Overview: Day 3 of the New Balance Nationals once again provided a fitting close to track & field's grandest of meets.
Two more national records from Trey Cunningham, an abundance of nation best and a classic showdown in the two-mile run highlighted Sunday's competition.
Cunningham, the senior from Winfield City, Al., broke his one-day-old mark in the 60-meter hurdles with a World Junior record of 7.40. Just like in Saturday's preliminaries, Cunningham also lowered the 55m HH mark en route to his win with a time of 6.871. "I knew it was fast because the hurdles were coming fast," admitted Cunningham. "I hit the mat, turned around and saw the clock and was like whoa!"
With a field that included Brodey Hasty (Brentwood, Tenn.), Noah Affolder (Carisle, Pa.) and DJ Principe (La Salle Academy, R.I.) the two-mile run had all the makings of an epic duel, and that's exactly what was witnessed inside a packed New Balance Armory. With mere strides separating the trio from start to finish, Hasty was able to make his final move that count the most, bursting past the front-running Affolder on the last straightway and powering through the finish line tape in a nation-leading 8:45.16. Affolder secured second in 8:46.08, while Principe was timed in 8:47.40 for third. "Those are just two of the best guys in the country, hands down," Hasty said. "Running with them just brings out the best in you."
Florida's Tyrese Cooper (Miami Norland) made it twice as nice, winning the 200m and 400m. The speedy sophomore improved on his all-time indoor best, clocking National sophomore record of 21.05 for the short sprint and 46.55 for the two-lapper. The breathing room was minimal in both races. Cooper edged Virginia's Micalah Harris by just .08 for the 200m and was mere strides ahead of Georgia's Brian Herron of Lakeside in the 400m. Herron crossed the line at 46.69.
Caleb Jolivette (Manvel, Tx.) blazed to the fastest time in the country in the 60m dash. Jolivette beat a senior-heavy final with a PR of 6.73.
Cameron Cooper (Oak Park, Mich.) captured the 800m in tight race where the top three positions were separated by a second. A day after anchoring his school's winning Sprint Medley Relay, Cooper beat formidable foes, Rey Rivera (Old Bridge, N.J.) and co-race favorite Brandon McGorty (Chantilly, Va.) with a sub 1:50 clocking of 1:49.23.
The first Championship event of the day produced a PR performance for Western Branch, Va., senior Garry Williams. Williams, who was fourth last year and a runner-up at the outdoor nationals, had a three-inch best of 50-feet even.
Seven athletes exceeded the 70-foot barrier in the 25-pound weight with top seed Jacob Wicky the best of them all with a PR heave of79-6.65.
Virginia schools Western Branch and Phoebus went 1-2 in the 4x200m. Western Branch snared the win at 1:26.96. Phoebus was second in 1:27.74.
Finally, East Orange, N.J., clocked a nation No. 1 of 3:16.09 for first place in the 4x400m.
55m HH: Trey Cunningham, Winfield City, Al., 6.87 (en route to 60m HH record)
60m HH: Cunningham, Winfield City, 7.40
200m: Tyrese Cooper, Miami Norland, Fl., 21.05 (sophomore national record)
Triple jump: Garry Williams, Chesapeake, Va., 50-0
Weight: Jacob Wicky, Medina. Ohio, 79-6.75
4x200m: Western Branch, Va., 1:26.96
4x400m: East Orange, N.J., 3:16.09
Mile: Cooper Teare, St. Joseph Notre Dame, Ca., 4:06.6
Two Mile: Brody Hastey, Brentwood, Tn., 8:45.06
60m: Caleb Jolivette, Manvel, Tx., 6.73
60m HH: Trey Cunningham, Winfield City, Al., 7.40
800m: Cameron Cooper, Southfield, Mi., 1:49.46
200m: Tyrese Cooper, Miami Norland, Fla., 21.05
400m: Cooper, Miami Norland, Fla., 46.55
"Both these guys, I knew they were going to go for a fast time. It was more can I stay with them, and if I did stay with them, what do I have left."
- Brodey Hasty, senior from Brentwood, Tn., after his epic two-mile duel with DJ Principe and Noah Affolder, where he indeed had enough left, winning the race with a time of 8:45.16.
Event of the Day: 60-meter hurdles
A number of events could have been chosen in this category, but you can't ignore a World U20 Record. Trey Cunningham continued his mastery over the hurdles with a flawless performance on Sunday, one that equated to a sensational 7.40. In a race that's often determined in hundredths of a second, Cunningham won this race by nearly three-tenths of a second. Finishing second was Damion Thomas (Northeast, Fla.) with a nation No. 3 of 7.64. Cunningham was actually the recipient of four national records this weekend. He dipped under his own record in the preliminaries on Saturday where he also became the first high-schooler under seven seconds for 55m en route to his win. He also did the same on Sunday where he went through 55m at 6.87. When asked what's next for the FSU commit. His response, concerning the 110m hurdles this spring season - "I don't know? Sub 13 (seconds) in outdoor, maybe?"