US news
2003 indoor

5th Nike Indoor Championships

March 15-16, 2003 at Prince George's Sportsplex, Landover MD


Northern Virginia slant
West Springfield in MD, Lake Braddock in NY

by Pearl Watts

The West Springfield boys pulled off an excellent distance relay double as
they captured both the distance medley and 4x800 meter relays at the 5th
Annual Nike Indoor Classic held at the Prince George's Sports and Learning
Complex this past weekend.
On Saturday evening the Spartans DMR quartet of John Cook on the 1,200
meter leadoff leg; Joe McMahon following with the 400 meter leg; junior
Steven Tobin next with the 800 relay carry and Jeff Day then splitting 4
minutes, 17 seconds on the 1,600 meter anchor leg were at or near the lead
the entire way and won with what should also be a Penn Relays qualfier of
10:22.15 with a fast closing Spirit of Pre Track Club second in 10:23.85.
The Northern Region was particularly impressive in the distance medley as
the Jefferson foursome of Keith Bechtol, Chris Anderson, David Price and
Christo Landry finished third in 10:31.01, just ahead of the fourth place
Oakton squad of Ben Beiter, Josh Moore, Chris O'Keefe and Kris Cruz which
clocked 10:31.22.
West Springfield then came back late Sunday morning for the 4x 800 with the
all senior team of Tim Kwak (1:58.4), McMahon (1:58.7), Cook (1:57.8) and Day
at 1:55.2 on anchor to claim their second national title in less than 24
hours with their winning time of 7:50.25. That mark is the second fastest
indoor time in the nation this year and also the fastest time on an unbanked
track with national leader North Forsyth, NC finishing fifth in the race at
8:00.80.
The Northern region also got a second place finish, although somewhat of a
disappointing one for Robinson's Steve Huntzinger as he was the runnerup in
the boys shot put at 61 feet, 1.5 inches. Huntzinger came into the meet as
the national leader at 63-7 but he and a trio of expected challengers to
Huntzinger were upstaged in the three throw trials by unsung Joshua Fryman of
Maysville, KY who was the leader after the trials at 61-10.5.
Neither Huntzinger or any of the other top competitors could mount an
improvement in the three throw finals to catch Fryman and the Kentucky
senior, with the victory in hand and with the last throw of the competition
and also the indoor season, lauched the 12 pound ball 64-5 to also have the
number one throw in the U.S.
The Northwest Region put together a very strong showing with a trio of All
American status efforts. Gar-Field senior Tiffany Evans finished fourth in
the girls shot put at 44-10.75 with the big news in that event from Michelle
Carter of Ovilla, TX. Carter, the soft spoken daughter of Michael Carter, the
boys high school outdoor shot put record holder (81-3.5; 1979); broke the
indoor national record of 53-11 with her final throw in the trials at
53-11.25 and then greatly added to that with her last throw in the finals of
54-9.5.
Potomac's Joe Robinson performed well against many of the nation's top
sprinters in finishing fifth in the 60 meter dash (6.86) with Indiana's Mark
Jelks (6.73) just edging North Carolina sophomore J-Mee Samuels (6.74) while
Forest Park's Reynold Smith was sixth in the triple jump at 47-3 with
Virginia AA state champ Ryan McCoy from William Fleming of Roanoke the winner
with a distance of 48-2.75.
Other local All American honors on the boys side were grabbed by Marshall
junior Anthony Weaver, who finished fifth in the 400 dash at 49.97 and who
just missed making the six runner final of the 200 dash after placing seventh
overall in the 200 trial heats. The Westfield 4x55 meter shuttle hurdle relay
team of Brad Oakley, Alvin Tondereau, David Lewis and Philippe Tonderthere
were sixth in 31.32 with Trenton Central, NJ the winner in a very quick 30.27
and Jefferson's 4x1 mile relay team of Chris Mocko, Brian Hanak, Kyle Smith
and Tarik Jones also grabbed sixth place (18:28.07) with Midlothian, Va the
winner in 18:09.45.
The girls side also saw All American certificates doled out to West
Springfield's Huma Husain, who was sixth in the 800 run (2:16.53) with Katya
Kostetskaya of Arkansas the convincing winner in 2:09.53 and the Forest Park
DMR foursome of Beth Fahey, Christina Lindsey, Ecaterina Burton and
Karen Richardson were sixth in 12:27.94 with perennial distance power
Rockford, MI winning in a meet record time of 11:56.87.

