June 16th - 17th , 2006
By Steve Underwood
The Top Seeds: Jordan Hasay CA, Danielle Tauro NJ, Annie St. Geme CA, Theresa Rush NY, Bridget Franek OH, Kristy Longman NY
The Buzz: Hasay vs. Tauro. Does anything else need to be said? Neither girl seems capable of losing, instead always finding a way to win. And, as a sub-plot, you’ve got St. Geme finally getting a break from a tough racing schedule (since CIF) and perhaps hatching a plan that would restore the mantle of invincibility that she wore all season. Last year’s mile here, with Sarah Bowman and Brie Felnagle breaking 4:40 (and Tauro 3rd in 4:43), was very, very special. This one will likely come very close to matching it.
The Breakdown: Tauro has seemingly, maybe even unwittingly, become the master strategist. At times vs. girls with greater reps or talent, she has just gone out and won (not that she doesn’t have great talent). Hasay’s getting pretty good in that department herself. Will either want to set the early pace? This race may need a rabbit to be fast, though the top three contenders, one suspects, care more about winning than fast times. Perhaps Rush or St. Geme will take it out. In any case, look for Jordan to make a big mid-race move, then try and hold off Tauro’s kick. Ought to be great.
The Record Threat: Polly Plumer’s ancient (1982) 4:35.24 USR and Bowman’s 4:36.95 are awfully good, but if the pace is solid, the winner will come close. And there’s always next year for both Tauro and Hasay.
The Medalists: 1. Tauro, 2. Hasay, 3. St. Geme.
The Top Seeds: Aislinn Ryan NY, Ashley Higginson NJ, Merideth Snow MO, Allison Eckert SD, Christy Adamyk CA, Cassandra Schenck OH
The Buzz: The mile may be the girls glamour race this year, but don’t forget the deuce. With 10 girls seeded between 10:18 and 10:31, this is a very, very solid and deep field. In fact, defending champ Liz Yetzer MN is still seeded just 7th after a splendid 10:24/4:46 for a 32/16 double at her state meet last week – and don’t be surprised if she repeats. In fact, you can go as far down as #10 seed Bria Wetsch MN and #11 Kate Niehaus SC to find championship contenders.
On the other hand, top-seeded Ryan, the 2004 Foot Locker champ and runner-up here behind Yetzer last year, would love to close out her monumental career with a win. Seeds 2-6 – Higginson, Snow, Eckert, Adamyk, and Schenck – have all made huge strides this year and it says something that the top 15 are all juniors and seniors. Experience still means something.
The Breakdown: So who is going to take this race out? Wetsch and/or Ryan have done so before, trying to bury the fields at NIN indoor mile and FL Nationals 2005, respectively. Catherine White VA is also a fast starter. But if the leaders find themselves running 77-78, they may all stick together. If Ryan, Wetsch, or Yetzer want to win, it’s probably going to take a good mid-race move. Snow and Eckert know how to finish a race fast and watch out if they’re in the hunt with a lap left, which is pretty likely. Both should be able to handle the Carolina heat.
The Record Threat: There are no threats this year to Molly Huddle’s 10:01.08 MR and USR from 2002, let alone Kim Mortensen’s 9:48 3200 mark.
The Medalists: 1. Snow, 2. Eckert, 3. Ryan
Girls 800 Meters
The Top Seeds: Sarah Cocco CO, Dominique Jackson CA, Kristy Longman NY, Chanelle Price PA, Sarah McCurdy NY, Lauren Borduin MO
The Buzz: Though there’s not the top-end talent there was last year when Geena Gall led a fast race, this event is just crazy, crazy deep. Just two girls have broken 2:09 this season, and Brittany Hall GA isn’t here. But 23 girls are seeded at 2:12.10 or better, leaving such talents as Latavia Thomas PA, Eleanor Roosevelt MD’s Tameka Jameson and Tasha Stanley, Emily Infeld OH, Amelia Bannister MI, and Liz Costello PA all on the outside of the fast heat and looking in. In fact, this race could be WON from the 2nd- or even 3rd-fastest heat.
