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15th Mobile Challenge of Champions
Friday-Saturday, April 6-7, 2007 Mobile AL
DyeStat on-site with Steve Underwood, John Nepolitan, and Arthur Mack

Sean Holston, Bianca Blair Earn MVP Awards on Day 2

NEW - Tough Conditions, Gutsy Performances on the Field - Jumps, Javs and more by Arthur Mack and SteveU

"Only The Strong Survived"
- Meet Overview by SteveU - CLICK HERE

Invitational Results - More Stories by Arthur Mack and SteveU, more photos from The Track Junkie coming - More Highlights.

Day 1 Results - Day 1 Story by Arthur Mack/Photos by John Nepolitan    The 'Track Junkie' John Nepolitan's Photo Album

Top Highlights

  • Sean Holston VA takes DyeStat MVP Boys Award with 46.77/21.58 400/200 double. The former was US#1 (until the Arcadia 400) and topped Antonio McKay Jr, GA 47.16. The latter was into a 1.9 headwind and won by .74 over McKay
  • Bianca Blair TN nails down DyeStat MVP Girls Award with 13.69/42.11 100H/300H double. The former was just .09 off the meet record, and into an 0.2 headwind, while the latter edged Char Foster's MR by .01 and is US#2.



At left, Sean Holston's 46.77 turned back Antonio McKay's 47.16 in the 400. Above, Bianca Blair (right) outhurdled Jasmine Stowers in the 100s. Photos, John Nepolitan


More Highlights

  • Julio Jones AL, with a long jump PR of 22-11, stuns a field of high-23 and 24-footers with a PR 24-02 to win as others struggle with the wind.
  • James Gilreath TN runs past NIN runner-up Chris Bilbrew AL in monumental 800, 1:51.39-1:52.18, as 4 break 1:53.
  • Cory McGee MS beats a stellar girls mile field with a meet record 4:54.25, with Rita Jorgensen TN (4:55.50), Jackie Drouin GA (4:56.15), and 2006 champ and former record-holder Emily Reese GA (5:01.54) trailing.
  • J.W. North comes from CA and gets a victory from Reggie Wyatt in the 300H (37.10). Wyatt then anchors 4x400 meet record 3:15.74, despite missing top man Nevin Guterriez, who stays home with injury.
  • Brittany Hall GA defends girls 800 title with near-meet-record 2:10.83.
  • Tyler Hamlet AL tops all-time AL state record with 187-00 javelin throw.
  • Ashley Aldridge AL tops meet record in JT with 132-11 throw.
  • Breanna Hubbard GA (11.69/24.76) and Chalandra Goodman (11.80/24.27 w/-1.6w) trade 100 and 200 victories


Only The Strong Survived

The Elements, Other Circumstances Add to the Drama at Mobile

By Steve Underwood

Mobile Challenge of Champions race director Steve Schoenwald and his crew seem to go all out to make sure that everyone – athletes, coaches, parents/fans – have the best possible experience at their national-level meet.

James Gilreath tastes sweet victory in a quartet of sub-1:53 runners. Photo by John Nepolitan

This past weekend was no exception. But even they can’t control things like weather, injuries, illness, and other things that affect the outcomes of competition. So it was that the 15th anniversary of this event here in 2007, at St. Paul’s Episcopal School’s E.E. Delany Stadium, at times resembled a war of attrition. There was the unseasonably cool weather – temps in the 50s – and a crazily gusty, swirling wind that changed courses at least twice during Saturday’s invitational meet. While it was nowhere near as bad as say, Austin TX with its temps in the 30s and rain Saturday, it was hardly what these athletes have been used to. Then there were the injuries, illnesses and no shows, affecting the fortunes of numerous individuals and teams.

In most of these scenarios, there were great stories of obstacles overcome or those taking advantage of opportunities.

Of course, there were also situations where the best simply were the best, and there was no stopping them. That was certainly true with DyeStat meet MVPs Sean Holston and Bianca Blair. Holston, coming off his historic NIN double, started his day in the 400 by getting out hard and never giving new rival Antonio McKay a chance, as he heated up the track to the tune of a PR 46.77, a clocking that briefly gave him the US lead. Later in the 200, he and his fellow competitors faced a 1.9mps headwind, but while it slowed them, it did not affect the Springfield VA (Robert E. Lee HS) senior’s dominance. His 21.58 was a fat 0.74 up on the field.

And how about Blair? The Knoxville TN (Austin East HS) sr was undeterred in the 100H by an 0.2 headwind and the presence of prodigal freshman Jasmine Stowers as she blazed to a 13.69, just .07 off her PR and .09 off the legendary Char Foster’s meet record. Then in her 2nd-best event, the 300H, she took down a Foster mark. Her eye-opening 42.11 clipped the standard by .01 and, interestingly, was a US#2 just .01 short of fellow Tennessean Jackie Coward’s US lead (later became #3).

When someone made a little apology to Blair, as she was standing near the podium shivering as she awaited her DyeStat MVP Award, she simply replied, “That’s OK, I’m enjoying the moment.”

And oh, how many did enjoy their moments, especially when they survived adversity, as was mentioned above. There was Julio Jones of Foley AL, who with his 22-11 PR was seeded in the middle of a deep field that included seven jumpers with PRs of 23-07 to 24-08. But while most of the others struggled with a fierce crosswind, he improved his PR by 15 inches with a winning 24-02. There were the boys of J.W. North CA, who clocked 3:15.74 in the 4x400, despite missing their top quarter-miler, Nevin Gutteriez.

