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reebok Boston Indoor Games

Preview - Tauro is clear favorite in junior girls mile. Boys race is full of mystery and fascination. Gabby Mayo tests herself against the pros.

Jan 27, 2007 Reggie Lewis Center, Boston

by Steve Underwood

Jr Boys Mile  - Jr Girls Mile   - Elite Women's 60

The word “favorite” will have drastically different meanings in the two different high school mile races at the Reebok Boston Indoor Meet Saturday at The Reg.  On the girls side, the meaning is clear and concise.  THE Favorite is Danielle Tauro and there’s just no two ways about it.  After winning almost everything there was to win last year as a junior, she made a statement about her current fitness last weekend at the New Balance Indoor Games with her 4:46.13 victory.  She’s back, she’s fast and unquestionably the girl to beat.

In the boys race, however, it’s a much different story.  Steve Murdock is the guy who’s got the best clocking this season, a fine 4:15.21 from last week’s Yale Classic, but beyond that his mile credentials are far from the best.  But many in the field, such as super standouts Craig Forys and Evan Jager, have not raced yet this season and it’s a mystery if they’ll be able to come in and pop a 4:10 or if they’ll be back in 4:20 or worse.  Then there’s Scotland’s Kris Gauson, who is actually, by a good shot, faster than anyone in the field.  The boys race will simply be full of mystery and fascination.

But, in its own way, the girls race will, too …

Girls Mile Preview:  Tauro, But Then What?

It’s hard to imagine any other outcome at the top other than a victory for Southern Regional NJ sr Danielle Tauro.  After last year – and last week – she seems simply unbeatable at the mile or 1500 distance, at least against any US junior.

Last year’s accomplishments have been well-documented, with her victories at Millrose, Penn, NON, and USATF Juniors.  They weren’t just wins, but they were often dramatic, especially the Millrose win, which was unexpected at the time.  In fact, the most amazing performance may have been her DMR anchor at NIN, where she came from way back in her first race after a serious illness.  If Danielle’s “Legend” status began at Millrose, it was cemented in Maryland – and it just continued from there.

The conclusion to Tauro’s cross-country season was no less dramatic, but in a different way, as she collapsed in the final stretch at Foot Locker Northeast.  After crawling across the line 10th she was unable to compete in San Diego and doubt crept in as to whether her reign on the track could continue.

Well, at least doubt in the minds of the less savvy observers.  Danielle’s obviously come back from adversity before.  Her statement came last Saturday as she ran away from the field in the last 400 with a scintillating 66.  If she continues to be healthy, she wins.

“It’s nice when things turn out the way you planned,” said Coach Brian Zatorski of the New Balance race.  He has brought Tauro along slowly since the collapse last fall, which was due to the onset of Rhabdomyolysis, a condition that can occur in athletes under strain in which muscle membranes begin to break down.  While Zatorski originally talked about certain conditions leading right up to the race that may have led to the breakdown, he now believes it had to do more with the intense academic and college visitation schedule Tauro kept up during the fall, which he says taxed her deeply even though she wasn’t racing.

“She went to U-M, Stanford, Oregon, Duke, and Tennessee,” he said.  “And her academic schedule has been brutal.  Danielle’s a perfectionist and she’s going to do whatever it takes to get an ‘A,’ no matter how long it takes.”

Tauro’s sophomore teammate, Jillian Smith, also bears watching.  Getting in the New Balance meet last weekend was a great opportunity she had, and took full advantage of with her 4:55.27 for 3rd.  “It was nice she could go out there and bang heads with those caliber runners,” he said.  “She’s a very talented athlete.  Her success is (also) a testament to Danielle.  She’s an unbelievable teammate.”

Despite Tauro’s resume, this all isn’t to say she may not be challenged or that the race won’t be as interesting as the boys.  The rest of the field is a mix (somewhat like the boys race) of athletes who’ve been tested all winter and those whose credentials come from last spring or fall.