The Breakdown: This isn’t to sell the fast heat short, however. There’s a definite East-West vibe here, with CA and CO runners battling NY and PA girls. Cocco is obviously the new revelation with her Golden West win, but it’s tough to win both meets back-to-back. Meanwhile, Doswell was the NIN champ 3 months ago. Expect at least four in contention in the final straight.
The Record Threat: As great as the Class of 2005 was, they didn’t give Kim Gallagher’s 1982 2:00.07 USR a scare; it won’t happen this year, either. Tameika Grizzle’s 2:04.55 should be pretty safe, too.
The Medalists: 1. Longman, 2. Doswell, 3. Cocco
Girls 2k Steeplechase
The Top Seeds: Lindsey Ferguson NY, Marie Lawrence NV, Leah Andrianos NY, Ashlyn Sinclair MD, Hannah Davidson NY, Erin Hays
The Buzz: With three USRs in less than 12 months and as the 2-time defending champ here, Ferguson will do down as not only the greatest ever in this event, but in any event. It would be easy to just say, the race is hers and move on. After all, even Kara McKenna NY isn’t going to challenge her here. But wait, look at the #2 seed. Finally making her NON debut is none other than Lawrence. She doesn’t have a mark at this distance, but (3K steeple).
The Breakdown: So this should be a thrilling two-girl race. Ferguson has been known to go out too fast at some distances, but not so much here, and Lawrence is pretty steady. Neither girl has a great kick, though. Ferguson will probably look to put enough pressure on to pull away. If Lawrence can put on a mid-race move and get a lead, she should have it. But she’ll really have to assert herself.
The Record Threat: Ferguson, of course, holds both the new USR (6:36.05) and meet record (former USR 6:39.30). As long as the weather isn’t too hot, windy or wet, we should see a new USR.
The Medalists: 1. Ferguson, 2. Lawrence, 3. Andrianos
Girls 5000 Meters
The Top Seeds: Theresa Rush NY, Laura Gallo NJ, Jennifer Barbi GA, Erin Lagasse RI, Alexandra Smrcina ME, Erica Jesseman, *Bona Jones FL
The Buzz: A nice race NON has added to give an opportunity to distance kids who might not otherwise get in. Of course, that doesn’t apply to Rush, who is entered in the fast heat of the mile, plus the 2-Mile, or Jones, a Foot Locker finalist with a 5k seed time of 16:43 (most of the other entrants have seed times from 2-mile/3200).
The Breakdown: If both Rush and Jones run it, Jones should be the favorite, though Rush would probably have the most speed in the last mile if she can stay close enough.
The Record Threat: The winner will establish the meet record, but Caitlin Chock’s 15:52.88 USR is well out of reach.
The Medalists: 1. Jones, 2. Rush, 3. Gallo.
Girls 1 Mile Walk
The Top Seeds: Heather Buletti NY, Lauren Forgues ME, Jenna Monahan NY, Emilija Vaskyte NY, Leah Buletti NY, Amit Aharon NY
The Buzz: Don’t fail to avail yourself the opportunity to watch this one, not if want to see the new national record-holder. Heather Buletti has been tearing it up this spring, walking 6:26.79 for 1500, the #2 time ever, then just this week blowing away the USR in the mile at the Eastern States meet. Her incredible 6:49.63 slashed more than 26 seconds off the old mark.
The Breakdown: It will be Heather against the clock as she attempts to make history again in what will surely be warmer conditions. Forgues and Monahan appear to be the best bets for 2nd and 3rd.
The Record Threat: It may not be easy for Heather to do it again, but she’s been a supergirl all spring.
The Medalists: 1. Heather Buletti, 2. Forgues, 3. Monahan.
Girls 4x800 Relay
The Top Seeds: Suffern NY, Bronxville NY, Irish Road TC (Conestoga PA), Pope John Paul XXIII NJ, Sayville NY, Spirit of Pre TC (Saline MI)
The Buzz: Suffern, Suffern, and (did we say?) Suffern. They are the Godzillas of this event, with a foursome that seems to be able to crank 2:10-2:15 each any time they want to. This will be their first event of the weekend and the Boys and Girls NY marks should come down.
