What a weekend it was! Four distance events saw new national records set, with the boys 5k and 800m events finding new top times, while the boys 4x800m relay and boys 4x1 mile relay found new top marks as well. With so many amazing results, this week we decided to do a top twelve countdown of the weekend's top distance performances. Can you guess number one?
12. Juniors Bill Ledder and Tom Mallon go 1-2 in NIN 800m
Many thought the amazing senior class would dominate the 800m dash this year. With such superstars as Elijah Greer (OR), Zach Mellon (MN) and Robby Andrews (NJ), it seemed as though the juniors would need to wait their turn. However, Bill Ledder (VA) and Tom Mallon (PA) seem to have other plans, as the junior duo placed 1-2 at NIN this past Sunday. Ledder won the race in an impressive 1:52.75, while Mallon ran runner-up in 1:53.29. What great indoor efforts by both athletes!
Special Note: '08 Midwest Distance Gala 800m champion Tommy Brinn (MI) placed third overall in the race with a 1:53.62 effort. Brinn signed with the University of Nebraska earlier this year and has shown time and again over the past two years that he is one of the best in the country.
Top Five NIN 800m Finishers
1:52.75 - Bill Ledder (VA)
1:53.29 - Tom Mallon (PA)
1:53.62 - Tommy Brinn (MI)
1:53.66 - Terrance Livingston (NY)
1:54.23 - Alex Weinheimer (CO)
11. Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake sweep girls DMR and 4x1 mile relays at NSIC
The NSIC meet always brings in much of the top talent in the northeast when it comes to girls relay squads, and this year was no exception. After a strong cross country season, which saw the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake squad earn yet another trip to Nike Cross Nationals, the team got a chance to show their cards once again this past weekend. BH-BL did not disappoint, earning victories in the DMR (11:52.61) and the 4x1 mile relay (20:23.06). The team used the same quartet of Sam Roecker, Molly Pezzulo, Meaghan Gregory and Rachael Cyrus to win both races.
10. Chelsea Ley earns 5k and two mile titles at NSIC
It's rare for any athlete to win two races at an indoor national championship, but that is exactly what Chelsea Ley (NJ) did this past weekend. The Kingsway H.S. junior ran away from the field in the 5,000m run and two mile run, showing that she is taking her talent to another level this season. In the 5,000m race, Ley won by seven seconds, edging the competition with a 17:17.03 effort. Her two mile performance was even more impressive, winning by 14 seconds in 10:33.57.
9. Laura Roesler wins season 800m debut over U.S. #1 Stephanie Brown at NIN
The NIN girls 800m dash was poised to be a great one, pitting Olympic Trials qualifier and top '08 returnee Laura Roesler (ND) against current U.S. #1 Stephanie Brown. From the gun these two made their claim to be the top 800m runner in the country currently, but in the end Roesler narrowly edged Brown at the finish 2:08.80-2:08.97. This was Roesler's first race of the track season.
Special Mention: Midwest Distance Gala veteran McKinzie Schulz (IL) cruised home to victory in the second to last heat of the 800m dash, running the sixth best time of the weekend in 2:13.40. Schulz won by over a second. Runner-up Stephanie Brown has also competed in the Midwest Distance Gala.
Top Five NIN 800m Finishers
2:08.80 - Laura Roesler (ND)
2:08.97 - Stephanie Brown (IL)
2:11.27 - Olicia Williams (NY)
2:13.05 - Ariann Neutts (NJ)
2:13.28 - Eryn Wheeler (RI)
8. Andrew Springer wins another close mile battle at NIN against Fleet and McGregor
Earlier this winter, on the same track, Andrew Springer (RI), Mac Fleet (CA) and Patrick McGregor (AL) ran one of the all-time classic boys mile races at the Reebok Boston Indoor Games as Fleet edged Springer and McGregor for the victory, each running between 4:09.06-4:09.41. This time around Springer won, but it was once again all too close in the final 20 meters. Springer edged to the tape first in 4:08.47, with McGregor second in 4:08.61 and Fleet third in 4:08.65. How much closer can these three get?
Top Five NIN Mile Finishers
4:08.47 - Andrew Springer (RI)
4:08.61 - Patrick McGregor (AL)
4:08.65 - Mac Fleet (CA)
4:10.13 - Tyler Stutzman (VA)
4:12.49 - Brett Johnson (NJ)
7. Phyllis Francis edges New York rival Charlene Lipsey in NSIC 800m
While U.S. #1 Stephanie Brown and Olympic Trials qualifier Laura Roesler gained much of the 800m attention this weekend, Phyllis Francis (NY) and Charlene Lipsey (NY) both showed why they shouldn't be taken lightly by anyone this season in the event. Francis and Lipsey staged an instant classic at the NSIC, as Francis nipped Lipsey at the line, 2:07.69-2:07.77. Both athletes ran faster than Roesler and Brown did at NIN.
Top Five NSIC 800m Finishers
2:07.69 - Phyllis Francis (NY)
2:07.77 - Charlene Lipsey (NY)
2:10.25 - Megan Patrignelli (NY)
2:12.84 - Claudia Francis (NY)
2:12.94 - Jordan Diaz (CA)
6. Jordan Hasay runs away from field in NIN two mile, U.S. #8 all-time
It was supposed to be a clash between Foot Locker champion Jordan Hasay (CA) and '07 Foot Locker champion Ashley Brasovan (FL), but the race never quite transpired as many had hoped. Hasay, who was racing for the first time since she won the Foot Locker crown, started off at a blazing pace and never looked back, crossing the finish line in an uncontested 10:10.89, good enough for U.S. #8 all-time.
