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This is the second in a series of DyeStat year-end awards for 2006-07. The DyeStat Most Outstanding Performers series will include boys and girls distance, sprints, hurdles, jumps, throws, and multi-events. These will be followed by the DyeStat Athlete of the Year award. Selections are made by DyeStat editors and are based a combination of multiple major victories/honors won and performances on all-time and yearly lists. Performances from outdoor track, indoor track, and cross-country are taken into account.

Text by Steve Underwood - Photos by Victah Sailer, Joy Kimani, John Dye, and Maurice Costales

  Chanelle Price
Records are challenged and broken every year, but every serious track fan knows that some records are “better” than others. One of those records is the 800 meters. In 1981-82, the amazing Kim Gallagher assaulted the unthinkable 2:00 barrier. When the smoke cleared, her USR was 2:00.07. By this decade, the mark was in that legendary stratosphere of standards that many thought would never be approached.

But now we have Chanelle Price, who this year made the impossible seem possible. Many athletes with marks like she had as a soph – 2:06.23 – would stagnate and be unable to improve significantly. But during indoors, it was clear that wouldn’t be the case with the Easton PA junior. After demonstrating how strong her range was with a 4:50.65 mile, she pushed to #3 all-time with her 2:04.96 at PA’s state indoor. At NIN, a monumental Day 1 relay effort (2:05 with fast start) left her too taxed to challenge the indoor USR the next day.

Outdoors, Chanelle continued her ascension. A 53+ relay leg at Penn was an early highlight, then she hit 2:05.85 at PA State. After a PR at the Island Games, she was ready for NON, where she left no doubt of her intentions with a 57-second first lap and finished at 2:02.76, the best time since Gallagher and #4 all-time. She went for the Senior races at USATF, just missing her PR in the semi, then hanging on for 7th and 2:02.38 in the final. The only downer was the World Youth Final, and even there she ran 2:06. All eyes will be on Chanelle during her senior year as she tries to get that additional 2 seconds-plus.

Defining Races

7th USATF Sr 800 2:02.38
1st NON 800 2:02.76
4th USATF Sr (semi) 800 2:03.09
1st Island Games 800 2:04.24
1st PA Indoor 2:04.96
2nd New Balance Indoor 4:50.65

  Jordan Hasay
There's no doubt that a few times this year there were people who wanted to file Mission College Prep CA soph Jordan Hasay into the category of young phenoms that stopped progressing. Once was after she was an ignominious 10th at Foot Locker Finals, following a fall where she unbeaten, but less impressive than her freshman campaign. Another was after she was beaten soundly by Alex Kosinski in the Sacramento Meet of Champions Mile. But Jordan and her coach had a message for the detractors: Don’t judge too quickly.

In each case, there was a bigger plan. In February, at the USATF World XC Trials, Jordan reappeared and dominated as much as ever, running away from a field of great junior harriers. While she bypassed the World Meet (like many others), her fitness carried into the early spring where she began an unprecedented string of fast 3200s, running three 10:04s (she ran an earlier 10:02 time trial), including an Arcadia victory. She also ran a 4:39.13 1600 and added a 10:06.76 later at CIF.

After Golden West (and Sacramento), though, it appeared her mile had stagnated. But the best was yet to come. At USATF Juniors, she had perhaps her greatest performance ever, producing a stunning last 300 to take the 1500 in 4:16.98, #4 all-time. Then a few weeks later, she confirmed with a gutsy 4:17.24 for 2nd in the World Youth meet.

Defining Races

1st USATF Jr 1500 4:16.98
2nd World Youth 1500 4:17.24
1st USATF Jr XC 6k 21:44
1st Arcadia 2M 10:07.65 (10:04.27 3200)
1st Carmillo 3200 10:04.07
1st Wildcat Relays 3200 10:04.52
1st SLO County 1600 4:39.13

  Ashley Higginson
There were times during 2006, as superstar Danielle Tauro ate up the headlines, that fans of a certain Colts Neck NJ athlete (no, not Craig Forys) thought that athlete was not getting her due for still being one of the best anywhere. But by the end of this past track season, Ashley Higginson had seemingly been everywhere, and created her own identity as one of the true greats.

In cross-country, she splashed through the mud in Portland better than anyone and claimed the individual title at the 3rd NTN. Like many who try and do the double, she suffered at Foot Locker Finals, finishing 22nd. Indoors, she kept chipping away, making improvements at each distance, then made a huge statement at NSIC, where her winning 10:16.75 moved her to #7 all-time.

Ashley continued to improve her 800 and 1600 outdoors (to 2:11.9 relay and 4:47.71), while also running a 16:38.31 5000 and winning the Penn 3k again. When NON turned into a strategic race, she showed her savvy there, too, sprinting to a 10:17.44 win. She added a 3rd in the steeple the next day. In the end, no girl in the country had accomplished what Ashley had in all three sports.

