The start of the indoor track and field season kicked off in December on the east coast, but the first week in February was the biggest week of the season thus far. From Robby Andrews breaking the high school 1,000m record, to U.S. Cross Country Nationals, to National Signing Day, this impact of this past week reached from coast to coast. Welcome to the first issue of Distance Gala Weekly. We hope you enjoy!
Robby Andrews Breaks 1,000m National Record at New Balance Collegiate Invite
Back in 2001, Alan Webb set national records indoors at the 1,000m, 1,500m and mile distances. He also earned U.S. #3 marks in the 3,000m and two-mile events. Webb has time and again been labeled the king of high school middle-distance running. Well, that title changed a bit Friday night, as New Jersey's Robby Andrews (Sr., Manalapan, NJ) smashed Webb's record in the 1,000m.
Andrews ran a smart race from start to finish, trumping the competition by over three and a half seconds, while taking home the victory in 2:22.28, 1.4 seconds ahead of Webb's record. Andrews' record breaking performance was a bit of a shock, but early season results indicated he was capable of a very big performance. However, breaking one of Webb's records will certainly bring more attention to the University of Virginia signee over the coming months.
While Andrews captured most of the headlines from Friday's prep action, the girl's 1,000m race had its own highlights. Jillian Smith (Sr., Southern Regional, NJ), who ranked U.S. #1 in the mile last year indoors and U.S. #4 outdoors in the 800m, ran the fourth fastest 1,000m time ever. Smith ran away from the field, winning by more than four seconds in 2:46.09. Smith had an excellent fall of cross country performances, but ended her season after state, foregoing Foot Locker and Nike Cross Nationals, in order to prepare for the track season. It seems to be paying off thus far.
New Balance Collegiate Invitational Meet Results
Boys Top Five All-Time 1,000m Marks
2:22.98 - Robby Andrews (Manalapan, NJ) 2009
2:23.68 - Alan Webb (South Lakes, VA) 2001
2:23.85 - George Kersh (Pearl H.S., MS) 1987
2:24.10 - Miles Irish (Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake H.S., NY) 1983
2:24.13 - Alan Webb (South Lakes H.S., VA) 2001
Girls Top Five All-Time 1,000m Marks
2:43.40 - Sarah Bowman (Fauquier H.S., VA) 2005
2:45.46 - Arianna Lambie (Bromfield H.S., MA) 2003
2:45.76 - Chanelle Price (Easton Area H.S., PA) 2008
2:46.09 - Jillian Smith (Southern Regional H.S., NJ) 2009
2:47.21 - Catherine Doswell (St. Catherine's H.S., VA) 2005
Additional New Balance Collegiate Invitational Coverage
Dyestat Metro Coverage
Two National High School Records Fall (Armory Track)
Record Day at Armory (New York Times)
Prep Stars Shine at Reebok Boston Indoor Games
It was a big weekend for high school distance runners on the track this week. While the New Balance Collegiate Invitational captured many headlines Friday evening and Saturday morning, the highlight of the weekend as the Reebok Boston Indoor Games high school mile races. The closest of battles took place in the boy's race, as Mac Fleet (Sr., University City, CA) and Andrew Springer (Sr., Westerly, RI) led four athletes under 4:10, in the best race of the season thus far.
In the end, Fleet used an overwhelming kick to overtake the field and earn the big victory. Fleet crossed the line in 4:09.06, barely outdistancing Springer, who ran 4:09.16. Patrick McGregor (Sr., Hoover, AL) placed third in 4:09.41, while The Woodlands (TX) senior teammates Drew Butler and Reed Conner finished 4-5 respectively in 4:09.62 and 4:11.26.
On the girl's side, Emily Lipari (Jr., Roslyn, NY) led for much of the race, before Canada's Jessica Parry took over. Parry, who's headed to Florida State University next fall, bested Lipari 4:51.26-4:53.29. Illinois' Stephanie Brown (Sr., Tri-Valley, IL) was third in 4:54.87.
Reebok Boston Indoor Games Results
Reebok BIG Boys Mile (Top 5)
4:09.06 - Mac Fleet (Sr., University City, CA)
4:09.16 - Andrew Springer (Sr., Westerly, RI)
4:09.41 - Patrick McGregor (Sr., Hoover, AL)
4:09.62 - Drew Butler (Sr., The Woodlands, TX)
4:11.26 - Reed Conner (Sr., The Woodlands, TX)
Reebok BIG Girls Mile (Top 5)
4:51.26 - Jessica Parry (Canada)
4:53.29 - Emily Lipari (Jr., Roslyn, NY)
4:54.87 - Stephanie Brown (Sr., Tri-Valley, IL)
4:55.88 - Cory McGee (Jr., Pass Christian, MS)
4:57.46 - Amanda Winslow (Sr., Collins Hill, GA)
Additional Reebok Boston Indoor Games Coverage
Mac Fleet Interview (FloTrack)
Stephanie Brown Interview (FloTrack)
In-Depth Video Coverage of H.S. Mile Races (Dyestat)
Reebok BIG Coverage (Dyestat)
Brasovan, Nicolls Lead Prep Stars at U.S Cross Country Nationals
Ashley Brasovan (Sr., Wellington, FL) and Allie McLaughlin (Sr., Air Academy, CO) last saw each other at Foot Locker Nationals, where McLaughlin led much of the race, before being overtaken in the final 800m by eventual race winner Jordan Hasay and runner-up Brasovan. Well, McLaughlin and Brasovan met again Saturday at U.S. Cross Country Nationals, with the results similar to Foot Locker.
