300m Records fall at the Armory via Rai Benjamin, Sydney McLaughlin

It wasn't quite the 33.05 300m National Record - but Mount Vernon senior Rai Benjamin did go home with the New York Armory Track facility record and new US #1 of 33.17 at the Armory Track Invitational.

The UCLA commit led Taylor McLaughlin (Union Catholic, NJ) to the US #4 time of 33.62. Michigan All-Stars runner Jaron Flournoy came away with the US #5 time of 33.93. Noah Lyles and Grant Holloway clocked the other top five national performances at the VA Tech High Invitational, also this weekend.

   Varsity Boys 300 Meter Dash                        
    Name                      Yr Team                           Time   Pts
  1 Rai Benjamin                 Mount Vernon                  33.17    10
  2 Taylor Mclaughlin            Scotch Plains                 33.62     8
  3 Jaron Flournoy               Westland                      33.93     6
  4 Anton Porter                 Bronx                         34.87     5
  5 Byron Hearst                 Rochester                     34.89     4
  6 Darryl Mcneil                Middle Village                35.25     3
  7 Mergaran Poleon              Brooklyn                      35.41     2
  8 Elliot Everett               Bayside                       35.80     1

The Girls 300m battle was just as exciting as McLaughlin's sister, Sydney, charged to a new US #1, US #2 All-Time and National Sophomore Class Record of 37.49. Quashira McIntosh, a 2014 IAAF World Junior Championships competitor for the U.S. Virgin Islands, was runner-up in US #5 38.89. Ariel Strunkey also snuck under 39 seconds, clocking 38.96 for fourth overall and US #6.

In the interview below, Sydney said she wasn't looking for a record - she just wanted to win.

  Varsity Girls 300 Meter Dash                       
    Name                      Yr Team                           Time   Pts
  1 Sydney Mclaughlin            Scotch Plains                 37.49    10
  2 Quashira Mcintosh            Providence                    38.89     8
  3 Ariel Strunkey               Bronx                         38.96     6
  4 Arianne Strunkey             Bronx                         39.27     5
  5 Zola Golden                  Lagrangeville                 39.60     4
  6 Anna Jefferson               Oak Park                      39.80     3
  7 Kiana Lee                    Irvington                     40.10     2
  8 Taylor Chapman               Perkasie                      40.32     1
  9 Thaila Cooper                Woolwich Township             40.97

Any meet at the Armory is bound to feature top relay performances from the city's greatest programs.

Nine of the top ten performances in the Boys 4x800m came out of Saturday's meet, led by Shenendehowa in a US #1 7:50.03. The mark also set a new school record by about two seconds. Tyler Schmidt led off with a 1:59.69 leg, as Connor Buhrmeister clocked 1:58.42, Mitchell Halpern ran 1:56.48 and Colin Rowe closed in 1:55.46 anchor.

On the girls side, Cardozo and Western Branch dominated the field and previous US #1 mark with times of 9:11.38 and 9:12.47. Relay legs for Cardozo included lead-off Alana Williams (2:19.71), Nia Lundy (2:18.92), Shaniqua Kirkpatrick (2:18.32) and anchor Emma Gallagher (2:14.45). For the Virginia squad, Faith Ross (2:20.59), Alexis Thomas (2:15.98) and Jada Terrell (2:25.14) handed off to anchor Jewel Smith, who boasted the fastest recorded split of the event at 2:10.78.

In the Invitational 600m, Richard Rose (Boys & Girls, NY) finished just off pace from his prior US #1 but still won in 1:18.43.

Joe Luongo broke the Massachusetts State Record with his first-ever sub-1:20 clocking of 1:18.84, good for second overall and US #2.

The Girls 600m featured one of Cardozo's leading relay studs, senior Emma Gallagher, versus the nation's No. 1 800m runner in Sarah Walker (Germantown Academy, PA). The sophomore has never raced a 600m before and said she relied on her 2:10.52 chops to unleash a huge kick in the end.

Gallagher, who nearly contended for the National Record in the event last weekend with Amanda Crawford before a collision, said she knew the 400m was too slow this evening as they crossed in 59 seconds.

Armory Track Invitational meet page

Armory Track Invitational videos