USATF National Junior Olympic XC Championships took place on a snowy day in Reno Nevada. Ammar Moussa won the Intermediate boys division with a time of 15:54. Emily Nist won the girls Intermediate division with a time of 18:42. Official Press Release Here
Indoor results compiled by Aaron Rich and Brandon Miles.
The first major weekend of Indoor Track and Field began with a bang while XC diehards made their way home from San Diego California. The weekend saw Kathleen and Joanna Stevens run a pair of swift 3200's, taking advantage of their cross country conditioning. Fresh off their top 10 finishes at the Nike Cross Nationals last weekend, the Stevens twins of Blacksburg (VA) jumped quickly onto the track to post two of the fastest indoor times ever in Virginia state history behind only two-time Foot Locker Nationals champion Erin Keogh at the Liberty Elite Invitational in Lynchburg, Virginia. NXN individual runner-up Kathleen Stevens (10:26.65) finished just ahead of twin sister and NXN 9th place finisher Joanna Stevens (10:26.75) as the two worked together to post times of 10:26 each. Blacksburg teammate George Carter recorded the first sub 4:20 1600 meter time of the season in the country with his 4:19.95. Carter also currently leads the nation at 3200 meters (9:29.44).
West Potomac put up a US#1 9:37.44 in the 4x800 and Nicki Nunn lept out to 19-2.25 for US#1 in the long jump.
In other Virginia action Sulaiman Fareed put the shot close to 56 feet with a US#1 55-10.5 and Taylor Sykes put up a US#1 6.37 in the 55 meter dash. Quintaze Jackson put up a nation leading triple jump of 46-11.25. Anthony Kostelac put up a US#1 2:33.18 in the 1000 meter run. Anthony Kostelac (VA), the key anchor leg on Albemarle High School's national recording breaking 4x800 meter relays last year, is beginning to work his way back to top form after getting a late start to his cross country season due to a season ending stress fracture of the femur last spring. Kostelac, who split a 1:49 anchor when Albemarle posted their 7:30.67 USR performance at the Penn Relays, kicked off his senior year of track with a nation's best 2:33.18 1000 meter run at Liberty.
Lacey Shuman (MD), a senior at Maryvale Prep School in Maryland achieved a new personal best in the high jump with a US #1 clearance of 5'10" at the Howard County Winterfest held at the Prince George County's Sports & Learning Center. A significant improvement for an athlete which finished 14th at Nike Indoor Nationals last March in the girls high jump. In the same meet, Landstown (VA) senior Stephanie Frenchik won the girls' mile race in a time of 5:05.65 and McDonough School (MD) senior Kristin Brown clocking a 8.15 performance in the 55 meter hurdles were other notable US #1 performances in the same meet.
Out of Pennsylvania Carlton Lavong put up a US#1 23-11 long jump. Carlton Lavong (PA), a member of the USA's World Youth Championships team last summer, leaped his way into his senior year at Methacton High School with a long mark nearly over 24 feet at the TFCAofGP Meet #1. Lavong, who won the Penn Relays last April with a personal best of 24'6.50", popped an opening season and US leading mark of 23'11. Lavong is also one of the nation's top returning performers in the triple jump with several quality marks over 49 feet last year as a junior. New Yorker Oneil Sandiford put up a US#1 6-6 in the high jump.
In Indiana, Futsum Zeinasellassie (IN) ran to a solid 5000 meter victory with a US#1 time of 15:25.98. Zeinasellassie had opted to shut down his cross country season following his Indiana State Championship victory, which was unfortunate for distance fans as Zeinasellassie certainly would have been competitive at the Foot Locker Nationals this past weekend as a top 10 finisher from a year ago along with fellow Indiana runners Tyler Byrne and Chris Walden earning All-American honors in San Diego. Zeinasellassie had no problem racing this weekend though as he jumped in a 5000 meter indoor race at Anderson University's indoor track facility. At the Anderson University Early Bird Invitational, Zeinasellassie recored a time not far off his best 5K performances in cross country with a 15:25.98 win.
William Blake Heriot (OH), one of the nation's top returning sprinters from Gahanna Lincoln High School in Ohio, kicked off his season showcasing his range with a 1:05.30 national leading performance in the 500 meter dash. Returning with the nation's fastest time at 200 meters, Heriot competed in the 500 against collegiate athletes at the Kent State Golden Flash Gala. Heriot was a Nike Outdoor Nationals runner-up last June in the 200 meter dash (US top returning in event) and has already committed to run for the University of Florida.
Also competing in the same Kent State college meet was Glenville (OH) junior Quincy Downing. Downing jumped in the 800 meter run, which he recorded a US #1 time of 1:55.61. A nice start for Downing, who represented Team USA in the World Youth Games after winning the trials meet last summer in Michigan with a swift personal best of 1:51.99. The Ohio middle distance star figures to be contending for several national titles this year at the 800 meter distance.
The Western Branch girls and Keilah Tyson (VA) are off to a flying star this winter. Tyson, the Virginia 3A defending state champion in the 55 meter dash, transferred to Western Branch for her junior year and is already running near top speed knocking on the door of her first sub 7 second clocking in the 55 meter dash with her 7.04 victory at the CNU HS Winter Frolic. Tyson, an AAU Junior Olympics national champion at 100 meters with a 11.73 best, also ran a leg on Western Branch's 4x200 meter relay which posted a stellar flat track performance of 1:42.08. Put them on a banked track and a sub 1:40 performance is well within reach.
New York has been the state producing the best marks so far in the girls' throwing events with Vanessa Stewart of North Babylon (NY) in the shot put and Karen Henning of St. Anthony's (NY) in the weight throw. Henning, an All-American in the weight throw last year at NSIC with a sixth place finish, threw for a near three foot PR in her first meet of the season with a mark of 53'4". Stewart twice was a New York state runner-up last year as a junior, but is hoping to improve one place this year at her state meets as well as the National Scholastic Indoor Championships to claim titles. Stewart threw her personal best of 47'5.25" in a national runner-up showing last March at NSIC and kicked off the 2009-2010 indoor season with a mark of 45'7".
Monica Williams (VA) of Green Run's 39.95 clocking on Saturday at the Boo Williams Sportsplex in Hampton for the ABX Track Experience should hold up for a while as one of the country's fastest 300 meter dash times on a flat track. Her opening meet was a big jump in performance from her junior year without a time under 42 seconds in the 300 meter dash. On the same 200 meter track earlier in the week, Taylor Sykes (VA) of Great Bridge blazed a US #1 6.37 in the 55 meter dash and also recorded a time of 1:05.83, which stood as the nation's fastest until Heriot's run on Saturday at Kent State. Sykes was a Nike All-American indoor (3rd place) and outdoor (6th place) last year, while the 500 meter dash might be one of his best events as he been ranked among the top 3 in the nation for the past two years with a 1:03.69 all-time best.