Defining Races

1st NON 2-Mile 10:17.44
1st NSIC 2-Mile 10:16.75
1st NTN XC 5k 19:18
1st Penn Relays 3k 9:37.91

  Alex Kosinski
That this spring was going to be special for Kosinski began to become apparent at the Reebok Boston Indoor mile, where she finished a solid 3rd behind Danielle Tauro and Jillian Smith. The Oak Ridge CA sr had missed the first half of the XC season with injury, rallied to win her division at state and then make Foot Locker Finals, but then did not run well in San Diego. Obviously, she had kept up with solid training all winter.

Then came Nike Indoor. With a tremendous finish, Alex topped the favored Tauro and suddenly was the top miler in the country. For more than a month, she wore the mantle well. At Arcadia, she dominated a good, but not great field, hitting 4:43.34. Then when she had a chance to run at the Sacramento MOC and race Jordan Hasay, who had run a 4:39 1600, she won decisively and took down Hasay’s Federation record with a US#1 4:38.15, making her the 7th to run sub-4:40 for a mile or the 1600 equivalent. For good measure, she added a nation-leading (at the time) 2:07.54 800.

Unfortunately, an injury ended Kosinski’s season before she could go for more national honors, but she had accumulated enough to earn a spot here.

Defining Races

1st NIN Mile 4:45.18
1st Sacramento MOC 1600 4:38.15
1st Sacramento MOC 800 2:07.54
1st Arcadia Mile 4:43.34

  Honorable Mention 
Kathy Kroeger TN – The Franklin TN soph had a superb XC season, winning Great American, taking 2nd at FL South and culminating with her decisive Foot Locker Finals victory. But she bypassed the track seasons to focus on health issues.

Ashley Brasovan FL – After a disappointing non-qualifying effort again at FL South, the Wellington FL soph showed her championship mettle with a super victory in the NIN 2-mile with US#3 10:25.41. Outdoors, she hit a US#2 10:13.45 3200, then was 4th in the NON deuce.

Aurora Scott VA – The Chesapeake VA jr looked in great form during Fall 06 road races and lived up to the hype with a FL South course record victory, then a 2nd at Foot Locker Finals. She then appeared on the indoor circuit to run a US#1 (at the time) 10:29.12 3200, then went to NIN and won the 5k in 16:53.55 and was 2nd in the 2M. But she never competed outdoors.

Christine Babcock CA – The talented Woodbridge CA junior again had superb regular-season campaigns, but bypassed the post-season. She was the D2 XC champ in CA and won some major invites, with only Hasay having a better season there. During track, she repeated as CIF 1600 champ in 4:38.85, and hit 10:15.54 3200 (Section) and 10:23.39 2M (Arcadia).

Emily Sisson NE – The freshman from Marian NE stunned with her FL MW title, then took 3rd at Foot Locker Finals. She took her time getting fit during track, culminating in a 7th in the NON deuce (10:29.97), a USATF Jr. 5k title (16:48.67), and 3rd in the Pan Am Jrs. 5k.

Marissa Treece MI
– The Maple City MI senior reached her peak in the long track races, winning the 5ks at both NSIC (17:04.32) and NON (16:36.34), and also was 2nd in the NSIC 2M at a US#2 10:22.96. She also ran 4:50.12 for 4th at the NON mile. At USATF Jrs. she was 3rd.

Danielle Tauro NJ – After an incredible junior year that extended into August, it was a tough challenge for the Southern Regional NJ star to duplicate her successes. She started XC late and won her state group and MOC titles, but then collapsed at FL Northeast due to a muscle-related condition, Rhabdomyolysis. Indoors, she had a terrific string of mile victories, as well as strong relay legs, but missed some time with injury and then was upset in the NIN mile. Then outdoors she focused on her school’s top relay crews at meets like Penn and NON, with strong but not spectacular legs, before attempting to repeat as USATF Jr. 1500 champ. Unfortunately, the Rhabdomyolysis hit again and she was 6th.

Stephanie Morgan OH – The Barnesville OH soph improved steadily throughout the indoor and outdoor track seasons, winning the Kentucky Indoor, taking 4th at Nike Indoor (4:53.13y), 2nd at Penn (4:51.25y), winning her D3 state meet (4:45.21), and finally winning the NON mile in 4:46.13.

Dominique Jackson CA – Most other years in the 800, the Fairfield CA senior would be #1 in the country or pushing it, but while she had to take a backseat to Price, she still had a great year. Her 2:05.65 PR was in her runner-up race to Price at NON, and she was also 2nd at USATF Jrs. (1st prep) in 2:06.41, 1st at CIF 2:06.09, and 1st at Golden West 2:07.97.

Year-End Awards Index