The latter group is unquestionably highlighted by Christine Babcock.  The Woodbridge CA junior, as a sophomore last June, pulled off one of the most thrilling upsets in one of the best races anywhere last year.  Her blistering PR 4:41.29 1600 rocked a deep and talented CIF state meet field that saw five break 4:46.

Surprisingly – there weren’t any reports of injuries or other health issues – Babcock then skipped the post-season.  The scenario was similar last fall, except Babcock didn’t really sneak up on anyone.  Still, her blazing victory at her home Woodbridge Invite to start the meat of the CC season was eye-opening, and she sailed through the rest of the fall unbeaten, concluding with a state D2 title in a time only second to Jordan Hasay’s D5 win.  Then, again, no postseason.

Saturday will be her first race of the season and her first indoor race, so it will definitely be intriguing to see how she does.  Fellow Californian Alex Kosinski will be closely watched for similar reasons.  The Oak Ridge HS (El Dorado Hills CA) sr ripped off some great 1600s last spring, too, including 4:42.31 for 2nd at state and 4:42.93 (full mile) for 2nd at Golden West.  She was injured the first half of the XC season, but came back nicely to get 2nd at D2 state, and make FL Finals for the second time.  Still, it’s difficult to know how any runner from an indoor-track-less state will do.

Several others have been invited into the field based on their impressive 2006 credentials.  The one foreign entry, Lindsay Carson of Ontario, Canada, is the single returnee from this race last year, where she was 6th in 4:57.84.  She has had a tremendous race at NSIC, getting 2nd to Aislinn Ryan in the 2-mile with 10:31.87.  She is also a national junior 3k champ and World Jr Cross Country team member.

Outside of Tauro, few had a better indoor season last winter than Dennis Yarmouth (West Yarmouth MA) sr Colleen Wetherbee.  She was 2nd both at Millrose (4:52.78y) and NIN (4:51.22), running smart races.  She was also a strong 4th at NON in 4:49.44.  This winter, she has kept a low profile to date.

The meet is also bringing in standouts from Texas and Virginia.  Jillian Rosen, a Richardson HS (Dallas) jr, ran 4:53.54 outdoors last year as a soph and then had a fine XC campaign, making it to FL Finals where she was 14th.  Northside HS (Roanoke VA) sr Catherine White is a veteran of many national-level meets, with PRs of 4:53.09y/10:32.14y at NON last year, and is trying to come back from a disappointing end to her harrier season.

On the other hand, there are several experienced indoor standouts – with 2007 credentials – to give Tauro a challenge, or at least vie for a top three spot.  Bellport NY sr Brittany Sheffey won the Stanner Games in 4:54.09 to claim the US#1 spot before Tauro took it down last week.  She has also blazed a US#1 2:53.23 1000 and has some of the best wheels in the field (2:10.40 800).

Colts Neck NJ sr Ashley Higginson, coming off a fantastic CC season that was highlighted by an NTN individual championship, has had an appropriately conservative start to her season.  She has twice run 4:55 1600 legs on DMRs and gotten her 800 PR down to 2:14.  Her best events are longer (she is defending Penn Relays 3k champ), but since she’s also rock-solid consistent, expect her to place high.

Meanwhile, Greenwich NY jr Caitlin Lane is trying to rebound from a disappointing end to her CC season, though there were many earlier successes (including a fast Class C title).  Already, she has won Bishop Loughlin (4:57.39y) and has a 4:53 1600 relay leg to her credit.

Warwick Valley NY jr Tori Pennings has also been active indoors, with a 4th at the Hispanic Games mile in 4:56.80.  The field also has local interest in Triton HS (Georgetown MA) jr Keely Maguire and Exeter RI sr Siobhan Breagy.  Maguire was a close 2nd at the MIAA All-State meet to Foot Locker Finalist Emily Jones, while Breagy is the defending New England champ at 800 (2:12).

