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June 14-15, 2002
North Carolina State University, Raleigh NC

adidas Outdoor Championships

Event Previews


Boys - Girls

by Pete Cava

RALEIGH, N.C., June 13, 2002 --- While scouts were bemoaning the slim pickings at the recent amateur baseball draft, track and field aficionados have been drooling over this year's bumper crop of high school talent.
Incredibly, a slew of the nation's best high school track athletes are underclassmen. And many of them will be on display at this weekend's adidas Outdoor Championships at North Carolina State University in Raleigh. The event takes place under the auspices of the National Scholastic Sports Foundation.

Here's an event-by-event preview of the two-day meet, which opens Friday with nearly 2,000 of the nation's top athletes.


100: There might be more Texas legends in this final than there were at the Alamo. Defending champion Brendan Christian (Reagan, Austin, TX) comes to Raleigh fresh from a sprint sweep at Saturday's Golden West Invitational in Sacramento. Christian's 10.20 at Golden West is the year's fastest time and No. 5 all-time. Christian's main competition should be Willie Hordge (Forest Brook, Houston, TX), Ivory Williams (Central, Beaumont, TX) and Kelly Willie (Sterling, Houston, TX). Hordge, a junior, checks in with a season best of 10.3. Williams was second to Christian at Golden West in 10.27 --- a sophomore class record. Willie is one of the nation's most vesatile sprinters.

200: Christian, Hordge, Williams and Willie rate as the best in the furlong, along with Michael Loyd (Mt. Tabor, Winston-Salem, NC) and Mark Jelks (West, Gary, IN). Loyd, a 21.12 performer this year, was last year's runnerup. Jelks, a junior, doubled at the Indiana state meet with wind-aided times of 10.25 and 20.88

400: This promises to be a memorable race. Twenty-two entries have dipped under 47.70 this season, 20 of them below 47 seconds. "It's never happened before in a high school race," says NSSF's A.J. Holzherr, who recruited the boys fields.
Last year's runnerup, Ray Williams (Scotch Plains-Fanwood, Scotch Plains, NJ) is back. He'll have his hands full with Kelly Willie and Ashton Collins (Clark, New Orleans, LA). Willie's gone 45.96 this year and Collins is a 46.63 performer.

800: Paul Cross (South, Plantation, FL), Will Fitts (DeSoto, TX) and Richard Smith (South Lakes, Reston, VA) are the class of the field. Cross is the national leader at 1:49.68. Fitts has run 1:50.08. Smith, a teammate of 2001 high school mile sensation Alan Webb, checks in at 1:51.47.

Mile: Seven of the top ten entries in this race are juniors, including Matt Debole (Mt. Tabor, Winston-Salem, NC), Sam Bair (Shaler, Pittsburgh, PA) and Bobby Curtis (Xavier, Louisville, KY). Debole's run 4:09.73 this year, tops in the U.S. Bair has run the equivalent of a 4:09.63 mile. His dad, also named Sam, was a sub-four miler at Kent State in the late Sixties. Curtis was fifth in this race a year ago. He won the mile at this year's Nike Indoor Championships and comes to Raleigh fresh from a second-place finish at Golden West. Curtis's specialty is a furious kick down the homestretch.

2-Mile: A.J. Holzherr promises it'll take 9:05 or better to crack the top 12 --- an amazing statistic for a prep race. National leader Chris Solinsky (Stevens Point Area, WI), Bobby Lockhart (Handley, Winchester, VA), Tim Moore (Novi, MI), Kyle Alcorn (Buchanan, Clovis, CA) and Brian Dalpiaz (Sayville, NY) top the field. Solinsky, a junior, is the national leader with a converted 3200 time of 8:51.51. Lockhart's gone under nine minutes indoors and Moore was fourth here a year ago. Alcorn and Dalpiaz, both juniors, waged a battle for the 3200 crown at Golden West. Alcorn took the lead down the homestretch to win in 8:56.76, with Dalpiaz second in 8:57.24.

110 hurdles: Dexter Faulk (Stone Mountain, GA) is the year's quickest prep at with a wind-aided 13.48. He'll have to fend off Kenneth Ferguson (Mumford, Detroit, MI) and junior Kerron Clement (LaPorte, TX). Ferguson is the national leader with a time of 13.65. Clement, just 16 years old, was second at Golden West in 13.85.