The Breakdown: If all four girls are really on, they should be good for 8:48-49. Some of the other teams could be good for sub-9 on a great day. Look for Irish Road, with Liz Costello, to close the gap on Bronxville.
The Record Threat: Severe is the record threat for both the USR (8:50.41) and MR (8:51.60) by Suffern.
The Medalists: 1. Suffern, 2. Irish Road, 3. Bronxville
Girls 4x1 Mile Relay
The Top Seeds: Runnin Gear (Clarkston MI), Kinetic RC (Saratoga NY), Roxbury NJ, Runwest (Iowa City IA), Lakeville North MN, Hopewell Valley
The Buzz: Suffern has already beaten the magic 20:00 barrier this year, so they are leaving they next attempts to Running Gear, Kinetic, and Roxbury. All are at least sub-20:10 candidates, but…
The Breakdown: To match their MR 20:01.70 of last year, Clarkston will have to get PR-type days from at least three of their runners. Right now, they’re more of a 20:10 team. But Kinetic would need PR-level runs for a 20:10 type day themselves, and a few of their runners haven’t been doing that lately. Roxbury, on the other hand, a squad formerly with a good 5:03-5:05 average per girl, suddenly has improved in the last two meets and gotten all four under 5.
The Record Threat: Roxbury could seriously threaten Suffern’s new USR of 19:56.80. The NY school might wish they’d run this one.
The Medalists: 1. Roxbury, 2. Clarkston, 3. Kinetic.
Girls Distance Medley Relay
The Top Seeds: Suffern NY, Corona del Mar CA, Runnin Gear (Clarkston MI), Warwick Valley NY, Runwest (Iowa City IA), Roxbury NJ
The Buzz: Suffern just missed the indoor USR when they went 11:35.74 at NSIC. They don’t want to miss a record attempt again. But Corona Del Mar, with it’s outdoor-leading 11:42.67, has the powerful anchor in Annie St. Geme and some extra time they can cut to give Suffern. The mass of other squads in the 11:40s and 11:50s will make this a heck of a race.
The Breakdown: Suffern may need a 5-6 second lead to their anchor to hold off Corona. Their youngsters will have to be on.
The Record Threat: Bay Shore NY’s 2004 11:33.42 USR and MR will get a test, no doubt.
The Medalists: 1. Suffern NY, 2. Corona del Mar, 3. Runnin Gear
Girls 100 and 200 Meters
The Top Seeds – 100: Bianca Knight MS, Jessica Gregory TX, Elizabeth Olear CA, Gabby Mayo NC, Breehana Jacobs PA, Kiki Wilson AZ ----- 200: Bianca Knight MS, Elizabeth Olear CA, Gabby Mayo NC, Kiki Wilson AZ, Breehana Jacobs PA, Shalina Clarke IL
The Buzz: Knight will begin her mission Friday in the prelims of the 100 and complete Saturday with the finals of the 200. She has defeated many of the country’s best sprinters, but Wilson is really the only contender she has faced outdoors this year in these fields. As good as she is in the 60, it seems like the 100 has been tougher outdoors for Knight than the deuce. Here there are several sprinters within a tenth of her reported legal best. But the fascination here is with Mayo, who has that big wind-aided 11.14 from her state meet.
In the 200, you have most of the same cast, with Olear probably having the best chance. Knight (4th in 2005) has been better here, especially in the last few weeks. Down in the #6 spot, however, is Clarke, the sprinter/hurdler extraordinaire whose specialty is the 300H, but may rise to the occasion.
The Breakdown: Knight has to get out well in the 100; the start was her problem at Great Southwest. In the 200, Knight’s margin is probably too great. Clarke may be able to move up significantly among sprinters not heeding her talents.
The Record Threat: Someone (please) needs to break that 3-way tie for the MR in the 100 of 11.39, but Angela Williams USR 11.11 is likely out of reach this year. Ditto for Allyson Felix’s crazy fast 22.11 USR in the 200, but Sanya Richards’ MR of 23.03 might be clipped if Knight really blazes one.