Girls Stats

Danielle Tauro, 2007, Southern Regional, Manahawkin NJ
2007 Indoor – 1st New Balance 4:46.13y, 4:53 1600 leg (in 11:59 DMR)
2006 XC – 1st NJ MOC 17:47, 1st NJ Grp4 18:06, 10th FL NE 18:14
2006 Track – 1st NON 4:39.25y, 1st USATF 1500 4:24.53, 5th-H1 World Jr 1500 4:24.16, 1st Penn 4:48.51y, 1st Millrose 4:51.89yi, NJ MOC 1st-4:49.17/1st-2:10.88. Grp4 4:48.40-1st/2:09.54-1st,

Brittany Sheffey, 2007, Bellport HS, Brookhaven NY
2007 Indoor:  1st Stanner Games 4:54.09y, 1st Bishop Loughlin 2:53.23 1000m, 1st Hispanic Games 2:10.77
2006 XC:  5th Brown 18:27
2006 Track:  3rd Penn 4:53.96y, 1st Richter (1500) 4:30.98, 1st Hartford 2:10.40, 2nd NSIC 4:50.10y, 1st Sect Qual 2:50.26 (1000)
2005 Track:  9th Boston Indoor 5:02.91y

Colleen Wetherbee, 2007, Dennis-Yarmouth HS, West Yarmouth MA
2007 Indoor – 7th Brown Inv 5:07.91
2006 Track – 2nd Millrose 4:52.78y, 2nd NIN 4:51.22y, 2:54.81 1k,

Lindsey Carson, 2007, Ontario CANADA
2006 Track:  Nat’l Jr Champ 3k, 2nd NSIC 10:31.87y, 6th Boston 4:57.84y, 1500 PR 4:27.87 (2005),
2006 CC:  World Junior XC Team member

Christine Babcock, 2008, Woodbridge HS, Irvine CA
2007 Indoor:  None
2006 XC:  1st D2 State 17:20, 1st Section 17:00, 1st Woodbridge 16:31 (3M)
2006 Track:  1st CIF 4:41.29, SouSect Masters 4:51.98-4th/10:41.97-4th, SouSectD2 10:38.45-1st/4:49.34-2nd, 11th Arcadia 10:43.52 (1st in heat).

Alex Kosinski, 2007, Oak Ridge HS, El Dorado Hills CA
2007 Indoor:  None
2006 CC:  36th FL Finals 19:16, 7th FL West 18:36, 2nd D2 state 17:33 (3rd overall),
2006 Track:  2nd Golden West 4:42.93y, 2nd CIF 4:42.31, 2nd Arcadia 4:50.14y, 1st Ventura Co. 10:40.36,

Caitlin Lane, 2008, Greenwich HS NY
2007 Indoor:  1st Bishop Loughlin 4:57.39y, Yale Classic 4:53.6 1600 leg of DMR
2006 CC:  DNF FL NE, 4th Feds 18:29, 1st Class C State 17:55, 5th Eastern States 14:28 (2.5M), 1st Warwick 17:29
2006 Track:  9:58.13 3k 1st Hudson Falls (injured most of season)
2005 Track:  7th Boston Indoor 4:58.92y

Jillian Smith, 2008, Southern Regional, Manahawkin NJ
2007 Indoor:  3rd New Balance 4:55.27y
2006 Track:  Grp IV State 2:12.16 2nd/4:51.48 2nd,

Jillian Rosen, 2008, Dallas TX, Richardson HS
2007 Indoor:  None
2006 CC:  14th FL Finals 18:31, 4th FL South 17:15, 1st 5A state 10:48 (2M), 1st Marcus II 10:42 (2M),
2006 Track:  2nd 5A state 4:53.54,