400 hurdles: Ferguson, Bershawn Jackson (Central, Miami, FL) and Greg Simonds (Byram Hills, NY) are all threats to break the 18-year-old national prep record of 50.02. Jackson is the year's fastest prep 300 hurdler and the Golden West champ, while Simonds is one of the year's top intermediate hurdlers. This fall Ferguson and Jackson will head for the University of South Carolina, where coach Curtis Frye is one of the world's top hurdles coaches.

Mile walk: Adam Staier (Mt. Blue, ME), the year's premier walker, hopes to crack the 6-minute mark here.

4x100 relay: Middletown (OH) leads the way at 40.79.

4x200 relay: Reagan (Austin, TX), with Brendan Christian anchoring, leads the way at 1:26.50. The Texans aren't a sure bet, however --- Middletown checks in at 1:26.70.

4x400 relay: Five teams come to Raleigh with times under 3:35, including Winslow Township (Atco, NJ) at 3:12.27 and Mumford (Detroit, MI) at 3:13. The New Jersey quartet is made up of four juniors.

4x800 relay: National leader Elyria (OH) comes to Raleigh with a time of 7:42, followed by Mumford at 7:43, West Plains (MO) at 7:44, North Penn (Lansdale, PA) at 7:45. Auburn (WA) could surprise.

4xMile relay: Hudson (OH) tops all comers with a 17:45 clocking.

Sprint Medley relay: Mumford and Mt. Tabor (Winston-Salem, NC) come here with plenty of firepower and could threaten the national prep record.

Distance Medley relay: Auburn (WA) is the national leader at 10:08.21. They'll catch heat from Edwardsville (IL), with a season best of 10:11.

High jump: Seven entries have cleared 7-feet or better this year. Leading the way are Andra Manson (Brenham, TX) and local standout Jesse Williams (Broughton, Raleigh, NC). Manson went 7-4 at Golden West while Williams --- last year's runnerup --- is a 7-2 performer.

Pole vault: Only a junior, Thomas Skipper (Sandy, OR) has come close to the national record this season. He's gone 17-7.5 this year --- a junior class record --- and had a near-miss at 17-8.25 at Golden West. Eight others have cleared 16-feet this season, including junior Chase Sheely (Brookland-Cayce, Cayce, SC), at 16-8.

Long jump: Kevin Marion (Hollins, St. Petersburg, FL), another junior standout, is the national leader at 25-5. He's the class of this field.

Triple jump: The favorite here is yet another member of the Class of ‘03 --- Devon Fanfair (Dobie, Pasadena, TX). Fanfair checks in with a best of 49-8.75.

Shot put: More loaded than a post-parade party on St. Patrick's Day, with 20 entries over 60-feet. "Usually, we get ten," says Holzherr. "This year, it's double." Kevin Bookout (Stroud, OK), Glenn DiGiorgio (Bayonne, NJ) and Brian Robison (Splendora, TX) lead the way. Bookout's the national leader at 70-1.5. Next is DiGiorgio, the defending champ, at 68-0.75. Robison checks in at 66-4.5. For good measure there's Tyg Long (Custer, SD) 65-6.5.

Discus throw: This will be the first high school meet with five entries at 200-feet or better. There's Robison (215-2), DiGiorgio (211-8) and Bookout (203-2) --- they're all doubling --- plus Adam Kuehl (Monmouth, Tinton Falls, NJ) and Michael Robertson (International School, Brussels, Belgium). Kuehl, fifth at last year's meet, checks in at 209-0. Robertson, an American who lives in Europe, is a 205-5 performer this year. He's making his debut on U.S. soil.

Hammer throw: Defending champ Michael Freeman (Bishop Hendricken, Warwick, RI) is the class of the field.

Javelin throw: Tops among the entries are Brad Zimmerman (Warwick, Lancaster, PA) and Justin Ryncavage (Coughlin, Wilkes-Barre, PA). Zimmerman's best this year is 222-3 while Ryncavage is a 212-0 thrower.