The rest of the race was very exciting, with three other athletes dipping under 10:28. Shelby Greany (NY) ran away to second in 10:24.11, with former U.S. #1 Emily Jones placing third in 10:25.76. Midwest Distance Gala veteran Lindsay Flanagan (IL) placed a fantastic fourth in 10:27.79, while Brasovan finished fifth in 10:31.38, as she tunes up for the World Cross Country Championships in two weeks.
Top Five NIN Two Mile Finishers
10:10.89 - Jordan Hasay (CA)
10:24.11 - Shelby Greany (NY)
10:25.76 - Emily Jones (MA)
10:27.79 - Lindsay Flanagan (IL)
10:31.38 - Ashley Brasovan (FL)
5. West Windsor-Plainsboro North sets boys 4x1 mile national record at NIN
All indoor season the foursome of Tyler Corkedale, Ryan Sleeper, Joe Rosa and Jim Rosa had been showing each week that they are easily won of the top relay squads in the country regardless the event (4x8, DMR, 4xmile). The squad showed how potent they are when they are firing on all cylinders, as they smashed the national 4x1 mile relay record Saturday with a dominating 17:21.58 effort. Their time broke the past record of Shenendehowa from 2004 by just over four seconds, while beating the rest of the NIN field by a staggering 38 seconds.
Top Five Indoor 4x1 Mile Relay Performances All-Time
17:21.58 - West Windsor-Plainsboro North (NJ) 2009
17:25.98 - Shenendehowa (NY) 2004
17:26.12 - Shenendehowa (NY) 2007
17:28.47 - Danbury (CT) 2008
17:28.88 - Red Bank Regional (NJ) 2004
4. Solomon Haile sets 5k national record for a few hours, wins NSIC two mile
Just when it seemed Solomon Haile (MD) could bask in the light of his new 5,000m run national record, he finds out that a freshman from Illinois ran just over four seconds faster and now holds the record. That had to be a little heartbreaking to Haile, but he still holds the U.S. #2 all-time mark at the distance. Haile showed over the course of the weekend why he is still considered a strong contender for outdoor national titles for both the 5k and two mile, as he won both events at the NSIC in 14:22.88 and 9:02.67 respectively. Perhaps the most impressive was his margin of victory, which climbed to 31 seconds in the 5k and 9 seconds in the two mile.
3. Albemarle wins boys 4x800m relay at NIN in new national record time
The Albemarle (VA) boys 4x800m relay squad went into Nike Indoor Nationals with the goal of breaking the national relay record. Well, the squad didn't just break the record, they smashed it. Albemarle ran away from the rest of the field to take home the NIN title in 7:36.99, nearly seven seconds up on runner-up Morris Hills (NJ). Albemarle's time bested the past record of 7:42.22, which was set by Syosset (NY) in 2005. Albemarle also won the DMR in 10:02.13. Luke Noble, Garrett Bradley, Zach Vrhovac and Anthony Kostelac formed the winning quartet. Next up for the squad is the 4x800m outdoor national record of 7:32.89 by Auburn (WA) in 2002.
Top Five Indoor 4x800m Relay Performance All-Time
7:36.99 - Albemarle (VA) 2009
7:42.22 - Syosset (NY) 2005
7:42.67 - York (IL) 2000
7:42.84 - Shaker (NY) 2005
7:43.86 - Shaker (NY) 2005
2. Illinois freshman Lukas Verzbicas runs away with new 5k national record
Lukas Verzbicas (IL) has stated a few times that he isn't necessarily certain that his future is in distance running. The Lincoln-Way Central H.S. freshman is a national champion triathlete and continues to focus his attention on the three events, rather than on just the distance running part. However, he might just have a harder time focusing on all three after this past weekend. Verzbicas set the national record in the 5,000m run, besting the record set earlier in the day by Foot Locker champion Solomon Haile.
Verzbicas ran away from the field early and ran a smooth 14:18.42, just over four seconds better than Haile's time. Verzbicas then came back on Sunday to win the two mile, breaking nine for the first time in his career in 8:57.44, beating the rest of the field by 4.5 seconds.
Top Five Indoor 5,000m Performance All-Time
14:18.42 - Lukas Verzbicas (IL) 2009
14:22.88 - Solomon Haile (MD) 2009
14:29.28 - Brad Hudson (OR) 1984
14:36.57 - Steve Murdock (NY) 2007
14:39.7 - Jorge Torres (IL) 1999
1. New Jersey's Robby Andrews sets national 800m record in 1:49.21
Many were wondering just how fast Robby Andrews (NJ) could go in the 800m dash after he broke Alan Webb's national 1,000m record with a 2:22.21 effort earlier this indoor season. Andrews finished that race with a 1:52 closing 800m and many thought he'd have a shot at Michael Granville's 800m national record of 1:50.55. Well, Andrews didn't just break the record, he smashed it, running away from the rest of the field early on to claim the national record and NSIC 800m title in 1:49.21. An Andrews v. Greer v. Mellon match-up later this spring could be one for the ages!
Top Five Indoor 800m Performances All-Time
1:49.21 - Robby Andrews (NJ) 2009
1:50.55 - Michael Granville (CA) 1995
1:50.62 - George Kersh (MS) 1987
1:50.7 - John Marshall (NJ) 1981
1:50.74 - Karjuan Williams (NC) 2006
Nike Indoor Nationals & National Scholastic Indoor Championship Results
Nike Indoor Nationals Results
National Scholastic Indoor Championship Results
To submit an article or results to Distance Gala Weekly please contact Scott Bush at: [email protected]