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Price, Flowers, girls relays clashes to light up The Armory

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Preview by SteveU

Easton PA sr Chanelle Price and Providence RI (Classical HS) sr Victoria Flowers have already broken national records at this indoor season. This weekend, they’ll have a chance to do it again in an atmosphere alight with the collegiate stars they’ll be competing with next year.

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Chanelle Price and Victoria Flowers - Photos from The Track Junkie

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Price (1000 meters) and Flowers (weight throw) highlight the high school entries in this weekend’s 8th Annual New Balance Collegiate Invitational. The event is the biggest for collegians on The Armory schedule, but it is also spiked with a dozen prep events. The include boys and girls Junior 1000s and weight throws, boys and girls 4x200, 4x400, and 4x800 relays, and PSAL 4x200s for both genders. Both 4x800s, the Junior Girls 1000, and the Junior Boys Weight Throw are Friday night. The other eight HS/Jr events are Saturday afternoon.

Price, DyeStat’s Athlete of the Year for 2007 and the USA’s overwhelming 800 star, set a US record in a special 500 meters (1:10.30) at the New Balance Games last month. She will again show her sprint/endurance range as she goes for the 1000 mark Friday. Earlier this season, Chanelle ran 2:47.85 for the distance, =#6 all-time. The record – a 2:43.40 by Sarah Bowman from 2005 – is hardly soft. Bowman had run 2:04.94 outdoors the year before and would run 4:36.95 for the mile outdoors as a senior.

But Price is a 2:02.38 800 runner and could split 2:10 and still get the mark. She is the national 800 leader this year at 2:07.3, despite not having run the event on a fast track yet, and the only sub-55 400 in the nation so far this winter is her split from the 500 race. She ran 4:50.85 for the mile last year.

Although the field includes some other very good runners, it’s hard to imagine anyone coming close to the Tennessee signee. There’s a lot of talent there, including New Yorkers Sarah McCurdy (Bay Shore senior), Kristin Reese (Carmel senior), and Caitlin Lane (Greenwich senior). But anyone who tries to stay with Price for more than 2 laps will risk serious oxygen debt; she’s just too good.

Flowers, who happily surprised herself with her 61-00.75 whirl at the Brown Invite, will come down to The Armory where favorite son Walter Henning was so successful in the boys throw many times. In fact, Walter, now a North Carolina Tar Heel, will be competing this weekend and may be on hand to watch Flowers, especially since his younger sister Karen is also throwing.

Henning (a St. Anthony’s soph), Monroe-Woodbury sr Robin Callen, and Shoreham-Wading River jr Ashley Clasen are the New York trio entered who are ranked 9-8-7 in the US, respectively. Flowers’ teammate, Bidemi Balogun, will also be in the mix.

The relay thrills will start Friday with the 4x800s. On the girls side, US#1 Conestoga PA (9:11.48) will be challenged by traditional power Eleanor Roosevelt MD, which ran 9:01 here last year and will be in their first big race since the Jameson sisters graduated. Benjamin Cardozo, with Dalilah Muhammad and more talent in the 2:17-2:20 range, should also challenge seriously, as should Westfield NJ and Holy Names NY. It should be an extraordinarily good mid-season race.
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Eleanor Roosevelt (photo Ken Charnock) and Boys and Girls relay (photo John Nepolitan) crews

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US#2 Morris Hills NJ leads the boys field, with Hunterdon Central NJ, Warwick Valley NY, and Newburgh Academy NY all looking like strong contenders. With no one under 7:55 yet this year, a new US#1 would not surprise at all.

Saturday’s 4x200s will kick off the stick action, with US#2 Boys and Girls (1:40.68) and US#3 Eleanor Roosevelt (1:41.79) facing off on the girls side to start things off. Ramapo NJ has the only sub-1:30 boys mark in the field, but expect 2 or 3 more with Trenton Central NJ a lead challenger.