Ashley Higginson, 2007, Colts Neck HS NJ
2007 Indoor: Relays – 4:55, 4:55 (both DMR), 2:14
2006 CC:  22nd FL Finals 18:40, 1st NTN 19:18, 4th FL NE 17:52, 2nd MOC 17:50, 2nd Grp4 18:10, 2nd Eastern States (2.5M) 14:16, 1st Cougar Inv 17:34, 2nd Spiked Shoe 17:49
2006 Track:  1st Penn 3k 9:42.07, 13th NON 10:43.00y, 10:38.42 3rd NJ MOC, Grp3 10:42.19-1st/4:58.46-5th

Catherine White, 2007, Northside HS, Roanoke VA
2007 Indoor:  1st Montgomery Co 10:52.86, 1st Keydet Inv 10:53.09
2006 CC:  1st VHSL State Meet 19:18, DNF FL South, 1st Region III 17:51, 1st District 17:59
2006 Track:  NON 10:32.14y-7th/4:53.09y-6th (1st Sect. 2), 2nd NIN 10:32.27y, 4th USATF 3k 9:55.80, 3rd Penn 3k 9:49.20, 2A State 5:05.81-1st/10:49.52-1st, Taco Bell 4:54.22y-1st/10:43.12-2nd,

Siobhan Breagy, 2007, Exeter RI
2007 Indoor:  1st Yale 2:17.14,
2006 XC:  3rd Class A State 19:51, 4th All-State 19:18, 36th New Englands 19:39
2006 Track:  2nd State 2:12.87, 2:13.72i, New England 800 champ

Keely Maguire, 2008, Triton HS, Georgetown MA
2006 XC:  22nd FL NE 18:40, 2nd MIAA D2 All-State 18:47,
2006 Track:  4th MIAA 5:01.50y (11:33-2 mile/2:20-800)

Tori Pennings, 2008, Warwick Valley HS, NY
2007 Indoor:  4th Hispanic 4:56.80y, 2nd Stanner (3k) 10:11.05
2006 XC:  39th FL NE 19:00, 35th Feds 19:42, 44th AA State 19:32, 1st Sect9 18:00, 1st Warwick Inv 17:52
2006 Track:  Ahearn Classic 2nd 1500 4:40.0, 2nd 800 2:18.0

Jr Boys Mile

Preview:  Recent Experience vs. All-Time Credentials … or a Scottish Champ

You could look at the Boys Boston Indoor Mile any of three ways:  1) The race will go to the hottest current runner from the indoor season, which would be Steve Murdock, with Sintayehu Taye and Brandon Burns, also fighting in the mix.  Or, 2) you could look at those with leading credentials from last year and those with the biggest reps, like Craig Forys and Evan Jager. 

Finally, you could go with 3) the runner who’s least known here but clearly is the fastest:  Scotland junior standout Kris Gauson, who also happens to be the top returnee into this race.

That scenario deserves examination first, even though the Belgrave Harriers star also appears to be using this as a season-opener.  First, Gauson WAS fifth here last year, in 4:11.41, with all those ahead of him having graduated.  But better yet, he ripped a 3:43.10 1500 last summer, equal to a 4:00.94!  He also has the best wheels over 800 of anyone in this crowd, with a 1:50.45.

Whatever you may think of Forys and Jager, Gauson has to be the man to beat, at least in terms of 2006 and career credentials.

Now let’s circle back to those who have torn it up on the stateside ovals this winter.  Shenendehowa sr Steve Murdock earned the respect of nearly every fan in the country with his gritty NTN individual title/Foot Locker 3rd double – the best such double that any boy has done in the 3 years of NTN.  He has since bounced right back to attack the mile indoors, despite it not really being his best event, and has improved to 4:15.21.  Besides earning him a Millrose bid as well, the race probably served as a good rehearsal for Boston as he went out hard (2:05) by himself.  It’s hard to imagine that Murdock’s competitiveness won’t earn him at least a top three finish.