The Medalists: 100 - 1. Knight, 2. Mayo, 3. Olear …….. 200 – 1. Knight, 2. Olear, 3. Clarke
Girls 400 Meters
The Top Seeds: Jessica Beard OH, Brandi Cross TX, Elan Hilaire MD, Joanna Atkins GA, Tiffany Grant NJ, Symone O’Conner NJ
The Buzz: Those fond of the finer things in life will, in the back of their minds at least, lament the absence of Bethel VA golden girl Francena McCorory, who suffered a season-ending injury before her state meet. Graduation would likely have kept her from coming to Greensboro anyway. But it’s no small consolation that fans will get to see a 2/3 rematch of the great Beard-Cross-Sa’de Williams battle from Golden West last week. Beard was the queen there with her US#1 52.16. Williams isn’t in NC, but Cross, hungry for an NON title all season, will give her battle again. Last year, Williams, Beard and Cross were 2-3-4 here.
The Breakdown: Beard and Cross should have a good margin when they hit the straight. It will be closer than last week, but Beard should take it again.
The Record Threat: Sanya Richards’ 50.69 USR will go untouched, but both Beard and Cross have a great chance at last year’s 52.44 meet record by Brittany Jones.
The Medalists: 1. Beard, 2. Cross, 3. Hilaire
Girls 100 Hurdles
The Top Seeds: Gabby Mayo NC, Jacquelyn Coward TN, Kristi Castlin ??, Shalina Clarke IL, Nia Ali NJ, Bianca Blair TN
The Buzz: Most of the nation’s best will be here in what should be a fairly fast, competitive race in the 13.5 range. Mayo and Great Southwest winner Clarke have been dominant and will meet for the first time this year outdoors. Coward had a tough time at GSW, but the way she ruled TN proves she’s got the stuff. Ali, the top returning finisher from last year (7th), broke out with a big 13.78 at NJ MOC to put her squarely in the mix. Castlin has yet to face competition at this level.
The Breakdown: This is Clarke’s first event, while Mayo will be the middle of a busy triple. As much as fans love watching her in the 300H, Clarke is trying to put that event in her past and focus on her speed down the straight. This is her chance to prove she belongs at the top of this level. Coward, the least experienced as a soph, also had a rough day at Arcadia and has something to prove as well.
And … if one of the proven 13.6-13.7 runners stumbles, keep an eye out for April Williams TX, 8th-grader Jasmin Stowers SC, Ryann Krais PA, and Theresa Lewis MD.
The Record Threat: Joanna Hayes MR 13.38 is a long shot, while Candy Young’s USR 12.95 is beyond approach.
The Medalists: 1. Clarke, 2. Mayo, 3. Ali
Girls 400 Hurdles
The Top Seeds: Leslie Njoku NJ, Nicole Saunders N?, Sandra Iwunze TX, Dalilah Muhamad NY, Ryann Krais PA, Latoya James NC
The Buzz: At a distance many states don’t compete at, one has to comb the 300H listings and calculate what’s there with the 400H seeds to get a read on things. The top entries are a mix of successful runners at both distances. Njoku is red-hot right now, having improved her PR to at the NJ MOC to a US#1 59.48. Saunders was the highest US finisher at Penn with the second-best time. Krais has a blistering 41.46 300H to her credit, the best in the field. Defending champ and MR-holder Krystal Cantey NJ (56.83) returns, but has been slowed to 1:00 by injury this year.
The Breakdown: Krais hasn’t really been tested at this distance when as fit as she is now. She and Njoku should push it to the tape, but the soph should prevail.
The Record Threat: Both Cantey’s mark and the USR of 55.20 by Leslie Maxie should be safe.
The Medalists: 1. Krais, 2. Njoku, 3. Saunders
Girls 4x100 and 4x200 Relays
The Top Seeds: 4x100 – Therrell (Atlanta) GA, Collinwood OH, Harding U. SC, Spartanburg SC, Science Hill TN, Uniondale NY ….. 4x200 – Blazin Raiders (Eleanor Roosevelt MD), Harding U. SC, Woodrow Wilson NJ, Uniondale NY, Morgan Park, Spartanburg SC
The Buzz: None of the big CA or TX teams chose to go for a national title this year, but the best squads from outside those borders will be here in Therrell in the 4x100 and Blazin Raiders in the 4x200.