From the gun McLaughlin took off at a torrid pace, distancing herself from Neely Spence (Shippensburg, PA) and Brasovan. However, the early pace took its toll on the Colorado senior, as Spence, then Brasovan, passed her over the final 2k of the race. Spence ended up winning in 20:43, while Brasovan finished second in 20:57. The surprise third place finisher was Alex Dunne (Sr., San Clemente, CA), who overtook McLaughlin in the final stretch of the race 21:05-21:10. Other top prep performers were Molly Grabill (So., Rancho Bernardo, CA) in 8th place and Rolonda Jumbo (Fr., Chinle, NM) in 9th place.
In the Junior Men's race, German Fernandez (Oklahoma State) ran away from Chris Derrick (Stanford) and Luke Puskedra (Oregon) on the final lap of the 8k race, easily winning the battle among three of the best collegiate freshmen of all time. Fernandez ran to a 19 second victory, winning in 23:20.
The top prep in the race was Bobby Nicolls (Sr., Regis, CO). Nicolls, who decided to call his season after his state meet this past fall, ran a tactically sound race, earning an 11th place finish in 25:02. Foot Locker Nationals third place finisher Thomas Porter (Sr., Mountain View, VA) placed 15th overall in 25:24.
U.S. Cross Country Nationals Results: Junior Men / Junior Women
Additional U.S. Cross Country Nationals Coverage
Junior Men's Race Summary (Trackshark)
Junior Women's Race Summary (Trackshark)
Finish Line Video: Junior Men / Junior Women (Runnerspace)
USATF's U.S. Cross Country Nationals Coverage
National Signing Day
This past Wednesday was National Signing Day. High school seniors from around the country made their college decisions final, signing their Letter of Intent with the college of their choice. While a few select senior distance runners are still deciding where they'll attend next fall, most of the top standouts have made their decision.
The most notable of all the choices was Jordan Hasay's (Sr., Mission Prep, CA) selection to attend the University of Oregon next fall. The news of Hasay's decision was released through an online press conference, where Hasay made her choice known to anyone who wanted to watch.
Further complete and in-depth recruiting coverage will be in next week's Distance Gala Weekly.
Additional National Signing Day Coverage
Trackshark In-Depth Recruiting Blog
Dyestat's College Choices Page
Jordan Hasay Signing Coverage: SanLuisObispo.com Article / The Register-Guard Article
Dyestat Message Board College Recruiting Thread
Catching Up with Bobby Nicolls
(Courtesy of Trackshark.com)
Bobby Nicolls (Sr., Regis H.S., CO) had a rough cross country season, but he made his college decision look easy, as he verbally committed to the Sooners early and will join a young and talented squad in Norman next fall. Nicolls took some time out of his busy week to answer a few questions in regards to his choice of Oklahoma and how his current training is going.
Trackshark (TS): You committed to the University of Oklahoma a bit earlier than most other top athletes committed to programs. Why did you choose Oklahoma to continue your academic and running careers?
Bobby Nicolls (BN): There are so many reasons why I choose OU, but I'll keep it brief and only mention a few. All the schools I looked at had great programs, coaches, and teammates in place, so that wasn't a huge factor in deciding. In the end I just felt at home at OU, it's a place that I will love running at, but would also choose to go to if I could never run another step again. The school and the track team are both on the rise, and I really wanted to be a part of a building process. There are a lot of firsts that we can still accomplish at OU and myself along with the rest of the team believes that we have what it takes to fulfill our high expectations.
Speaking of the team, that was another big deciding factor. There is such a camaraderie and dedication to success that I couldn't help but notice, and I am already good friends with some of the guys, and I have always felt that running with friends not only makes workouts more enjoyable but even easier. I felt the same way about the most important part of OU academics, the faculty I met was very supportive and down to earth and the university continues to polish its reputation. That's a fairly long answer, but like I said, I could talk all day.
TS: You're fairly good friends with Sooner freshman Kevin Williams. Did that play a role into choosing Oklahoma at all?
BN: Well everyone knows that I think Kevin is one of the coolest guys alive, at least everyone who knows me is familiar with my opinion on him. Kevin is a very talented runner, a great training partner and an awesome friend. He was also someone I looked up to a lot last year and was a good example for me. However, I would have been a fool to make my decision based on one guy and being friends with Kevin didn't really factor into my choice too much. There are many other reasons why I choose OU and that was enough for me.
Obviously I had an inclination to run with my friends but I'm not going to Oklahoma to just hang with the boys, I'm going to win races and get an outstanding education. Having said that an 8:51 2 high school 2 miler is someone I want on my team and he is a huge building block for our success at OU. Who knows, maybe subconsciously I just wanted to go to school with my friends, Bill Kogel is also a good friend of mine, in that case I hope Oklahoma athletes can continue to befriend some of the best athletes in the country it'll make recruiting really easy.
TS: You decided to cut your season short after the Colorado state meet. What happened? Are you better?
BN: After state I was just completely run down, I remember barely being able to walk back to our team tent, and then throwing up a lot. I had battled some bouts of the flu and couldn't do the things I was training to do. My main goal in XC was to win footlocker and once I realized that wasn't possible with the way my body felt I had to take a break and get ready for what I hope will be a huge track season. So far the time off has helped, training is going well and I feel very strong, so yes I am back and healthy.
[Ed. Note: Nicolls finished as the top high school athlete at the U.S. Cross Country Championships on Saturday, placing 11th overall]
Additional Articles of Interest
Fantastic Team Building Exercise, the Krispy Kreme Challenge (The News & Observer)
Virginia Standout Tyler Stutzman Interview (Dyestat)
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