Having both experience this winter and Boston Indoor history is Sintayehu Taye.  The Cushing Academy MA  jr hit 4:12.89 for 8th here in 2006.  He also ran 2:29 for 1000, but was injured during most of outdoor.  Last fall was mostly low key until he finished a close 2nd at Foot Locker NE behind Forys.  But then came another disappointment at FL Finals (16th).  This winter, again, he has impressed with 4:19.79y and 8:38.23 3k (US#1) clockings in open meets. 

Sintayehu is another, certainly, capable of top three.

So where does that leave Forys and Jager?  Surely, no runners will be watched with more interest than they.  Both have questions to answer, at least in the fans’ eyes.

Forys -- That Craig’s runner-up finish in San Diego several weeks ago was considered a mild disappointment was a testament to just how great his 2006 XC season was.  He was rock-solid consistent all year and just steamrolled undefeated through his schedule, with records at the hallowed courses of Van Cortlandt (Manhattan) and Holmdel (MOC) the highlights.  He truly came into his own … and hardly ran bad in San Diego, either.  Chad Hall was just a bit better on the day.

But Forys has milers wheels, too, of course, as his 4:09.77y and 4:05 1600 relay legs last winter attested to.  Yet all winter, there’s been talk that Forys has been injured and that was why he passed up going for a Millrose bid.  Not quite true, according to Coach Jim Schlentz. 

“He was never running Millrose, only Boston,” he said.  “I just feel that we get very few efforts to run a real good time (with relay meets, etc.) that it's a waste to run at Millrose on a slow track where no one knows how to run on a 11 lap track anymore.  …  With BIG you can get a big effort against fast kids and get a good time as well.”

“With that said, he pinched a nerve in his butt a week before Foot Locker,” he added.  “It did not affect his race, but it killed after the race.  We took a week off and then started training.  It still aggravated him but not to an extent he couldn't run.  He just couldn't do anything fast, just distance.  It would get better and then it would bother him a little more, so we would back off.  This continued as we had people work on him.  We finally got a workout in this Monday and he felt good.  It was a tad sore the next day.
“He says he feels as strong as ever, but I know he won't be fast.  That's no big deal; he's got plenty of time until the nationals.  We'll use it as an early season test to see where he is.  If the pain returns, we'll take a few weeks of just cross training and get rid of it for good.  That's where we are.”

Jager -- And how about Jager?  The Algonquin Jacobs IL sr was considered by many to be the best harrier in the country last fall as he blazed his way to an undefeated regular season, capped off by a sparkling 14:07 state title on the famed Dettwiler Park 3M course.

But then an inexplicable 15th-place finish at Foot Locker Midwest, for a guy who almost never has a bad race, left everyone (Jager included) scratching their heads.  At this point, though, he’s made a peace with the whole deal.

“I’ve just realized that everyone has bad races sometimes and just take it that way, even though it was bad timing,” he said.  “I think there were a couple of things I might have done to prevent that from happening and will keep them in mind for big meets in the future.”

Of course, Jager has stupendous track creds as well, with his 4:08.15y the top returning time coming back this year and his 8:50.42 ranking 2nd.  His 800 speed is right up there with the best as well.  Without other plans indoors, however, Jager hasn’t exactly been hammering the speed work coming in.

“I’ve mostly just been putting in miles, about 35-40 a week, which is more than I was doing last year at this time,” he said.  “I’ve done a couple speed workouts on our little track at the school.  This is an opportunity to have a great experience and I haven’t really done a meet like this indoors before.”

As for the rest of the field, the runner with the next most racing under his belt this winter after Murdock and Taye is probably Brandon Burns.  The North Kingstown RI sr had a fine 4:19.77y last weekend for 3rd behind Murdock.  He also ran 4:01.24 for 1500 last year and has at least 2:35 1k speed.  How he does will intrigue local fans, as will, incidentally, the finish of one Mark Amirault.

