as both he and Price earn Millrose spots.
  • Medgar Evers NY sr Kadecia Baird, the US leader at 300, runs a US#2 55.85 to win the 400
  • Wise MD sr Champ Page takes the invitational 400 in US#2 48.50
  • Uniondale NY runs the 2nd fastest time in the boys 4 x 200 trials, then wins in the finals in 1:30.44 over Dunbar MD. The girls 4x200 goes to Medgar Evers in 1:41.87.
Ajee Wilson, Mary Cain and Samantha NadelJohn Nepolitan (composed by Moses Galindo)/ESPNHSAjee Wilson NJ, Mary Cain NY and Samantha Nadel NY head up the outstanding Hispanic Games girls mile field.

  • The girls mile, a Millrose Games qualifier, could be the highlight of the meet, featuring Neptune NJ sr Ajee Wilson, Bronxville NY soph Mary Cain, North Shore NY sr Samantha Nadel, and Friends Academy NY sr Kelsey Margey. Wilson, of course, is best known for her 800 prowess, which netted her last year’s World Youth title (US#2 2:02.64, #6 all-time) as well as last winter’s New Balance Indoor Nationals crown (US#1 2:06.17, #6 all-time). But she is also the defending champ in this race, has run 4:43.92 for 1600 (outdoors 2010), and last winter won the loaded Brooks PR mile (4:49.48) and was 3rd at Millrose. Cain set the frosh 1500 USR with a US#2 4:17.84 last spring to win the New York state meet, then was 5th in the New Balance Outdoor Mile and 2nd in the USATF Jr 1500. She is currently US#1 in the 1500 and 1000.Nadel is the defending Millrose Champ and last spring also ran a 4:25.59 1500. She is currently US#1 for 3k at 9:46.39 and has anchored North Shore’s US#1 4x1500 and DMR relays (the latter with a 4:47 that is the best anyone has run for any distance close to the mile this winter). Margey, ran a 4:23.82 1500 and 4:47.39 mile last spring, and has an even faster mile PR of 4:43.91 from 2010.
  • Boys 400 – St. Peter NJ sr Najee Glass (in 2011 US#2 400 indoors, #3 400 outdoors, plus a 1:02.22 500 that was fastest ever but ruled record-ineligible due to lane violation discovered later) paces the entries, followed by current 500 US#1 Champ Page MD and Robert Rhodes NY, who is current 800 #2 and 1000 #1 (plus US#3 600 last year).
  • Boys 800 – Current US#2 Boys and Girls NY sr Robert Rhodes (1:53.81 PR) leads the field.
  • Boys Mile – Top seed is US#4 Great Valley PA sr Ned Willig (4:17.47), who ran 4:11.99 1600 last spring.
  • Boys 2M – Foot Locker finalist and Peru NY sr Dan Lennon, who ran 9:07.52 3200 last spring, leads the field.
  • Girls 400 – 300 US#1 Medgar Evers NY jr Kadecia Baird (38.35) moves up (she usually runs the 100 and 200 outdoors) and faces PA star Jordan Matthews and Garden City NY frosh Emma Gallagher, who won the Marine Corps 800 on Dec. 27.
  • Girls 800 – Neptune NJ sr Ajee Wilson, the nation’s top half-miler, doubles back from the mile to face a field that includes Cardozo jr Sabrina Southerland, who won the Bishop Loughlin 1000 in December.
  • Girls 3k – Current US#1 miler and North Shore NY sr Brianna Nerud is the top seed. She also has on her resume the #2 ever prep 2k ST from last summer’s World Youth Champs. She should crush her 3k PR of 9:59.80. Foot Locker finalist and Cardozo jr Alexis Panisse, who has run 10:05.17, is seeded 2nd.
  • Girls 1500 RW – Garden City NY’s Molly Josephs, who has walked a US#1 7:36.0 this winter, leads the field.
  • Boys 200/55 – Defending NBIN 200 champ and 2011 US#1 Ronald Darby (Potomac MD sr) clashes with current 300 US#1 Penn Wood PA sr Eric Futch and 400 top seed Najee Glass NJ. Darby is also the top seed in the boys 55.
  • Girls 200/LJ – Nansemond River VA sr Shakeela Saunders is the top seed in the 200 and the LJ (where she is US#1 20-0.5).
  • Girls 55 dash – Paramus Catholic NJ sr Myasia Jacobs, last winter’s NBIN 60 champ with US#2 7.34 (US#2 6.82 55 en route) tops the slate.


