While there were many great meets this past weekend, the top meets were relays. The Mt. SAC Relays in California and Kansas Relays topped the schedule, as many U.S. top ten marks were earned. With May quickly approaching, conference, regional, district and sectional meets are right around the corner. Keep tuning back each week as we offer summaries and analysis of the top performances from around the United States.
Midwest Distance Gala Registration is Open
The 2009 edition of the Midwest Distance Gala is open for business! Registration is now open on the Distance Gala website, as well as many other features, including links to our Twitter feed and blog. Taking place on the evening of Saturday, June 13, 2009, the Midwest Distance Gala offers opportunities to athletes from across the country to race head-to-head, in a highly competitive and professional environment. Last year's top performance was Rob Finnerty's 4:01.09 mile effort, which ranks him U.S. #7 all-time in the event. Who will shine this year?
Midwest Distance Gala Website
Mt. SAC Relays
The Mt. SAC Relays is one of the most historic meets in the high school season every year, and this year many fine performances were put up at the annual classic. One of the finest performances came in the boys distance medley relay, which saw University City (CA) take home the title in 10:04.03. They were anchored by Oregon-signee Mac Fleet, who ran a blazing 4:04.5h 1,600m anchor leg according to Dyestat.
The top relay performance of the weekend came from the powerhouse boys 4x800m relay team of Dana Hills (CA). Dana Hills overpowered the rest of the field, running away to an amazing time of 7:40.30. Dana Hills has time and again this year shown that they may be the best distance squad in the country.
Other top performances came in the 800m dash. Carlyle Davis (Marlborough, CA) won the girls 800m dash in a U.S. top five time of 2:09.57, while Chris Ramsey (Glendora, CA) edged sophomore sensation Elias Geydon (Loyola, CA) 1:56.05-1:56.12 in the boys 800m dash. Long Beach Poly (CA) continued their impressive ways in the girls 4x800m relay as well, winning in 9:09.70.
In the boys 3,200m run, Chris Schwartz (Foothill, CA) won his second consecutive Mt. SAC Relays race, coming back after a sub-par performance at the Arcadia Invitational last weekend, this time winning in 9:12.57. Karlee Owens (Arroyo Grande, CA) won the girls 3,200m run in 10:48.05. In other distance action, Zack Torres (Crescenta Valley, CA) out leaned Sam Pons (South Pasadena, CA) to win the boys 1,600m run, 4:14.19-4:14.32.
Mt. SAC Relays Results
While it might have been overshadowed by the Mt. SAC Relays, the Kansas Relays put up plenty of distance highlights. The top performance of the weekend was easily the girls 3,200m, which saw the emergence of Megan Yohe (Liberty, MO) onto the national stage. The junior finished a half stride behind all-American Emily Sisson (Parkway Central, MO), running a big personal best of 10:31.26. Sisson finished in a season best of 10:31.07. Third place Avery Clifton (Topeka-Washburn, KS) also ran a great race with a finishing time of 10:40.09.
In the boys 3,200m race, Nick Happe (Francis Howell North, MO) came up big, winning the race over a strong field in 9:11.69. Finishing second was junior Danny Thater (Kickapoo, MO), who ran a season best of 9:17.29. In the boys 1,600m event, Adam Porter (McPherson, KS) continued to show he might be the best distance runner in Kansas this spring, winning the race in 4:18.54. The junior simply ran away from the field, while senior Jeff Warren (Mountain View, CO) placed second in 4:22.03, after coming back from winning the 800m dash in 1:56.06.
Another top performance came from Samantha Thompson (Sienna) in the girls 800m dash. Thompson ran away from a solid field to win in a great time of 2:13.37. On Saturday, Sisson came back from her Friday evening 3,200m performance with a win in the 1,600m run, winning in 4:59.68. Yohe finished second in 5:03.65.
Kansas Relays Results
Distance Highlights from Around the U.S.
* The Woodlands (TX) have been a powerhouse program year in and year out under coach Danny Green. In his final year of coaching, Green's team seems to want to send their coach out on a very high note, as they dominated their district championships. Wisconsin-bound Reed Connor won the 3,200m run in 8:59.55, while coming back to place first in the 1,600m run, edging senior teammate Drew Butler, 4:16.13-4:16.14. Butler then came back to win the 800m dash in 1:50.83. Tom Sanderson also had a great weekend, going 9:22.89/4:19.28. On the girls side, Sarah Andrews won the 3,200m run in 10:47.03, while picking up a victory in the 1,600m run in 4:57.65.
* Chelsey Sveinsson (Greenhill, TX), who is having perhaps the best track season in the country thus far this spring, won the SPC North Zone Championships 800m dash race in 2:09.09. Her time ranks her in the U.S. top five nationally.
* York High School (IL) is starting to turn up the heat on their Illinois distance competition, competing at the Bud Mohns Invitational Saturday. The Dukes saw big highlights from most of their top runners. Seniors Steve Sulkin and Jordan Herbert went 1-2 in the 3,200m run, with Sulkin running 9:12.13 and Herbert going 9:27.42. In the 1,600m run, senior David Way ran 4:20.84, while sophomore standout Jack Driggs ran 4:21.96.
* At the Red Raider Relays (NY), Megan Patrignelli (Monroe Woodbury, NY) ran one of the top times in the country for 800m, as the New York standout went 2:10.03. Also, Shelby Greany (Suffern, NY) edged in-state rival Aisling Cuffe (Cornwall, NY) in the girls 3,200m run, as the Providence-bound Greany won 10:27.33-10:28.33.
Kara Goucher, Ryan Hall Place Third at Boston Marathon
Racing tough fields, and dealing with strong winds, Kara Goucher and Ryan Hall showed that American distance runners can compete with anyone in the world, as both athletes placed third at the Boston Marathon Monday morning. Goucher ran a strong race, charging hard in the final miles, losing by only nine seconds in 2:32:25. Meanwhile, Hall took out and led the early stages of the race, hanging on with a valiant effort over the closing miles. He finished in 2:09:40, eight seconds off second place.
Boston Marathon Top 15 Results
Boston Marathon Race Recap (ESPN)
Additional Articles of Interest
Brief Chat with Shannon Rowbury (Runner's World)
Brief Chat with Dathan Ritzenhein (Runner's World)
Interview with Oregon prep Nathan Mathabane (Dyestat)
Penn Relays High School Start Lists (Penn Relays)
USATF CEO Doug Logan's Latest Blog Post (USATF)
Shalane Flanagan Picks New Coach (US Distance Runner)
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