Amirault emerged as the best New England runner last spring by hitting 8:59.82y at Nike Outdoor.  He also ran 9:01y and 4:11 1600.  But this past fall, wearing New England’s best Foot Locker hopes, he struggled with injuries and was unable to compete at that level.  Now on the comeback trail, he hopes to exceed his junior year track performances.

Duncan Phillips, Brian Rhodes-Devey return from last year's BIG

Indoor experience from last year.  A&M Consolidated (College Station TX) sr Duncan Phillips was 9th in 4:13.19 and Guilderland (Slingerlands NY) sr Brian Rhodes-Devey 11th in 4:13.59.  Their performances represented just how deep the field was last year, but both would certainly like to improve on that.  Phillips has not raced since Foot Locker Finals and, with a 1600 PR of 4:10.96 that goes back to his soph year,  he has struggled with injuries most of the time since.

Rhodes-Devey has also struggled with consistency, but with PRs like 4:10 1600 (4:08 relay leg), he will contend if he’s at his best.  Unlike some of his NE peers, he has wisely given himself more of a break after XC with just one 3k race (8:46.55) under his belt.

2 more Foot Locker finalists -- Centrowitz and Mecheso 

The race will have two more Foot Locker Finalists, top-ten finishers in fact, in Matt Centrowitz and Girma Mecheso.  Centrowitz, the Broadneck (Arnold MD) sr, spent the better part of a year best known as the Penn Relays 3k champ, but without much else on his resume outside of Maryland.  That changed this fall as he attacked Van Cortlandt Park with Forys and Taye and ran to an outstanding 5th at FL NE.  He followed that even more impressively with an 8th in San Diego.  Like Murdock, he’s probably a better 2-miler and should be a national title contender in and/or out.

Mecheso was one of the nation’s big revelations last fall, taking over the Georgia XC title from the venerable Ben Hubers and running to a 9th-place finish in San Diego.  The Berkmar (Lawrenceville GA) jr is relatively inexperienced on the track, though, with his 9:28 3200 last spring predating his breakthrough.

Rounding out the geographically diverse field are Kent (Kentwood WA) sr Michael Chinchar and Highland Park (Dallas TX) sr Patrick Todd.  Chinchar had a fall plagued with health problems and only a few good races, but had 9:07 3200 and 4:12y creds from 2006 track.  His mile PR placed him 2nd only to Chad Hall at Golden West.  Todd is an up-and-coming relative unknown, with a 1600 PR of 4:25.

Boys Stats

Evan Jager, 2007, H.D. Jacobs HS, Algonquin IL
2007 Indoor:  First race
2006 CC:  15th FL MW 15:32, 1st 2A State 14:07 (3M), Unbeaten regular season in IL,
2006 Track:  3rd NON 8:50.42y, 4:08.15y 1st MW Dist Gala, 8:57.73 1st Lisle Inv, 4:11.22 1st 2A State, 9th NON 4:13.29y (1st in heat), 4:14.83i 1st IPTT Classic

Craig Forys, 2007, Colts Neck HS, Howell NJ
2007 Indoor:  First race
2006 CC:  2nd FL Finals 15:24, 1st FL NE 15:15, 1st MOC 15:16, 1st Grp4 15:31, 1st Manhattan ‘E’ 12:10 (2nd overall), 1st Cougar Invite 14:58,
2006 Track:  6th NON 4:11.30y, 8:56.14 1st NJ MOC, 2nd Penn 3k 8:21.82, 2nd NIN 8:59.98yi, two indoor 4:05 relay legs, Grp3 9:14.85-1st/4:15.58-1st, 4:09.77i NJ Arm Inv-O, 9:15.11i 1st NJ MOC