Day One Order of Events
Infield Straightaway
Top eight trials times qualify for the final
9 am Boys' 55m hurdles trials
9:40 am Girls' 55m hurdles trials
10:10 am Boys' 55m dash trials
10:40 am Girls' 55m dash trials
11:30 am Girls' 55m hurdles final
11:40 am Boys' 55m hurdles final
11:50 am Girls' 55m dash final
Noon Boys' 55m dash final

On the Oval
8:45 am Girls' 1500m racewalk
9:20 am Boys' mile run
11:10 am Girls' mile run
12:30 pm Live webcast window opens
12:40 pm Boys' 4x200m relay trials
1:25 pm Girls' 4x200m relay trials
2:10 pm National anthem & presentation
2:25 pm Boys' two-mile run
2:40 pm Girls' 3,000m run
2:55 pm Boys' 4x200m relay final
3:05 pm Boys' invitational mile run
3:15 pm Girls' invitational 400m dash final
3:25 pm Boys' invitational 400m dash final
3:35 pm Girls' invitational mile run
3:45 pm Girls' 4x200m relay final
3:50 pm Live webcast window closes (following girls' 4x200)
3:55 pm Boys' 400m dash final (on time)
4:30 pm Girls' 400m dash final (on time)
5:05 pm Boys' 200m dash trials
5:55 pm Girls' 200m dash trials
6:25 pm Boys' 800m run
7:10 pm Girls' 800m run
7:50 pm Boys' 200m dash final
7:55 pm Girls' 200m dash final
8 pm Boys' 4x400m relay final (on time)
8:30 pm Girls' 4x400m relay final (on time)
9 pm Boys' 4x800m relay final
9:30 pm Girls' 4x800m relay final

Field Events
9 am Boys' pole vault
9 am Boys' shot put
9 am Boys' long jump
9 am Girls' long jump
2 pm Boys' high jump
2 pm Girls' high jump
2 pm Boys' triple jump
2 pm Girls' triple jump
2 pm Girls' pole vault
2 pm Girls' shot put

Day Two Order of Events
On the Oval
9 am Freshmen Girls' 4x200m relay final (on time)
9:10 am Freshmen Boys' 4x200m relay final (on time)
9:30 am Sophomore Boys' 4x200m relay final (on time)
9:40 am Class Girls' 4x200m relay trials
10 am Class Boys' 4x200m relay trials
10:20 am Freshmen Girls' 4x400m relay final
10:35 am Freshmen Boys' 4x400m relay final
10:50 am Sophomore Girls' 4x400m relay final
11:05 am Sophomore Boys' 4x400m relay final
11:20 am Class Girls' 4x400m relay final
11:35 am Class Boys' 4x400m relay final
11:55 am Freshmen Girls' invitational mile run
Noon Freshmen Boys' invitational mile run
12:05 pm Class Girls' 4x200m relay final
12:10 pm Class Boys' 4x200m relay final
12:20 pm Sophomore Girls' invitational mile run
12:25 pm Sophomore Boys' invitational mile run
12:35 pm Freshmen Girls' 4x800m relay final
12:50 pm Freshmen Boys' 4x800m relay final
1:15 pm Sophomore Girls' 4x800m relay final
1:30 pm Sophomore Boys' 4x800m relay final
1:45 pm Class Girls' 4x800m relay final
2:05 pm Class Boys' 4x800m relay final
2:30 pm Varsity Girls' 4x400m relay final
2:50 pm Varsity Boys' 4x400m relay final

Field Events
9 am Class Girls' shot put relay
9 am Class Boys' long jump relay
9 am Class Girls' long jump relay
9 am Class Girls' high jump relay
9 am Class Boys' high jump relay
9 am Class Boys' pole vault relay
11:30 am Class Boys' shot put relay
11:30 am Freshmen Boys' long jump relay
11:30 am Freshmen Girls' long jump relay
11:30 am Freshmen Girls' high jump relay
11:30 am Freshmen Boys' high jump relay
11:30 am Class Girls' pole vault relay
Earlier this week, the USTFCCCA (that's the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches' Association) recognized the NCAA Division I all-region teams, revealing cream of the college crop for 2011. It also offered a chance to examine where those athletes went to high school -- and which states are contributing the most Division I talent.

Making the all-region is a byproduct of placing in the top 25 in one of the nine regional meets across the country last Saturday.

That means 450 athletes make the all-region teams, a list that skims the cream off the top of Division I cross country. And while it may not be exactly the 450 best ( because not all of the regions are equal), there is information here that may be eye-opening for high school athletes and coaches thinking about the next level.