The Breakdown: At 46.50, Therrell is 0.68 up on the #2 seed in the 4x1, and their squad contains national elite sprinter Brittany Long and hurdler Quaneshia Cleckley. Six teams are within 0.25 for the next spot. Blazin Raiders hold a 2.81-second bulge on the #2 seed in the 4x2, but Harding U. and Woodrow Wilson are solid choices for 2nd and 3rd.
The Record Threat: The USRs (44.50 and 1:33.87 Long Beach Poly CA) and MRs (45.63 and 1:35.65 Dallas TX Skyline) are pretty much beyond this group in these races.
The Medalists: 4x100 – 1. Therrell, 2. Collingwood, 3 Uniondale …. 4x200 – 1. Blazin Raiders, 2. Harding, 3. Woodrow Wilson
The Top Seeds: Blazin Raiders (Eleanor Roosevelt MD) 3:39.44, Northwestern FL, Camden NJ, Woodrow Wilson NJ, Boys and Girls NY, Collingwood OH
The Buzz: Six teams come in under 3:50, including Blazin Raiders with their US#3 3:39.44. The field definitely has a bigger national class field feel, since (with the exception of LB Poly and Wilson in CA) more of the top schools are here. Still ERS has nearly five seconds on #2 Northwestern, which in turn has three more on Camden.
The Breakdown: Blazin Raiders got their push to a sub-3:40 at Penn, where they were chasing the Jamaicans. Will they be as motivated to run as fast here? On the other hand, while sanctions prevented them from being recognized as state champs, no such stigma will be facing them here. Camden and Woodrow Wilson will have a great battle for third.
The Record Threat: Poly (3:35.49) and Wilson (3:37.38) own the USR and MR, both of which won’t be touched this weekend.
The Medalists: 1. Blazin Raiders, 2. Northwestern, 3. Camden
Girls High Jump
The Top Seeds: Patience Coleman NC, Tressa Beckel MN, Jessica Merriweather TN, Ashley Gatling VA, April Sinkler VA, Erin Hannon PA.
The Buzz: Not a really dynamic year in this event, but a solid field including the US leader in Coleman. She’s been at 6-feet for awhile and is ready for a breakthrough.
The Breakdown: Gatling is ready, too. She’s been trying to get back up to the 5-10 territory she reached before all year. This is the meet she does it. Hannon, also with the talent to get up there, will surprise for a medal, too.
The Record Threat: Amy Acuff’s USR (6-4) and MR (6-2) are probably safe, though the latter might be pushed if Coleman has a great day.
The Medalists: 1. Coleman, 2. Gatling, 3. Hannon
Girls Pole Vault
The Top Seeds: Katie Veith IN, Britany Parker TX, Rachel Laurent LA, Allison Stokke CA, Caroline Kennedy FL, Shade Weygandt TX
The Buzz: Plenty of familiar big names are here, including most of the NIN contenders. Veith went through a down period, but recently hit 13-9 to put her back on the national record trail. Parker won Great SW, but is still trying to get back on track after injury problems, while Laurent has been on a sharp improvement curve all year.
The Breakdown: Veith hasn’t lost to a prep in a long time, and that should stay intact. Parker will have to be at PR level to hold off Laurent.
The Record Threat: Veith could definitely get the USR of 14-0 by Tiffany Maskulinski. She’s done it indoors. As for the meet record (13-01.5), the question shouldn’t be if it will be broken, but by how many.
The Medalists: 1. Veith, 2. Laurent, 3. Parker
Girls Long Jump
The Top Seeds: Ryann Krais PA, Nyeisha Wright CO, Deandra Doyley FL, Arantxa King MA, Shakie Forbes VA, Lynne Layne NY
The Buzz: With the preponderance of good wind-aided and NWI marks this year, it’s tough to tell who’s the best out there. Doyle, Krais, Wright, and King are very close.