100: Allyson Felix, the California Comet, will sit out the meet due to a hamstring injury. But even with Felix on the shelf, this is an outstanding field. Sanya Richards (Aquinas, Fort Lauderdale, FL) and junior Janice Davis (Natchez, MS) are attempting sprint doubles. They'll be joined by junior Marshevet Hooker (Southwest, San Antonio, TX), sophomore sensation Jessica Onyapunuka (Peoria, AZ), India Ransom (Largo, MD), and Amy Menlove (Alta, Sandy, UT). Hooker, the Golden West champ, ran a wind-aided 11.28 earlier this season while Davis tops the U.S. charts at 11.33.

200: Sanya Richards, Janice Davis and Jessica Onyapunuka loom as the favorites here, along with junior Shana Cox (Holy Trinity, Hicksville, NY) and Dominique Darden (Harrisburg, PA). Darden, the daughter of 1979 Pan American Games 400 gold medalist Tony Darden, will double in the hurdles.

400: National prep leader Sanya Richards will concentrate on the shorter sprints here, leaving the field to the year's No. 3, 4 and 5 quarter milers --- sophomore Natasha Hastings (A.P. Randolph, New York, NY), Ashlee Mitchell (Lockhart, TX) and junior Ashley Freeman (Wilson, Long Beach, CA).

800: Joy Kamani, NSSF's recruiter for girls events, says this field is still under construction. Heading into last weekend, Kamani said the top entries included Golden West mile winner Kristina Smith (West Valley, Anchorage, AL), Ari Lambie (Bromfield, Harvard, MA), Evelyn Dwyer (Merion Academy, Merion Station, PA) and soph Trisa Nickoley (Shawnee Heights, Tecumseh, KS). Not bad, with Lambie at 2:08.74 and Dwyer at 2:09.3, but Kamani says things could get even better. "There were a lot of state meets scheduled (last) weekend," she notes, "including New York and Nebraska, so we could see some major improvements to the field."

Mile: A real dream event, with Molly Huddle (Notre Dame, Elmira, NY), Ari Lambie, junior Amber Harper (Orem, UT) and Meghan Owen (Killingly, Danielson, CT) leading the way. Huddle, a U. of Notre Dame recruit, was third here a year ago. She won the 1500 and 3000 titles at this year's New York state championships. Her 1500 time, 4:27.04, is the year's second-fastest time. Lambie's 2002 mile best is an indoor 4:52.16. Harper checks in with a converted 1600 time of 4:52.16 and Owen, the Connecticut champion, ran a 4:53.49 indoor mile this year.

2000 steeplechase: A relatively new event that's very popular this year. "We've been swamped with entries," says Joy Kamani. "It's an event that came from absolutely nowhere. We'll have three heats or two very packed heats for this event."

2-Mile: Another dream matchup, with national leader Huddle taking on junior Megan Kaltenbach (Smoky Hill, Aurora, CO). Kaltenbach's fresh off a 3200 win at Golden West in 10:03.35, making her the fifth-fastest prep in history at that distance. Huddle placed third in last year's 2-mile.

110 hurdles: National leader Ashlee Williams (Dunne, Dallas, TX) tops the field. Williams matched her season best at Golden West, winning in 13.57. Other notables include Dominique Darden, Shenae Dawkins (New Rochelle, NY) and Vicki Howard (Montbello, Denver, CO).

400 hurdles: Ashlee Williams missed a hurdles sweep at Golden West by a hundredth of a second, running second in the 300H in 42.37. This meet marks her season debut at the longer distance. Others to watch are Christina Smith (William Penn, Philadelphia, PA), Courtney Clark (Norristown, PA), Erica Crawford (Hillsborough, NJ) and freshman Katya Kostetskaya (Jonesboro, AR), an exchange student from Russia.

4x100 relay: Elsik (TX) leads the way with a 2002 best of 45.43, followed by Peoria (AZ) at 45.73. Don't overlook Morgan Park (Chicago, IL) or Wilson (Long Beach, CA).

4x200 relay: Robeson (Brooklyn, NY), last year's runnerup, returns. They're one of the favorites, along with William Penn (Philadelphia, PA) and Gateway (St. Louis, MO). The St. Louis quartet is making its first appearance in national competition. "They're ecstatic about coming," says Kamani.