Cory McGee rules over the girls mile field. Photo by John Nepolitan

Ashley Aldridge set a meet record in the jav. Photo by John Nepolitan

On the other hand, there were notable examples of struggles that could not be overcome. With illness and injury that left one leg back in a hotel room and others at much less than full strength, the 4x800 relay of Smiths Station AL did not resemble their imposing indoor form. Even NIN runnerup Chris Bilbrew may have shown the wear of a hard indoor campaign when he was overcome by rising star James Gilreath TN in the invite 800.

Cahokia IL, with former Alabama prep coach Leroy Millsap, tried to overcome an 11-hour bus ride the afternoon and night before, as well as little rest, with mixed results. “We’re just trying to survive out here,” said Coach Millsap.

Heavy shot favorite Wes Wright of Villa Rica GA, on a day when the wind caused many throwers to resort to standing throws to get in fair marks, could only get in one of four throws (and more than 8 feet off his PR), opening the door for South LaFourche LA’s Tyler Guidry. In the girls 4x800, heavy favorite Mountain Brook AL decided to put the energies of their ‘A’ team elsewhere instead of what would have been a hard solo effort, which put Woodham FL in a position to battle for the win. No-shows by 300H favorite Trey Charles GA and 2-mile contender Griff Graves VA made winning considerably easier for J-Dub’s Reggie Wyatt (who got a great run from 110H winner Spencer Adams of Butler AL) in the former, and defending champ Jay Heller of Walton HS in GA in the latter.

Others needed no such help, as defending 800 champ and record holder Brittany Hall GA ran another 2:10 for victory, as Cory McGee overwhelmed a great field in the second half of a meet-record 4:54.85 mile, or as Ashley Aldridge set a meet record 132-11 in the javelin.

Athletes found all sorts of different ways to win Saturday, whether they were the expected superstars, or just good, solid athletes whose time had come. But in all cases, the old adage applied: Only the strong survived.

Julio Jones excelled where others could not in the long jump. Photo by John Nepolitan



























Day 2 - So Many Potential Highlights ... It Will Be Dizzying!

Meet's Own Site

Elite Entries

Open Entries


Winners Table

Elite Schedule

Open Schedule

2006 Coverage

Prior Years (99-05)

  • NIN 200/400 champ Sean Holston will run both events here. The Springfield VA (Robert E. Lee HS) sr concluded a fantastic indoor season with a double that included a 47.12 400, the best HS time ever on a flat track of 200m or less. Led US in three events, including #2 all-time 300m.
  • The defending champ JW North HS (Riverside CA) 4x400, which won Nike Outdoor Nationals and ran 3:10.36 last year, highlights relay entries. They are led by sr Nevin Guterriez, a 46.79 performer (#3 US returnee) who will also battle Holston in the 400.
  • Marietta GA sr Trey Charles will go in the 300H and LJ. He is the reigning NON 400H champ and US#2 this year at 300H with a big win (36.72) over William Wynne.
  • NIN 800 runner-up and US indoor #1 Chris Bilbrew will go in as many as 5 events – 800, 400, 200, 4x800, 4x400. The Smiths Station AL sr ran 1:51.08 and anchored his teammates in 7:48.77 on Kentucky’s oversized track. The 4x8 crew won here last year.
  • Pass Christian MS fr Cory McGee leads a field of five sub-5:00 milers. After winning NSIC mile in a still-PR 4:49.32 as an 8th-grader, she made Foot Locker Finals as a freshman and had a sterling indoor season (2nd Millrose, 5th NIN).
  • Cahokia IL’s entries include their defending champ 4x100 crew. They were one of the fastest two schools in the country last year outside of TX and CA, and took 2nd in the NON 4x1.
  • Knoxville TN (Austin East HS) sr Bianca Blair heads up the hurdle fields. She is the nation’s #5 100H returnee at 13.62, and she ranked #5 indoors at 55H. She leads the 300H field at 42.78.
  • Super Pendleton SC freshman Jasmine Stowers SC will battle Blair in both hurdles. She set a national freshman record this year in the 60H at NIN in 8.50. Last spring she set an age-14 US record at 100H in 13.90.
  • Villa Rica jr Wesley Wright had only multi-US-record-setter Walter Henning to look up to most of this winter in the weight throw. Here he throws the shot, where he is seeded at 63-04.75.
  • Atlanta GA (St. Piux X HS) sr Antonio McKay Jr. is one of two sub-47 runners in the 400 (46.85), the son of the 1984 Olympian Antonio McKay makes the 400 field the best in the meet. He will also race Holston in the 200.
  • US#1 indoor long jumper sr Clyde Young (24-08.50) of Cahokia IL leads a field of eight at 23-07 or better and is a cog in the Cahokia 4x100 relay. He is another defending champ.
  • Norcross GA (Meadowcreek HS) sr Brittany Hall returns to defend her 800 title (meet record 2:10.19). She is the #6 returnee in the country, having run 2:08.55.
  • Chamblee GA jr Emily Reese will defend her title in the mile. She will likely have to improve dramatically on her meet record 4:57.50 against easily the best mile field ever at this meet.


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