As student-athletes get back from spring break, the outdoor season really picked up this week, as the Texas Relays and Florida Relays took hold of the results page. Dozens of great performances were put up at these two events, including a hyper-impressive double by Texas sophomore Chelsey Sveinsson, who won the 3,200m run in 10:12.11 and the 1,600m run in 4:46.47 at the Texas Relays.
As usual, the Texas Relays provided the top highlights of the first weekend in April, as athletes from around Texas, and a handful of other states, converged in the state capital of Austin and took to the annual showdown. No distance athlete impressed more than Chelsey Sveinsson (So., Greenhill, TX), who won both the 3,200m run and 1,600m run.
Sveinsson beat some strong competition in the process, showing that she's taken her talent to the next level. Sveinsson ran a U.S. #1 time in the 3,200m event, besting Sarah Andrews (Jr., The Woodlands, TX) 10:12.11-10:21.34 for the win. Six athletes in total dipped under 10:49 in the race. With a big win Friday, Sveinsson then came back Saturday, easily winning the 1,600m race in 4:46.47, 16 seconds ahead of second place.
In the relays, Long Beach Poly (CA) showed they aren't just a sprint powerhouse, as they racked up wins in the 4x800m relay and Distance Medley Relay. LBP won the 4x800m relay in a meet record and U.S. #1 time of 9:07.95, then coming back Saturday to win the DMR by just over four seconds in 12:10.38.
While Long Beach Poly dominated the girls side, on the boys side The Woodlands (TX) once again ruled the track, winning the 4x800m relay on Friday and DMR on Saturday. The Woodlands won the 4x8 by just over six seconds, running 7:46.03, besting the relay team from Georgetown (TX), who finished second in 7:52.76 and had two sophomores and a junior on their relay. The Woodlands beat out Georgetown 10:06.12-10:16.85 for the DMR title.
Elsewhere, Craig Lutz (So., FM Marcus, TX) showed that he's going to be a sub-nine contender this spring, as the sophomore won the boys 3,200m run 9:03.99-9:08.63 over Austin Roth (Sr., Lake Highlands, TX). Zachary Ornelas (Sr., CP Vista Ridge, TX) won the boys 2k steeplechase by nearly 18 seconds, taking home top honors in 5:58.88, while Alex De La Garza (Sr., Mercedes, TX) won the boys 1,600m run in 4:15.77.
Texas Relays Results
While the Texas Relays garnered much of the attention this past weekend, the Florida Relays put up impressive numbers as well. From the girls 800m, to the boys 1,600m, to the boys 4x800m relay, some of the top times in the nation were put up.
The girls 800m event found another national-caliber star. Senior Skyler Wallen (Miami Northwestern, FL) outran a strong field to break the 2:10-barrier with a 2:09.00 winning effort. Wallen finished well ahead of Becca Deloache (Myers Park, FL), who finished second in 2:11.96. Wallen then came back Saturday to lead her Miami Northwestern 4x800m relay squad to victory with a 9:17.45 winning time.
In the boys 1,600m run, Derek Wehunt (Sickles, FL) showed that he will be a force this spring. After racing to a 9:06.78 3,2000m finish at the FSU Relays last weekend, Wehunt backed that up with a U.S. #1 time of 4:11.14 to win the race by nearly two seconds. The senior showed he's ready to compete on the next level and will get his chance next weekend, as he's registered to run the boys 3,200m run at the Arcadia Invitational. Behind Wehunt was runner-up Connor Revord (Tampa Jesuit, FL) in 4:13.12 and Colin Baker (Bishop Kenny, FL) in 4:13.96.
Perhaps the best relay race of the weekend came in the boys 4x800m relay, which saw two more teams dip under the 7:50 barrier. Flagler Palm Coast (FL) and Wharton (FL) raced all the way to the finish, with Flagler Palm Coast pulling out the win 7:46.57-7:47.88. Flagler then came back later in the day to win the boys 4x400m relay in a new meet record time of 3:13.15, one of the all-time top marks in the state.
In the girls 1,600m run, Joane Pierre (Immokalee, FL) beat Brittany Koziara (Boone, FL) 5:01.26-5:02.65, showing she'll be a force in the state this spring. Senior Taylor Lord (Chapel Hill, NC) won the boys 3,200m event in 9:30.35, easily beating the rest of the competition, while Sean Obinwa (Wharton, FL) won the boys 800m dash in 1:53.12. Foot Locker qualifier Kayla Hale (Holy Trinity, FL) won the girls 3,200m run by nearly ten seconds in 10:37.81.
Florida Relays Results
Distance Highlights from Around the U.S.
* Foot Locker runner-up Trevor Dunbar (Sr., Kodiak, AK) ran 9:08.63 for 3200m at the Big C Relays at The Dome in Anchorage. The Dome hosts many meets throughout the Alaskan winter and spring, offering up a 400m indoor track. Dunbar won by nearly 34 seconds.
* Elijah Greer (Sr., Lake Oswego, OR) ran a U.S. #2 800m mark at his home invitational, the Laker Classic, Friday evening. Greer easily beat the field with a winning time of 1:51.47.
Arcadia Invitational Preview Coming Midweek
The always impressive Arcadia Invitational is taking place next weekend, so we're going to release a special edition Distance Gala Weekly on either Wednesday evening or Thursday morning this week, previewing a handful of the top distance races at the event. Some big names are in the start lists; including Foot Locker champion Jordan Hasay (Sr., Mission Prep, CA), Foot Locker runner-up Trevor Dunbar (Sr., Kodiak, AK), and middle distance standout Mac Fleet (Sr., University City, CA). Check back later this week as we offer the best match-ups, key insights and breakdown the deep fields of Arcadia.
Additional Articles of Interest
Alan Webb to Open up at Kansas Relays (Race Results Weekly/Letsrun)
June 3, 2009 will be National Running Day (RunningDay.org)
The Obsession Behind the Jamaican Boys & Girls Championships (The Guardian)
Grindstone Mountain Project - April 1 (Dyestat)
In-Depth Seb Coe Interview (London Telegraph)
To submit an article or results to Distance Gala Weekly please contact Scott Bush at: firstname.lastname@example.org