Then the 4x400s will feature what should be another ridiculously good Eleanor Roosevelt vs. Boys and Girls race; the MD team is US#1 3:48.54 from its debut at Virginia Tech, while the NY power is #2 (3:51.44) and fresh off its Millrose win. Cardozo and Muhammad is just a fraction of a second off B&G’s time. Newburgh (3:19.11) is a clear favorite for the boys, with 3 of the 6 best times in the country. Meade MD is the top challenger.

That leaves the other two individual events on the boys side Saturday. The 1000 originally featured US#1 Parker Boudreau and Millrose mile champ Kyle Merber, both of whom are no longer listed. That could leave the favorite’s role to Watertown WI sr Andrew Perkins, the US 600 leader in 1;19.91 and a 1:50.17 800 runner last year. NY star Lance Roller, author of two 1:54s this winter, will give him a tough fight.

In the Junior Boys Weight Throw, Patrick Onye – another outstanding part of the Classical RI throwing program – leads the field. He is US#2 both on the indoor-only (67-05.25) and overall (69-04.75) lists. Jim Schwendtner NY and three other 60-footers will battle him.

HS Entries (from ny.milesplit.com, a Milesplit.us affiliate)

HSB 4x2 Sat 1:50 PM
1Trenton CentralNJ
3Sheepshead BayNY
4Newburgh Free AcademyNY
HSB 4x4 Sat 2:55 PM
1Pine BushNY
2Sheepshead BayNY
6Newburgh Free AcademyNY
HSB 4x8 Fri 6:30 PM
4Warwick ValleyNY
5Morris HillsNJ
7Eleanor RooseveltMD
8Hunterdon CentralNJ
9Newburgh Free AcademyNY
PSAL Boys 4x2 Sat 3:55 PM
1Benjamin BannekerBrooklyn
2Medgar EversBrooklyn
4Boys & GirlsBrooklyn
5Transit TechBrooklyn
HSG 4x2 Sat 1:44 PM
1Mt VernonNY
3Swenson Arts & TechnologyPA
5Boys & GirlsNY
6Eleanor RooseveltMD
HSG 4x4 Sat 2:47 PM
2Mt. VernonNY
5Eleanor RooseveltMD
6Boys & GirlsNY
HSG 4x8 Fri 7:45 PM
1Immaculate Heart AcademyNJ
2Burnt Hills-Ballston LakeNY
3Conestoga PA
4Eleanor RooseveltMD
10Holy NamesNY
PSAL Girls 4x2 Sat 3:51 PM
2Sheepshead BayBrooklyn
4Medgar EversBrooklyn
5Campus MagnetQueens
6Paul RobesonBrooklyn
Junior Boys 1000 meters Sat 1:39 PM
1Eric McDonaldGroveland, Mass.
3Lance RollerCortlandt Park, NY
4Andrew PerkinsWatertown, Wis.
5Logan CollinsOrange, Va.
6Daniel EdmundGreenbelt, Md.
8Loilu DegfaeAlexandria Va.
8TihutDegfaeAlexandria Va.
8Joe Larusso 
Junior Girls 1000 meters Fri 8:25 PM
1Caitlin LaneGreenwich NY
2Sarah McCurdyBay Shore NY
3Chanelle PriceEaston Pa
4Paige JohnstonMidlothian Va
5Kristen ReeseCarmel NY
6Emma Miller-BedellOrangeburg NY
7Dana WalshNYC
7Jayna McGehee 
Junior Boys weight throw Fri 8 PM
1Vinnie TorrisiCentral Valley NY
2Bob FiedlerGrahamsville NY
3Jim SchwendtnerClifton Park NY
4Patrick OnyeProvidence RI
5Vincenzo ChiarielloStaten Island NY
6Josh FaboydeProvidence RI
7Garrett GreyGrahamsville NY
8Kyle AlbrechtLagrangeville NY
Junior Girls weight throw Sat 4:10 PM
1Dwayna FreelandNYC
2Robin CallanCentral Valley NY
3Alyssa PehmoellerLagrangeville NY
4Victoria FlowersProvidence RI
5Bidemi BalogunProvidence RI
6Ashley ClasenWading River NY
7Karen HenningLong Island NY

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