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The Illinois Prep Top Times meet concluded the indoor season in the United States, as many of the top distance runners in Illinois took part in the annual indoor challenge. Some great distance performances were put up not only at the IPTT, but also across the nation, as athletes start to spring into form outdoors. Meanwhile, the IAAF World Cross Country Championships took place in Amman, Jordan and prep athletes Ashley Brasovan and Alex Dunne performed quite well. What a great week it was for high school distance running and outdoor is just getting started!

Illinois Prep Top Times

As by tradition, the Illinois Prep Top Times meet is the last indoor track and field meet of the U.S. indoor season. The highlight race of Saturday's competition was the boys 1,600m run. Jeff Thode (Conant, IL) entered the race as the favorite and he certainly did not disappoint. After a modest start to the race, Thode took control over the final 800m to win in 4:09.94, one of the top indoor times in the country this season. Andrew Nelson (Geneva, IL) also ran a great race, running a personal best time of 4:11.89.

Perhaps the biggest surprise of the weekend came from Matt Perez (Hoffman Estates, IL) in the 3,200m run. Perez ran a smart race from start to finish, beating an impressive field in a new personal best of 9:13.88. Coming in strong behind Perez was Aaron Beattie (Neuqua Valley, IL), which saw the junior run 9:18.04. Phil Fairleigh (Cary Grove, IL) came in third at 9:19.48.

The biggest surprise on the girls side came in the 1,600m run, as Amanda Whowell (Rolling Meadows, IL) won in a time of 5:04.84. Whowell beat a strong field as well, including Olivia Jones (Buffalo Grove, IL), who placed second in 5:04.85.

In the 4x800m relay events, Edwardsville (IL) ran 7:56.42 to win the boys race, running the top time in the state seen thus far this season. Neuqua Valley (IL) placed second in 8:01.57. On the girls side, Schaumburg (IL) won in 9:31.30, besting distance powerhouse Geneva's (IL) second place time of 9:34.39.

Other notable performers were Lindsey Flanagan (Lake Park, IL) in the girls 3200m run (10:47.00, winning by 13 seconds), McKinzie Schulz (Benet Academy, IL) in the girls 800m dash (2:12.36, winning by 6 seconds) and Emmett Lorenz (Waubonsie Valley, IL) edging Alex Lyons (Lyons Twp., IL) in the boys 800m dash, 1:55.19-1:55.98.

Illinois Prep Top Times

Distance Highlights from Around the U.S.

A handful of distance performances made national headlines this weekend. Here they are:

* Cory McGee (Pass Christian, MS) showed once again why she's one of the best middle distance runners in the country. The junior easily won the 1,600m event at the Pass Christian Invitational in a top time of 4:50.63.


* Arizona standout Jessica Tonn (Xavier Prep, AZ) ran perhaps the best double this season. Tonn ran 10:44.47 for 3200m, as well as 4:57.67.


* Toby Villalva (El Toro, CA) put his name on the national map Saturday, running a 4:15.01 (1600m), 8:59.45 (3200m) double at the Meet of Champions (SS). Villalva crushed his personal best in the 3200m event and showed he'll be a force to look out for as the season continues.


* Nathan Mathabane (Lincoln, OR) ran the U.S. #2 time in the 1,500m run last weekend at the Oregon Preview. Well, he backed that up with a 4:16.50 mile race at the Stanford Invitational, as well as an 8:29.62 3,000m finish.


* Also at the Stanford Invitational, Jennifer Bergman (Valley Christian, CA) ran 10:13.63 to win the girls 3,000m run, while Lance Wolfsmith (Ann Sobrato) won the boys 3,000m race in 8:28.54.


Midwest Distance Gala Announcement

Ok, so this is more of an announcement of future announcements, but with the outdoor season starting to really roll this past weekend, the staff of the Midwest Distance Gala is starting to get incredibly excited. Later this week we'll have some important announcements surrounding the meet, which will be posted on the Distance Gala website. Keep checking back for important information, as we start to gear up for this year's edition of the event.

The Midwest Distance Gala will take place in the evening on Saturday, June 13, 2009 at Benedictine University in Lisle, Illinois. We're "Bringing the Best to the Midwest" once again.

IAAF World Cross Country Championships

While the outdoor track and field season starts to heat up in the United States, many of the top junior distance runners in the world took part in the IAAF World Cross Country Championships this weekend in Amman, Jordan. Among those competing were U.S. prep standouts Ashley Brasovan (Wellington, FL) and Alex Dunne (San Clemente, CA), who competed in Junior Women's race.

Despite having a lingering achilles problem, Brasovan placed an impressive 26th place overall, running second on the U.S. squad behind Neely Spence's (Shippensburg University) 19th place finish. Dunne, who ran incredibly well at the U.S. Cross Country Championships, continued her impressive running with a 34th place finish overall, third on the U.S. squad. The Duke-bound Brasovan and the Stanford-bound Dunne helped the junior squad place fifth overall with 122 points.

Meanwhile, the U.S. junior men's team placed fifth overall with 104 points. Star runners German Fernandez (Oklahoma State University) and Chris Derrick (Stanford University) placed 11th and 15th respectively, two of the highest finishes ever for the U.S. in the race. Luke Puskedra (University of Oregon) and Patrick DuPont (Syracuse University) placed 30th and 48th overall to round out the U.S. scoring.

U.S. Junior Women Results - 5th place (122 points)

Neely Spence (Shippensburg) - 19th

Ashley Brasovan (Wellington H.S., FL) - 26th

Alex Dunne (San Clemente H.S., CA) - 34th

Emily Pritt (N.C. State) - 43rd

Sara Vaughn (Oklahoma) - 64th

IAAF World Cross Country Champs. Results: Junior Men / Junior Women

Additional Articles of Interest

Pre-World XC Champs. Interview w/ Ashley Brasovan (U.S. Distance Runner)

NYRR-backed Cal Brutus Hamilton Invitational Impressive Fields (EZMeets)

To submit an article or results to Distance Gala Weekly please contact Scott Bush at: [email protected]


The Midwest Distance Gala is one of the premier post-season high school track competitions in the United States. Through strong competition and a professional environment, the Midwest Distance Gala has continued a steady rate of growth and success. The fifth edition of the event takes place on Saturday, June 13, 2009, at Benedictine University in Lisle, Illinois. For more information please visit the Midwest Distance Gala website at www.midwestdistancegala.com. To receive more Midwest Distance Gala info follow us on twitter. Sign up here to receive the Distance Gala Weekly via email.
Distance Gala Weekly Copyright © 2009 Midwest Distance Gala, Inc. Printed with permission.