The Breakdown: Legal or not, Doyley has the most 20-footers and probably can handle the pressure to win the best. Krais, a soph, has a big upside and may be ready for another PR. King hasn’t hit 20 yet this year, but she’s the defending champ and just nailed 42 in the TJ last week.
The Record Threat: Happy 30th birthday to Kathy McMillan’s USR 22-03; no one’s come close in many years. Tianna Madison’s MR of 20-07.25, on the other hand, is beatable if one of the key contenders has a great day.
The Medalists: 1. Doyley, 2. Krais, 3. King
Girls Triple Jump
The Top Seeds: Arantxa King MA, Nyeisha Wright CO, Erin Hannon PA, Rachel Butler, Ashley Orr VA, Consandria Walker NJ
The Buzz: King is also the defender here, and her big 42-00 last week confirmed her chances to defend.
The Breakdown: The top three seeds should hold, with Wright being a solid second and Hannon ready for at least a bronze.
The Record Threat: Brittany Daniels’ monster 44-11.75 USR and Erica McLain’s almost-as-good 44-01.25 MR will be too much this year.
The Medalists: 1. King, 2. Wright, 3. Hannon.
Girls Shot Put
The Top Seeds: Kamorean Hayes NC, Allyn Laughlin PA, Tynisha McMillan CT, Danica Haight IA, Karen Shump PA, Rachel Delony IN
The Buzz: Title defender Hayes and Laughlin should be one of the best battles of the meet.
The Breakdown: Both Hayes and Laughlin have been consistent, though the latter has more often faced good competition. Hayes is also the NIN champ. McMillan recently jumped to 49-04 to put her #3 by a big margin. It’s tough to see a different order of finish than the seeds.
The Record Threat: Michelle Carter’s USR (54-10.75) and MR (54-05.25) aren’t quite as formidable as her dad’s 81-3 has been, but they’re still very good and beyond thread this weekend.
The Medalists: 1. Hayes, 2. Laughlin, 3. McMillan.
The Top Seeds: Emily Pendleton OH, Kamorean Hayes NC, Natalie Baird VA, Rachel Delony IN, Natalie Clickett PA, Paige Newby CO
The Buzz: Pendleton has been some story this year, raising her PR around 20 feet to go from a solid national-class athlete to a clear #1 – and she’s just a junior.
The Breakdown: Hayes is 10 feet back, but was also third in this event last year, giving her invaluable experience. Pendleton was in the 150s at her state meet, and will need to get her form back after setting PRs left and right during May.
The Record Threat: Pendleton has a shot at the MR 175-09 of fellow Ohioan Krista Keir from 9 years ago. Suzy Powell’s USR 188-04 is too far out.
The Medalists: 1. Pendleton, 2. Hayes, 3. Deloney
The Top Seeds: Karlee McQuillen PA, Lorraine Hill PA, Elisha Jones PA, Meghan Briggs PA, Indira Morton NJ, Jaclyn Wypler NJ
The Buzz: Is this the PA state meet all over again, or what?
The Breakdown: McQullien, Hill, and Jones are pretty well set in their seeds and it would be a big upset for them to finish in any other order.
The Record Threat: Rachel Yurkovich’s USR 176-05 is pretty safe, but Emily Carlsten’s MR 168-04 might get a little scare.
The Medalists: 1. McQuillen, 2. Hill, 3. Jones
The Top Seeds: Emily Bernhardt GA, Allison Homer GA, Patrice Gates GA, Kristin Smith GA, Jessica Irizarry GA, Melissa Kurzdorfer NY
The Buzz: Is this the GA state meet all over again? Oh wait, they don’t throw the hammer in GA high school meets.
The Breakdown: But with US#2 Meagan Berg and a few other 160s not competing, the Throw One Deep squad almost has the event to themselves. Again, the discrepancy in their seed throws indicates any shuffling would be a big surprise.
The Record Threat: Maureen Griffin’s USR 201-07 is not in danger; her meet mark of 187-10 could be.
The Medalists: 1. Bernhardt, 2. Homer, 3. Gates