With so many big invitationals and championships this past weekend, we wrap-up the weekend and move forward with our eyes focused forward towards Columbus, Ohio (USATF Junior Nationals) and Greensboro, North Carolina (Nike Outdoor Nationals). In this week's edition of News & Notes we touch upon a few state meets, how the girls 800m should be considered the event of the year and what the week ahead brings.
News & Notes (6/10)
Vermont State T&F Championships (VT)
Highlights - The last state meets in the New England area took place this past weekend and Vermont was one of those. As the athletes closed out their season, a few athletes really showed just how great they can be. Essex (VT) and St. Johnsbury (VT) showed they were the top two schools in the state this season, placing 1-2 in the girls championship team title scores and 2-1 on the boys side.
The Essex girls field event crew racked up an impressive point total, placing 1-4 in the long jump and triple jump, led by the Hennessey sisters Shannon and Bridget. Shannon won the long jump, while Bridget led the schools domination in the triple jump. Also, Essex received wins from Sarah Sherman in the high jump, Mary Krug in the pole vault and Lauren Goodnow in the javelin throw.
While Essex dominate dthe girls field events, St. Johnsbury dominated the girls track events. Haley Gray won the girls 3000m run and took second in the 1500m run, while teammate Hannah Rowe won the 1500m run and placed second in the 800m dash. Also, Tiara Martin won the 400m dash, as well as both the 100m and 300m hurdle events.
On the boys side, St. Johnsbury picked up the state title by scoring many points over a variety of events, although not having one athlete that really stood head and shoulders above the rest. The tandem of Ken Bunnell and Kyle Powers led the team with their 1-2 sweeps in the 1500 and 3000m races.
Essex received their strongest points from Zac Farnham-Haskell, who won the boys 400m dash, while teammate Brandon Kieft won the 800m dash. Other multiple event winners include Kevin Warner (Colchester, VT) in the 100m and 200m dashes, junior Kevin Chu (Burlington, VT) in the 110m and 300m hurdle events and Noah Gillard (Brattleboro, VT) in the long and triple jump competitions.
MileStat.com Elite Track Gala (VA)
Highlights - Many of the top athletes from Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland and a handful of other states assembled at the MileStat.com Elite Track Gala this past weekend. Numerous all-American caliber athletes competed, tuning up for Nike Outdoor Nationals in two weeks and vying for regional bragging rights. A few top performance shined Saturday, including Wayne Davis' (Southeast Raleigh, NC) in the boys 110m hurdles. The multi-time all-American won the event in a wind-aided mark of 14.31.
Elsewhere, New Bern (NC) teammates Fuquawn Green and Anthony Hendrix both won events, as Green won the boys 200m dash in 21.46 and took second in the 400m dash. Hendrix won an impressive 800m competition, which saw five athletes under 1:54. Hendrix used his superior speed to pull away from the field with an outstanding 1:51.55 effort. Max Kaulbach (Germantown Friends, PA) also competed well in the boys 1500m run, winning the event in 3:54.48.
On the girls side, Eleanor Roosevelt (MD) and Landstown (VA) showed up and impressed. Eleanor Roosevelt's Elaine Hilaire won the 400m dash in 55.30, while taking second in the 200m dash in 24.76. Landtown's Taylor Wheaton won the 100m hurdles in 14.51, while coming back later in the day to win the 400m hurdle event in a great time of 1:02.66.
Other top performers were Dominique Weathers (Vance), who won the girls 200m dash in 24.33 and the 100m dash in a wind-aided 12.15. Nefertiti Smith (Norfolk Collegiate, VA) was perhaps the best all-around performer on the day, winning the triple jump in 38-07.50w, long jump in 18-10.75w, jumped 5-06 in the high jump and placed second in the 100m hurdles in 14.68. Quite an effort for a single day!
Price & Roesler Step Into Greatness
History was made this past weekend in the girls 800m. Two of the best performances ever in the event took place on the west coast on Saturday and Sunday. The most hyped up part of the prep athletes involved in the Prefontaine Classic was the entry of Chanelle Price (Easton, PA) (pictured left by Victah Sailer of PhotoRun.net) in the women's 800m. All season long Price has been running under 2:05 by herself in almost all of her competitions, and racing some of the best on Sunday was going to test just how fast she could run.
Well, the Tennessee-bound senior impressed, leading the field through the first 400m in 58 seconds and taking charge all the way until 600m, where she was finally passed, but Price held on strong to finish in a new U.S. #2 all-time performance of 2:01.61. What made Price's performance even more impressive was the way she ran the race. She never feared being in the lead, running like a true professional and showing she will indeed be a force at the Olympic Trials in a few weeks time.
Further down the west coast, Laura Roesler (Fargo South, ND) kept on improving in the 800m dash, an event she had only run a half dozen times so far this season. The super sophomore ran 2:03.08 to place third in the event against post-collegiate competition, currently ranking herself 13th in the nation in the event, and earning a prep U.S. #8 all-time mark in the event. This brings up the question as to whether or not Roesler will run the Olympic Trials. Talking to her coach two weeks ago, MileSplit learned that Roesler was strongly considering running in the Trials assuming she made it. Well, a 2:03.08 should most certainly qualify.
While it will be great to see both these athletes competing in Eugene at the Olympic Trials, perhaps the best part could be if they are paired up in the same heat and square off against one another. Price and Roesler will not meet before then, so fans of both athletes will have to wait to see if they are in the same heat at the Trials. We can only hope.
The Week Ahead
Less than two weeks remain until USATF Junior Nationals and Nike Outdoor Nationals take place and numerous athletes across the country are racing one last time to make sure they are ready to go for their biggest competitions of the season. Out east the New England Championships bring together the best athletes across Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut to go head to head against one another for regional bragging rights. With nearly every state champion in the field for all the half dozen states, this year's edition should be one to remember.
In the middle of the country, the Midwest Distance Gala (IL) will bring together many of the top distance runners in the Midwest and beyond to compete in a handful of events between 800m and two miles. All-Americans Emily Sisson, Rob Finnerty and Andrew Perkins headline the event, which should produce some deep results in nearly every event.
One country over...Puerto Rico will be hosting the Caribbean Scholastic Invitational, which should have some of the United States' best track and field athletes. The National Sports Scholastic Foundation (NSSF) is in charge of the U.S. contingent and once again this squad should produce some amazing results. Sprinters, jumpers and hurdlers generally dominate the competition.
Elsewhere, every state meet in the nation is over except for the New York State T&F Championships. The last of the last state championships. The stakes are high one week before USATF Junior Nationals and Nike Outdoor Nationals, and athletes in the state are primed and ready to blaze. After some big pre-state meets showed great results, another two weeks of peaking should put the best athletes in the state right in the range of where they need to be.