The Nike Indoor Classic, billed as the national championship meet along
with New York City's National Sholastic Indoor Championships, also produced
several performances ranking high on the all time national lists. New
Jersey's Michael Morrison moved into a tie for third place all time in the
high jump with his winning effort of 7-4.25. Morrison's final attempt at a
new national record of 7-5.25 looked good but a slight brush of the bar saw
it finally fall off the standard after he had already started leaving the pit
on what had looked like a good clearance to the entire crowd on hand.

Oregon's Tommy Skipper, arguably the biggest crowd favorite, had everyone
on hand Saturday night anticipating a possible national record in the pole
vault after a relatively easy clearance at 17-3.75 to become the number four
indoor performer all time in the event. However on his first attempt at 17-7,
Skipper, who had been bothered by increasingly tight hamstrings on his later
heights, used more upper body strength than usual in compensation for his
legs.
The result was his pole shattering on the tremendous bend following his
plant in the box, fortunately sending him sailing safely into the pit and
fiberglass parts everywhere. The force caused a bone break at the base of
Skipper's left thumb, causing him to withdraw from the competition, but not
before he had caused plenty of excitement; some by accident, some by design.

Lake Braddock headed north for the weekend for the NSIC at New York City's
158th St. Armory and fared very well on that extremely fast banked track
where four national records were set. Long Beach Poly, CA got a pair of them
as they lowered the girls 4x200 record to 1:35.86 and came back in the last
event to grab the 4x400 relay record as well (3:41.54).

Probable boys athlete of the indoor season Donavan Kilmartin of Eagle, ID
smashed the pentathlon record (60 meter hurdles, high jump, shot put, long
jump and 1,000 run) by almost 300 points with his total of 4,303 but he may
now get a strong run for his money as Reggie Witherspoon smashed high school
legend William Reed's 1986 record in the 400 dash of 46.84 with his time of
46.11 with Witherspoon also moving to number three all time in the 200 dash
with his victory in 21.15.

The Lake Braddock boys were led by senior Craig Gallimore, who finished
second in the 60 meter hurdles at 8.02 with Ron Jules of Toms River, NJ the
winner in 7.95. Gallimore also anchored the squad which included Dan Wilson,
Gilbert Elston and Shawn Harrison to an excellent time of 3:19.22 in the
4x400 relay with New Horizon Track Club the winner in 3:17.03 courtesy of
Reggie Witherspoon's 46.2 anchor leg and Gallimore was also part of Lake
Braddock's seventh place 4x200 relay squad (1:30.39).

The Bruins also had senior Carl Hunter finish seventh in the boys long jump
(22-2.5) and tenth in the triple jump (43-4.5) and on the girls side Ashley
Haislip tied for fifth in the high jump (5-5), Catherine Muehleib was eighth
in the shot put (39-6.5), Cristina Zuniga tenth in the pole vault (10-7.5)
and Lake Braddock ran a region leading time in the 4x200 at 1:43.88 with the
team of Zuniga, Jessica Preko, Meredith Brill and Jenny Eakin.

At the NCAA Indoor Championships in Fayetteville, Arkansas this past
weekend, the host Hogs easily won the men's title with 52 points while LSU
was the women's team titleist at 62 points with Florida tied for second with
South Carolina at 44 points apiece.

Florida's Faith Rein (Centreville High grad) grabbed collegiate All
American honors again after finishing sixth in the women's 400 dash (52.57)
and also anchored the Gators to sixth place in the 4x400 relay (3:34.85).
UCLA's Sheena Johnson (Gar-Field) also pulled in a pair of All American
performances after finishing seventh in the 60 meter hurdles 8.18 with Lolo
Jones of LSU the winner in 8.00 and Johnson ran the second leg on the Bruins'
fourth place 4x400 relay team (3:34.24).

On the men's side Nebraska's Frank Tolen (Stonewall Jackson) put forth a
huge effort in securing second place in the long jump (26-6.25). Texas
Christian's Jerry Harris (West Potomac) anchored the Horned Frogs to second
place in the 4x400 relay (3:04.87) with LSU just edging TCU at 3:04.79 while
American University was eighth in the distance medley (9:38.18) with freshman
Phil Gaeta (Oakton) on the 800 leg. The top three teams had a great battle as
all three were within a second of Stanford's NCAA record of 9:28.83 set in
2000 with Villanova the winner in 9:29.12 over Stanford (9:29.69) and
Michigan (9:29.76).

Nike Indoor Championships

 


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