Steve Murdock, 2007, Shenendehowa HS, Clifton Park NY
2007 Indoor:  1st Yale Classic 4:15.21y (also 3:05 1200 DMR leg), 2nd Dartmouth 4:22.25y, 4:21.1 1600 relay leg Holiday Classic,
2006 CC:  3rd FL Finals 15:24, 1st NTN 16:26, 4th FL NE 15:22, 3rd Feds 15:48, 1st Class AA state 15:12, 2nd Manhattan ‘E’ 12:15 (3rd overall), 2nd Great American ROC 15:49,
2006 Track:  (injured most of outdoor), 9:10.33i 1st State Ind, 17th NIN 9:32.73iy, 9:11.54 1st Section, 4:16.83yi 5th Hispanic Games, 4:17.20yi 3rd Yale Inv
2005 Track:  2nd NIN 9:11.40y

Sintayehu Taye, 2008, Cushing Academy HS, Ashburnham MA
2007 Indoor:  2nd Southern ME 4:19.79y, 1st Boston U. 8:38.23 3k,
2006 CC:  16th FL Finals 15:50, 2nd FL NE 15:18, 26th Mayor’s Cup 8k 24:55 (1st under 18),
2006 Track:  (injured outdoors) 8th Boston Indoor 4:12.89y, 2:29.60 1000m BU Inv., 8:44.85i 3k USATF NE

Kris Gauson, ?, Belgrave Harriers, Scotland
2007 Indoor:  First race (?)
2006 CC:  World Jrs 80th 27:32 (8k), 8th Eng. U20 34:15 (10k)
2006 Track:  3rd Merkshem 3:43.10 (1500), 1st BMC GP2 1:50.45, 5th Boston Indoor 4:11.41y, 7th Celtic Cup 4:12.61y

Matt Centrowitz, 2007, Broadneck HS, Arnold MD
2007 Indoor:  First race
2006 CC:  8th FL Finals 15:34, 5th FL NE 15:23, 1st 4A State 16:02,
2006 Track:  16th NON 9:16.18 (13th Sect. 2), 1st Penn 3k 8:20.09, 9:13.68 1st 4A State, 11th NIN 9:20.38yi

Mark Amirault, 2007, Xaverian HS, Walpole MA
2007 Indoor: 
2006 CC:  5th MIAA All-State 16:25, 1st Eastern MA D1 15:47
2006 Track:  9th NON 8:59.82y, 9:01.64y 1st Hartford Inv, 1st State 9:14.07y, 4:11.64 1st MIAA State, 4:15.68i 2nd Dartmouth

Brian Rhodes-Devey, 2007, Guilderland HS, Slingerlands NY
2007 Indoor:  4th Dartmouth Open 8:46.55 (3k)
2006 CC:  35th FL Finals 16:25, 7th FL NE 15:27, 2nd Feds 15:45, 8th State AA 15:49, 1st Manhattan ‘C’ 12:27 (6th overall), 4th Great American ROC 16:07
2006 Track:  15th NON 4:15.73y (8th Sect. 3), 4:10.66 1st Sub. Council, 4:11.40 2nd State, 4:13.22y 1st Eddy Meet, 4:16.14 1st Section, 8:31.41i 3k 1st Yale, 6th Millrose 4:19.45y, 1st Hispanic Games 4:13.19y, 11th Boston Indoor 4:13.59y

Brandon Burns, 2007, North Kingstown HS, North Kingstown RI
2007 Indoor:  3rd Yale 4:19.77y,
2006 Track:  Indoor State 1st 4:01.24 (1500)/1st 2:37 (1k), 1000 PR 2:35,

Duncan Phillips, 2007, A&M Consolidated HS, College Station TX
2007 Indoor:  First race
2006 CC:  30th FL Finals 16:18, 6th FL South 15:09, 2nd 5A state 15:15, 2nd Nike South 15:20, 1st Klein 15:29, 2nd Texas A&M 16:04, 4th Chile Pepper 15:12, 1st Montgomery 15:09 (3M), 1st Region II 14:44 (3M)
2006 Track:  4:13.41 1st 5A State, 4:13.49 1st Klein Relays, 2nd Region 4:17.90, 1:52.61 1st Kingwood TrueTeam, 9th Boston In 4:13.19yi (also 4:10.96 1600 as soph).

