Girls Distance Medley
Hammer TC (Southern Regional NJ 12:05.15

text by Elliott Denman

Those who've followed Danielle Tauro's rocketing rise to middle distance prominence the past two years put nothing beyond her.

When she stunned a sensational field in the Millrose Games high school mile five weeks ago, racing from third to first on the final lap, it was not totally out of the blue. But her amazing anchor 1600-meter carry in the NIN DM final, lifting Hammer Track Club/Southern Regional High School of Manahawkin, NJ from a nowhere-close sixth to first in 12:05.15, was truly one for the books. Not the record books - neither the national record (11:35.43 by Mountain View of Utah in 2004) or meet record (11:56.87 by Rockford, Michigan in 2003) were endangered - but one for the all-time thrill meter.

Less than two weeks ago, she was in the hospital, down and out with a mystery stomach flu virus. She lost weight, training time and the chance to run the Eastern Championships, but never her confidence.

"I had no idea where I was in the race, I had no idea who was ahead of me, I had no idea what my splits were," she said, after rounds of kissing and hugging family, friends and rival runners, and collecting gold medals and signing up for champions' rings with her teammates, Rachel Ruggiano, Jessica Bergin and Jillian Smith.

photo by Vic Sailer / PhotoRun



"I looked for my coach (Brian Zatorski) and all he was saying was 'keep going, keep going, keep going,' Tauro said.

"So that's what I did."

The front-running Blazin' Raiders of nearby Eleanor Roosevelt High settled for second place in 12:07.34, with the Four Pointers/Roosevelt High of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, third in 12:07.84.

The NIN DM crown - won by Ocean City in 12:12.22 last year - stayed in New Jersey, thanks to senior Ruggiano's 3:55 1200 meter leadoff, junior Bergin's 1:02.6 400, freshman Smith's 2:16.1 800, and junior Tauro's 4:50.1 1600.

"All four of them were incredible," gushed Zatorski.

"Rachel (Ruggiano), for instance, our only senior. As a freshman, she was running the 5K (in cross country) in maybe 28 minutes. But she's worked and worked, and this made it all worthwhile. "Jillian (Smith) is just a freshman, and she's going to be the real deal. "Jessica, like Danielle, is a junior, and improving all the time, too.

All this was enough for Tauro & Co. She will not run the NIN individual mile Sunday. No one is more entitled to rest on her laurels.


Event 28  Girls Distance Medley


 Solomon 3:40.3, Bellon 61.6, Mc Elroy 2:19.8, Lane 5:01.7

    National: N 11:35.43  3/13/2004   Mountain View, Orem, UT                  

        Meet: M 11:56.87  3/15/2003   Rockford, Rockford, MI                   

    School                                               Finals 


  1 Hammer TC                                          12:05.15  

  2 Blazin' Raiders                                    12:07.34  

  3 Four-Pointers                                      12:07.84  

  4 Midlothian Tc-Va                                   12:17.73  

  5 The Woodlands HS                                   12:18.41  

  6 Westfield HS                                       12:18.74  

  7 Adrenaline TC                                      12:18.99  

  8 Cinco Ranch TC                                     12:21.18  

  9 Blazin' Raiders  'B'                               12:23.35  

 10 Tzdc TC                                            12:28.14  

 11 Oakton HS                                          12:29.86  

 12 Jenkintown OC                                      12:30.63  

 13 Archbishop Prendergast                             12:34.00  

 14 Archbishop Carroll-DC                              12:36.45  

 15 Spring Valley Hs-Girls                             12:42.37  

 16 Jackson Memorial HS                                12:43.80  

 17 Spirit of Pre                                      12:44.70  

 18 Upper Bucks TC                                     12:53.11  

 19 Episcopal Hs-Fl-Girls                              12:55.57  

 20 Lenape HS                                          13:00.39  


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