The West Regional produced the fastest winning times, the fastest 20th place finishes and fastest 50th place finishes. That could be an indication that it was held on the easiest course, but it also indicates the level of talent in the West. Six women's teams from the West are ranked in the Top 30 nationally as well as four men's teams.

The deepest region for women may be the Great Lakes, where the top 50 finished within 81 seconds. The region with the fewest spaces up front for the men was the Mid-Atlantic Region, where the first and 50th finisher were separated by 84 seconds.

So where do the 450 all-region runners come from? Where is the fertile recruiting ground?

It may not come as a surprise that there are more Kenyans on the list (35) than there are Texans (30) or Californians (27). Additionally, 40 of the runners (or close to one-tenth) come from European countries. And 25 more come from Australia, New Zealand or Canada.

Would you believe that Pennsylvania produced more men on the list (12) than New York (8) or Illinois (8)? It's true. The Keystone state trails only California (15) and Texas (15). Also, 10 come from Indiana and nine hail from Georgia.

The women's list doesn't follow the same pattern. Texas (15) produces the most, which may seem odd because the state only runs 3,200-meter races for high school girls. Twelve of the 15 go to universities within Texas.

Ohio, the source of three of the men on the list, produces the same number of women (12) as California.

After Ohio and California, New York (11) and Michigan (11) are next, followed by New Jersey (10).

Pennsylvania, represented by 12 men, has just five women on the list. Iowa has six women, no men.

Here is a combined (men and women) breakdown by state or country where the athlete went to high school. Five states that did not make this list are Hawaii, Vermont, Delaware, Arkansas and Montana.

Kenya 35, Texas 30, California 27, New York 19, Michigan 17, Pennsylvania 17, Indiana 16, Ohio 15, New Jersey 15, Illinois 15, England 13, Georgia 11, Colorado 10, Utah 10, Virginia 10, Canada 10, Arizona 9, Connecticut 9, Australia 8, Minnesota 8, New Zealand 8, Missouri 7, Massachusetts 7, Florida 7, Tennessee 6, North Carolina 6, Washington 6, Iowa 6, Wisconsin 5, Ireland 5, Maryland 5, New Mexico 4, New Hampshire 4, Alabama 4, Germany 3, Uganda 3, West Virginia 3, Nevada 3, Norway 3, Kansas 3, South Carolina 3, Oregon 3, Wyoming 3, Nebraska 3, Kentucky 3, France 2, Belgium 2, Sweden 2, Idaho 2, Oklahoma 2, South Dakota 2, Mississippi 2, The Netherlands 2, Scotland 1, Maine 1, Czech Rep. 1, Rhode Island 1, Ethiopia 1, Venezuela 1, Zambia 1, Alaska 1, North Dakota 1, Portugal 1, Louisiana 1, South Africa 1, Estonia 1, Serbia 1 , Switzerland 1.
LarattaDave WattJudy Laratta embraces her son, Evan, after he won the Montgomery County Championship race in Maryland.
In between a gut-wrenching conversation with his mother and one of the biggest cross country meets of his senior year, Evan Laratta managed to squeeze in some of the normal things.

He reviewed the race plan for the Oct. 22 Montgomery County Championships in Gaithersburg, Md., 30 miles northwest of Washington, D.C.

He had a haircut, opting for a mohawk. He went out with his teammates and consumed a pile of pasta.

A few days earlier, the Quince Orchard High (Gaithersburg, Md.) senior sat down with his mother, Judy, who has cancer. Doctors say the case is terminal. It has advanced too far – into her bones, invading her ribs, her hips, her spine.

Since she was first diagnosed with MMMT (malignant mixed Müllerian tumor) a year ago, Judy had tried to protect her two sons and spare them the worrying details. Evan, naturally shy and reserved, was a year old when his parents divorced. He was not only raised by his mom, but he lived through her daily struggle (three cycles of chemotherapy, plus radiation treatments) over the past year. His outgoing older brother, David, lives a few hours away in Philadelphia, where he goes to college.

“I need to be honest with you,” Judy told Evan gently. “My cancer is very serious. You need to determine whether you are going to live with your father or your brother. It’s something you need to think about.”

It was impossible for Evan to separate the county championships from his mom.

And when David, a senior and member of the track team at La Salle University, called late in the week, it was to deliver a simple message.

“Do this for mom,” David told Evan. “You know what makes her happy. Do it for her.”

Few things in life make Judy happier than watching her boys run. When David turned his attention from soccer to distance running at Quince Orchard, she became a track mom. David was second at the state cross country meet as a senior and later he split 1:53 on the 4x800 relay indoors.

