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National Scholastic Indoor Championships
March 13-15, 2009 - New York Armory

Ashton Purvis 60/200
double is "mind blowing"

By Rich Bevensee
New York NY 3/15/09 -- With her legs working as fast they ever have and her confidence soaring, Ashton Purvis is ready to move on to the outdoor track season. 

That’s how it is going to work for a young lady from California who has two national titles and two US #1 rankings to take with her on the long flight home. The mindset, for her at least, is let’s see if I can parlay this into bigger things on a 400-meter oval.

Purvis, a junior at St. Elizabeth in Oakland CA, enjoyed the finest meet of her blossoming track career this weekend when she claimed gold in the 60-meter  dash and the 200 meters at the 26th National Scholastic Indoor Championships at the New Balance Track and Field Center at the Armory in New York.

``It really is mind-blowing what happened this weekend,’’ Purvis said. ``You know how you dream about things that could happen? This has always been a dream of mine, winning two events at nationals. Now that it happened, though, I can’t believe it.

``I still wish I could have run faster in my events, but winning is something I will never forget. It’s the best feeling in the world. I’m looking forward to outdoor track and see if I can keep this up.’’

Purvis closed out her memorable weekend on Sunday when she made up the stagger early in her seeded 200 meter heat and crossed unchallenged in US #1 23.37.  It was her second gold medal of the meet. Earlier on Sunday, Purvis won the 60 dash in US #3 7.43.

Following Purvis in the 200, Whitney Fountain of New York NY finished second in US #3 23.82, and Janelle RedHead of North York, Ontario, placed third in 24.28.

``I’m satisfied with my time, but I did want that record,’’ Purvis said, speaking of the junior class national record of 23.26 set in 2006 by Bianca Knight of Ridgeland MS. ``If I could go back in time I’d go faster at the beginning. It was my start that cost me. But if (Fountain) wasn’t there, maybe I wouldn’t have run as fast as I did.’’

60m final

In the second girls final of the day, Purvis got somewhat of a late start in the 60 dash. Halfway through the race, her peripheral vision from her Lane 4 position told her she was trailing about half the field.

``My coach taught me how to be patient in a race, and I needed that today"    Purvis said. ``At the start I had to calm down, but when I saw people ahead of
me I knew I had to start working. If I’m in the 100 and I’m in back at 50 or 60, I start to make my move. Obviously that doesn’t work today. I was able to get
my stride going and move up.’’

photo by John Dye