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101st Millrose Games

Madison Square Garden, New York City, NY

Friday, February 1, 2008
- DyeStat on-site with John Nepolitan

Rankin beats Parson, Jamaicans

Relay battles, Vergaras' 1-3 adds to excitement

Story and Photos by John Nepolitan - Results (go to Full Results Page) | Photo Album (40 photos by John Nepolitan)

Meet's own site

Selection Criteria

The Road to Millrose
5 runnners, 1 goal



Photos - Video

Prior Years

The effort shows in the faces of winner Jeremy Rankin CO (left) and runner-up Rynell Parson TX (2nd from right) as they put a 1-2 finish on the Jamacian duo.

Boys Junior 60, Walks, Relays add to prep excellence at The Garden

Sandwiched around the two feature mile races were a number of other high school events providing the crowd with something to cheer about. Opening the night would be the Vergara twins, Ricardo and Roberto, who would place 1st and 3rd in the open men’s mile walk in personal best times of 6:29.92 and 6:37.17. Besides giving the two high school walkers a chance to compete against top flight competition on the big stage, the race also served as the USATF 1 mile race walk national championship. Ricardo had no real idea he would win the race coming in: “I started in the middle of the pack and thought I would finish 4th or so,” he said “I’m surprised to win.”

Most of the high school events are relays that bring together many of the top teams in the New York metropolitan area in races that have a long storied history. Among the boys 4 x 400 relays, Ramapo(NY) came from behind to catch Camden(NJ) on the last leg, but it took a finish-line dive by Ramapo’s Mike Abelard to win in the night’s fastest time of 3:28.54 to Camdens’ 3:28.57. Midwood(NY) led from wire to wire to take the PSAL boy’s 4 x 400 in 3:31.48 over Transit Tech.

A new event added to the Millrose schedule was the Junior Boy’s 60 meter dash, which become a match race between runners from the USA and Jamaica’s St Jago. The US "team" sported the year's two best sprinters and they did not disappoint. After a false start that did not see any of the runners disqualified (since the race was being run under rules of the IAAF), US leader Jeremy Rankin (Jr., Overland CO) moved into the lead at about 40 meters to power away from Rynell Parson (Jr., Stevens HS, TX), and the Jamaican duo of Yohan Blake and Nickel Ashmeade. Rankin broke the tape in a swift 6.68 to Parson’s 6.73. The 6.68 was the fourth-fastest performance of the year, a time only Rankin himself (6.64 and 6.65) and Parson (6.67) have beaten

Another new event to the program was the Border Clash Boy’s 4 x 800, bringing together 6 New York and New Jersey teams (3 from each state). This was an event that fans had pleaded for over the years, knowing that it would put people in the seats in a meet that had been struggling over the last few years to fill “The Garden.” Meet promoters could not be disappointed as the new event was the first of the evening to bring the crowd to its feet and seemed to be the moment when the fans got into the meet for the remainder of the night. New York power Shenendehowa was on the lead after two legs, with national leader Washington Township(NJ) struggling to stay close. Warwick Valley’s Brad Ackerman, who just missed making it into the high school mile race, moved into the lead and build a nice cushion for his team during the 3rd leg. Warwick anchor man Mike Fox maintained the lead and brought the NTN 11th place school home to the 1st ever Millrose Games Border Clash 4 x 800 championship in 8:03.13. Shenendehowa was 2nd in 8:03.89 with Morris Hills(NJ) 3rd in 8:04.84 and national leader Washington Township(NJ) 4th in 8:06.15.

In past years, the New York Catholic High School League 4 x 800 had been the event that did the job of bringing the crowd to its feet early in the night, but this year the event was given a slot between the boy’s high school mile and the marquee event, the Wanamaker Mile. Through three legs, the defending champions from Kellenburg found themselves behind Chaminade. At the trial race that selected the teams to compete at MSG, Chaminade had upset Kellenberg, but tonight was going to be a different story.

At the trials Chaminade built up a lead through the first three legs and held on for the win, but here that lead never developed and almost as soon as Kellenberg anchor Tom Elnick grabbed the stick he jumped to the front. He pulled away from Chaminade’s Stephen Donnelly all the way to the finish to cross the line in 8:02.29, with Chaminade 2nd in 8:06.29, just holding off a fast closing Zach Keefer of Fordham Prep in 8:06.95.

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