When Evan came into high school, Judy picked up her camera and began shooting the meets, took some photos for runningmaryland.com and even sold a few of her images. She even considered turning the hobby into a business.

Photography, and her own running, are two loves that Judy has had to go without in recent months. On the Saturday of the Montgomery County meet, Judy took her camera but barely used it because of pain in her shoulder.

The morning of the meet, at Gaithersburg Farm Park, Evan felt excited and ready to go.

“I was just thinking, ‘This is my last counties, my last chance to actually win the county championship,’” Evan said. “I knew it was going to be a good race and I’d have a chance to break 16 (minutes).”

But Evan was not the pre-race favorite. Most considered Will Conway, a senior at Winston Churchill MD, to be the favorite. More often than not, Conway (a state champion in the indoor 1,600) beats Laratta.

“Line the two of them up and Will’s the giant compared to Evan in terms of running,” Quince Orchard coach Seann Pelkey said.

A tall order, but not impossible.

Evan moved with the lead pack, along with Conway, as the race began its three-loop tour of the park. The crowd thinned out, then it was down to three, and finally it was just Laratta and Conway all alone.

At the 4,000 meters mark, Pelkey had a final chance to say something as the runners went by.

And in that critical moment, the coach said: “Do it for your mother!”

Laratta heard those words. Pelkey hoped he’d pushed the right button.

“That was a card I’d never expected to ever play, saying that for inspiration,” Pelkey said. “But this is something we’ve been dealing with for a long time. It’s not something I would use cheaply. I think that at that point, 4K in, it’s very important to keep focus and very hard to do. I think it was the one little catch that locked him back into the task.”

Of course, the moment Pelkey said the words, he knew they were risky. What if Evan doesn’t do it for his mom? What if Conway lifts up and sprints past him?

“Everyone has that spot deep inside, where we can lock in and focus,” Pelkey said. “We can all do something great. We can all find that trigger.”

Pelkey’s assertion is confirmed by what happened next.

Evan turned the words into renewed determination. His mother was out there, somewhere, watching. This was a race, and a memory, he alone could deliver to her.

Evan went past Conway for good with less than 600 to go and then gave everything he had.

“Basically, (I was thinking) this is the last chance I have,” Evan said. “I was in pain, but I can fight this. Think about my mom. Think about her. Do this for her. You can do it.”

Evan’s legs felt numb as he approached the finish line. He was deep into oxygen debt, gasping for breath.

But he got there first, in 16 minutes, 0.82 seconds. Conway leaned ahead of Nick Simpson (Albert Einstein MD) for second, more than eight seconds back.

At the end of the finish chute, Evan found his mom and gave her a hug. They have been through so much in the past year. Evan tried to do more around the house to keep it clean. Many nights, he went out to pick up dinner so his mom didn’t have to cook. When his mom suffered burns from radiation, Evan didn’t always know the details but he knew it when his mom was in pain.

Throughout the spring, Evan’s stress was evident. His grades suffered, his performances on the track were affected.

A month ago, after receiving the news that cancer had spread to her bones, Judy Laratta decided to do something big. She rented an 8,000-square foot villa, complete with infinity pool and Japanese garden, on a slice-of-heaven beach in Turks and Caicos Islands in the Caribbean Sea. She brought friends. She flew down her boys for the second half of the week.

“It’s important to me to enjoy my life while I am still able to do it,” Judy said.

Evan and David snorkeled and relaxed, and all the while knew they were there to create a lasting memory with their mother.

The Montgomery County meet was another one.

“I didn’t expect him to win the race,” Judy said. “I saw him up front and thought, ‘Oh my God, I can’t believe it!’ I’m not sure if I ran or walked. I can’t remember how I got to the finish line. But when I got to him he said, ‘Mom, that race was for you.’”

Emotions overflowed in the park that day.

“My mom, I know she can fight through her cancer, so then it shouldn’t be a problem for me win a race,” Evan said. “She inspired me and it pushed me more.”

David was monitoring the race through texts and phone calls.

“My brother, when he has something to strive for he’ll push himself to do it,” David said. “My brother would do anything to make her happy.”

Evan and his Quince Orchard teammates will run in the regional championship meet on Thursday. And the state championships are Nov. 12.

Running is more than a sport now for Evan. It’s the place where he channels emotion and tries to give something to his mother, feeding her courage with his own.

“He’s gone places he’s never gone before (in the county race),” Pelkey, Evan’s coach, said. “I think he’s liking the attention, it’s something that’s evolved in him the last few weeks. He’s looser, more vocal. He’s more able to talk about his mother, and more able to talk about himself.”