Michael Chinchar, 2007, Kent HS, Kentwood WA
2007 Indoor:  First race
2006 CC:  19th FL West 16:28, 23rd 4A state 16:23, 2nd Jim Danner 15:11, 16th Sunfair 16:23
2006 Track:  4A State 3rd-9:07.78/2nd-4:16.16, 2nd Golden West 4:12.02y, 23rd NON 4:21.20y, 1st District 9:16.08, 8:37.52i 3k 5th UW Open,

Girma Mecheso, 2008 (2007 eligibility), Berkmar HS, Lawrenceville GA
2007 Indoor:  First race
2006 CC:  9th FL Finals 15:34, 4th FL South 14:57, 1st 5A state 15:01, 1st Furman 15:52, 1st Alexander/Asics 15:17, 1st Coach Wood Invite 15:28, 1st Region 8-5A 15:01, 1st Gwinnett Co. 15:00
2005 Track:  3rd 5A state 9:28.17

Patrick Todd, 2007, Highland Park HS, Dallas TX
2007 Indoor:  First race
2006 CC:  13th 4A state 16:01, 1st McNeil (4A) 16:20,
2006 Track:  3rd Region II 4A 4:25.03,

Elite Women's 60

Mayo Gets Her Chance to Run with the Pros

By SteveU

Like some of the milers in the special Junior Events at the Reebok Boston Indoor Games, 2006 DyeStat MVP Gabby Mayo is starting her season by jumping into the competitive fire.

Well, to clarify “starting,” she did compete in and win the 55 last week at the Eastern Challenge at U. North Carolina, running what finished the weekend as the US#2 time of 6.90, just 0.03 off her PR from last year.

But now the Southeast Raleigh NC sr will compete against a field that includes pros and collegians like Marshevet Hooker, Brianna Glenn, and Miki Barber.  How does Gabby rate against the competition?

Well, not too bad.  Hooker’s 7.18 from last year is the field’s best – that’s right about at the HSR that Mayo aspires to.  Mayo’s 6.87 55 meters PR from last year was 0.11 behind Hooker.  Better yet, Gabby’s 100 time at USATF Juniors last summer of 11.16 was just 0.07 off of Hooker’s best.  The rest of the field, which also includes Americans Rachelle Smith, Angela Daigle-Bowen, and Jordine Kimbrel, all have PRs at least slightly slower than Gabby’s.

In other words, she should be very competitive … not that she’s really thinking about that.

Mayo admits she doesn’t know about the girls on the line with her, but is simply working on sharpening up her own game.  So how did the NON 100 champ feel about her opener last weekend?

“I wanted to run faster, but I’m fairly happy with that,” she said.  “It’s faster than I ran in my first meet last year.  I know what I need to work on.”

And that would be … ?

“My start,” she said.

Mayo said her off-season training has gone well, with newfound emphasis on hitting the weights and the ongoing effort to improve technique.  Last year, her mantra was getting her “arms and legs” going in sync and in balance, even if it meant trooping around the house practicing her form.  That hasn’t changed.

Although she is probably a better sprinter for at least 100, if not 200, Mayo still has big goals in the 60.  She would like to start by getting in the 7.25-30 range, then go for Ashley Owens 7.19A high school record.  She says that if all goes well this weekend, there might be a chance to run at Millrose Friday, February 2.

And what better chance to improve than running against the pros?  But it’s not like Mayo won’t have some great prep competition all year long, with the likes of the great Class of 2007 including Bianca Knight, Jeneba Tarmoh, Shayla Mahan, Victoria Jordan and others.  Indeed, the girls sprints may be the best set of events in all of prep track, both genders, this year.  Mayo, however, would like to stay on top – and the quest has started.