4x400 relay: Kamani calls this race "a shootout." It features Wilson (Long Beach, CA), A.P. Randolph (New York, NY), William Penn (Philadelphia, PA) and Willingboro (NJ). Penn and Willingboro finished 2-3 in last year's race.

4x800 relay: A.P. Randolph (New York, NY), Bromfield (Harvard, MA), Iowa City (IA), West Plains (MO) and Beaumont (Cleveland Heights, OH) are the top entries. The New Yorkers have the fastest seed time at 8:53.68, while the rapidly-improving Ohio foursome --- fourth a year ago --- recently lowered their season best to 9:03.86.

4xMile relay: Leading entries include defending champion Rockford (MI), 2001 runnerup Carmel (IN), Bronxville (NY) and Iowa City West (Iowa City, IA). The Bronxville squad has a 2002 best of 20:29.30 indoors.

Sprint medley relay: Defending champion William Penn (Philadelphia, PA) is back. They'll contend with A.P. Randolph (New York, NY), Gateway (St. Louis, MO) and St. Marys (Berkeley, CA).

Distance medley relay: Last year's second place team, Rockford (MI), returns along with 2001 fourth-place Red Bank (NJ). Red Bank's indoor 11:49.34 is the nation's fastest time this year. Vorhees (NJ) could surprise.

High jump: "It's been an incredible year for the high jump," says Kamani, pointing to entries like defending champion Chaunte Howard (North, Riverside, CA), 2001 runnerup Sheena Gordon (McDowell, Erie, PA), junior Ashley Robbins (McMullen, Tilden, TX), freshman Inka McPherson (Lincoln, Port Arthur, TX), and Stacy Boerema (Clinton, IA), all at 6-feet or better this season. Robbins is the national leader at 6-0.25. Kamani also says there's "a slew of kids at 5-10 or better," including another freshman, Jenna Utecht (Aquinas, Fort Lauderdale, FL).

Pole vault: Top entries include Samantha Shepard (Weston, MA), Molly Lederman (Jewish School, Waltham, MA), Jenny Green (Central Catholic, Grand Island, NE) and Lauren Graff (Urbana, MD) are the leading entries. Shepard was the 2001 runnerup, Lederman was fourth last year, Green's a junior and Graff went 12-9 last April at the Penn Relays.

Long jump: Yet another loaded field, with defending champ Marshevet Hooker (Southwest, San Antonio, TX), Tianna Madison (Elyria, OH), Sheena Gordon (McDowell, Erie, PA), Chaunte Howard (North, Riverside, CA), Amy Menlove (Alta, Sandy, UT) and Francheska Ketchum (Elsik, Alief, TX). Hooker, Menlove and Madison --- a junior who leads the field with a 2002 best of 20-7.75 indoors --- are all juniors. The versatile Gordon is a UCLA signee. Ketchum, a sophomore, is the niece of former 400 standout Anthony Ketchum, the Prep Athlete of the Year for 1981.

Triple jump: Shenae Dawkins (New Rochelle, NY), Chaunte Howard (North, Riverside, CA) and Sierra Douglas (Beaufort, SC) are the leading entries. Each has gone over 41 feet this season.

Shot put: Liz Podominick (Lakeville, MN) is a returning champion, but she's got her hands full with another junior, Michelle Carter (Red Oak, TX). Carter is the national leader at 53-3.75 and had four throws over 50 feet at Golden West. Podominick's best this year is 50-2.5. If she pushes the Carter, the national record could fall. Carter's biggest fan in Raleigh will be her dad, former San Francisco 49er lineman Michael Carter. Michael, the national prep record holder, won a silver medal in the shot at the 1984 Olympics.

Discus throw: Mostly the same cast of characters here. Michelle Carter and Liz Podominick are the leading entries, along with Kamaiya Warren (St. Marys, Berkeley, CA).

Hammer throw: Kristen Michalski (West, Warwick, RI) and Jen Wynn (Alexander, Douglassville, GA) are the top entries. Michalski tops the U.S. prep charts at 189-0, more than ten feet better than Wynn's 178-11.

Javelin throw: The leading entries are a couple of Oregonians, Samantha Young (Henley, Klamath Falls) and Tiffany Zahn (Newberg). Zahn leads all comers with a season best of 152-10.


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