With many of the highest profile east coast meets now in the past, this week was a quiet week of distance running news around the nation. A few states ran their championship meets, while many other states are gearing up for their championships in the coming weeks. See what took place this week around the country in issue number two of Distance Gala Weekly.
New Jersey Group Championships
Perhaps the best events of the entire weekend were the New Jersey Group Championships. For the past two years New Jersey has shown that it is hands down one of the strongest states in the country when it comes to distance running and this past weekend they proved it once again.
The biggest clash of talent came in the Group 3 3,200m event, which saw Chelsey Ley (Jr., Kingsway, NJ) beat fellow Foot Locker finalists Laura Vigilante (Jr., West Morris Mendham, NJ) and Katie Kellner (Sr., W. Windsor-Plainsboro, NJ). Ley ran away from the two over the final mile, winning with a U.S. #4 time of 10:46.87, while Kellner placed second in 10:52.48 and Vigilante placed third in 10:53.14.
Other top results came from Jim Rosa (Jr., West Windsor North, NJ) and Joe Rosa (Jr., West Windsor North, NJ). Jim Rosa won the Group 3 1,600m event, running away to victory in 4:16.59. He then came back to place second behind his brother Joe in the 3,200m run, with Joe winning in 9:22.23 and Jim placing second in 9:22.81.
Other top marks:
Briana Jackucewicz (Sr., Colts Neck, NJ) - The Harvard recruit Won the Group 4 3,200m in 10:51.54.
Jillian Smith (Sr., Southern Regional, NJ) - Won the Group 4 1,600m in 5:02.31 & 800m in 2:13.44, while running a 56.6 split on her teams' victorious 4x400m relay.
Doug Smith (Sr., Gill-St. Bernard, NJ) - The future Arizona State standout won the Non-Public boys 3,200m event in 9:16.50.
Melanie Thompson (Sr., Voorhees, NJ) - The future University of Oregon star won the Group 2 3,200m run with an excellent mark of 10:51.88.
Some young stars shined as well. Tivo Rivera (So., Kingsway, NJ) ran a state sophomore record in the 800m dash with a 1:56.32, while Ajee' Wilson (Fr., Neptune, NJ) set state freshman records in the 800m (2:13.70) and 1,600m (4:58.78), winning both events in Group 3.
NJ Group Champ. Results: Non-Public / Group 1 / Group 2 / Group 3 / Group 4
New Hampshire Indoor State T&F Championships
In the Class L Championship, Francis Hernandez (Jr., Bishop Guertin, NH) scored a first place in the 3,000m run and a second place in the 1,500m run. Hernandez placed first in the longer race, simply grinding down his competition lap after lap, running a new state record time of 8:42.52, besting the old record of 8:44.24 set by current Iowa State University standout Guor Majak in 2005.
In the 1,500m event, Hernandez simply couldn't run with standout Cory Sinotte (Sr., Manchester Central, NH). Sinotte blazed to victory, crossing the line in 3:59.59, breaking four minutes for the first time this season and nearly breaking the state record of 3:58.63, set by John Schroeder of Nashua North in 2006.
Another big mark, this one coming in the I-M-S Championship, came from Rachel Schneider (Sr., St. Thomas, NH) in the 1,500m, winning the event in 4:38.56. Schneider's mark bested that of teammate and runner-up Kaitlyn D'Orazio by nearly 15 seconds, while beating D'Orazio's class record of 4:46.12 set just last year. Schneider's mark also left her less than one second off of the New Hampshire state record of 4:37.92, set by Jessica Flinn in 2003.
New Hampshire Indoor State T&F Championship Results
While the start of the University of Oregon's recruiting season seemed to take off slowly, the past two weeks for the Ducks have been big. Oregon signed Jordan Hasay last week, where she announced her decision in a live press conference online. This week Vin Lananna's squad got some more great news, as Elijah Greer (Sr., Lake Oswego, OR) decided to attend the school next fall. Greer broke the junior class record for the 800m dash last spring when he ran 1:47.68, which also ranks him as the fourth fastest prep athlete ever in the event.
Top Five 800m Performances All-Time
1:46.45 - Michael Granville (Bell Garden, CA) 1996
1:46.58 - George Kersh (Pearl, MS) 1987
1:47.29 - George Kersh (Pearl, MS) 1987
1:47.31 - Pete Richardson (Berkeley, CA) 1981
1:47.68 - Elijah Greer (Lake Oswego, OR) 2008
The other big distance signing of the week came from Jillian Smith (Sr., Southern Regional, NJ), who decided to take her talents to the University of Michigan. Smith ranked U.S. #4 in the 800m last spring with her personal best of 2:05.24, while ranking currently ranking U.S. #1 in the mile with her Millrose Games win of 4:51.88. Joining the Wolverines also means Smith will reunite with ex-teammate Danielle Tauro.
Additional College Signing News
Jillian Smith College Decision Article (Dyestat)
Elijah Greer Signing Article (The Oregonian)
Trackshark.com Recruiting Blog
Trevor Dunbar Officially Signs with Portland (Kodiak Daily Mirror)
To submit an article or results to Distance Gala Weekly please contact Scott Bush at: [email protected]