Nick Vena (NJ) throws a new U.S. #1 in shot put with 66-00.75 toss
(Photo from NJRunner.com)
What a weekened it was! Results poured in from all across the country, and an incredible amount of new U.S. #1's were achieved. In this week's Monday News & Notes section, we highlight a few more top high school competitions, post a few tid-bit pieces and talk about the week ahead.Monday News & Notes Highlights- Ohio Summaries: Akron Rubber City & Kent State Open- Chris Derrick runs 9:03.1 for 3200m at Proviso West Inv.- Some top PA/NY stars compete at Kevin Dare Inv.- UK H.S. Inv. video highlights are posted- Bob Gourley's weight throw lists are out- The Week Ahead: Big meets in NY, MA, VA, PA & MI
Monday News & Notes (2/25)
Akron Rubber City Open (OH)
While many squads across the country could make a case for the best and deepest relay teams this season, Cleveland Heights (OH) is putting up the numbers. At the Akron Rubber City Open this past weekend, the school posted some impressive marks. The squads 4x400m relay team however stole the show with their 3:18.59 performance, which currently is the second fastest time run this season behind their 3:18.41 at the Kent State Open #2.
The other top standout performance of the day came in the most epic battle. Jared Hall (OH) and Isaiah Ward (MI) have both shown early on that they are two of the best 800m runners in the country. Well on Saturday both athletes proved it once again. In a near photo finish, Hall edged Ward 1:52.19-1:52.21, as the athletes now ran U.S. #1 and U.S. #2 in the event.
KaChay Hullum (OH) stole the show on the girls side. Hullum posted a U.S. #6 performance in the 400m dash with her winning mark of 55.47, while her 200m dash mark of 24.79 was a U.S. top twenty performance, but did not match her earlier season PR of 24.58.
Pennsylvania Weekend Highlights
Pennsylvania Weekend Highlights (PennTrackXC.com)
The Kevin Dare High School Invitational took place this weekend at Penn State University. While a few top Pennsylvania stars were competing elsewhere (Vince McNally, Chanelle Price, etc.), many of the state's top athletes, and a few from New York, put up some big performances at the meet.
Two New York athletes stood out, posting U.S. top three performances. Caitlin Lane (NY) ran away from the field early and never looked back in the 3000m run. Lane crossed the finish line under ten minutes, running 9:56.84, which ranks her U.S. #2 in the event. Elizabeth Mott (NY) continued her impressive indoor season as well, winning the 400m dash in 55.26, which currently ranks her U.S. #3.
Ryann Krais (PA) and Karen Shump (PA) once again stood out. Krais competed in a trio of event. She jumped 5-4 in the high jump, ran 24.76 in the 200m dash and 56.35 in the 400m dash. Shump meanwhile threw the shot put 48-05. It was over two feet away from her '08 PR, but still better than all but one other athlete in the nation this season.
On the boys side, Juan Steward (PA) ran a blazing 200m dash time of 21.67, easily beating the field, and ranking him U.S. #3 at this time. Dan Kwiatkowski (PA) continues to impress in the shot put, this time throwing 62-10, just two inches off his '08 personal best.
Kent State H.S. Open #3 (OH)
The Kent State series of high school open meets produced numerous top ten U.S. rankings this season and Open #3 was no different. The best performance of the day came from Foot Locker qualifier Stephanie Morgan (Jr., Barnesville, OH), who ran the U.S. #1 time for the 3200m run in 10:40.60. Morgan's mark eclipses that of in-state rival Emily Infeld's (OH) 10:41.79.
In the sprints, KaChay Hullum (OH) came back from a big Saturday at the Akron Rubber City Meet, where she posted a top ten U.S. mark at 400m, winning the 55m dash in 7.09, which is a U.S. top twenty performance. Hullum has clearly distinguished herself as one of the best all-around sprinters this indoor season.
Also turning in a solid performance was Ryan Barber (OH), who ran 21.99 for 200m, which currently ranks him in the top twenty nationally.
Proviso West Invitational (IL)
The Proviso West High School track is known for hosting some incredible performances. On Saturday, the facility did that one more time, as Chris Derrick (Sr., Neuqua Valley, IL) ran a U.S. #3 time in the 3200m with his winning mark of 9:03.10. Derrick led from the gun, and actually negative split the race going under 4:30 the second mile.
Derrick's blistering pace helped pace the field to some very impressive times. His teammate Danny Pawola (Jr.) ran 9:23.0, while York's Steve Sulkin (Jr.) finished third in 9:33.8. Five athletes finished under 9:40 in the varsity race, while twelve athletes broke ten. In the freshman/sophomore 3200m, Aaron Beattie (So., Neuqua Valley) ran 9:39.8.
In the 1600m run, Derrick's teammate Jim Riddle (Sr.) ran 4:24.4 to beat out Chase Kadlec (Sr., Wheaton North, IL), who finished second in 4:25.8. In the field events, Dan Block (Jr., Lake Park, IL) threw a U.S. #12 shot put mark of 59-06.5, easily beating the competition, while Naperville Central's Aaron Petty jumped 6-05 in the high jump.
UK H.S. Invitational Interviews
UK Video Coverage (KYTrackXC.com)
KYTrackXC.com's Jonathan Grooms was at the University of Kentucky High School Invitational this past weekend and took some amazing video. Grooms captured performances in all parts of the event. He taped Christian Taylor's (GA) 25-00.5 long jump, Erik Kynard's (OH) 7-00 high jump, William Wynne's (GA) U.S. #2 60m hurdle race, Madeline Morgan (AL) running a U.S. top three time in the mile, and the clash between Jacquelyn Coward (TN) and Jasmin Stowers (SC) in the girls 60m hurdles.
Grooms also talked with some of the athletes, capturing great interviews with Taylor, Kynard and Wynne to name a few. These videos are must see for any track and field fan!
Bob Gourley's Weight Throw Performance Lists
Bob Gourley's Weight Throw Performance Lists (OHRunners.com)
Once again, Jim Findlay of OHRunners.com has posted up Bob Gourley's famous Weight Throw Performance Lists. With the big performances from the Simplot Games added to the lists, the lists are looking strong with only a few weeks more to go this indoor season.
The Week Ahead
The past few weekends it has seemed that dozens of new U.S. #1 performances were posted and some great head-to-head match-ups took place. This week, the head-to-head competitions between some of the sports top stars aren't as prevelant, but some great invitationals are still taking place.
This Monday (2/25), the MIAA State T&F Championships are taking place at the Reggie Lewis Center in Boston. The meet was initially scheduled for Saturday, but due to the USATF Indoor T&F Championships taking place, the meet was postponed until Monday.
On Tuesday (2/26), the 71st Annual Eastern States Championships will be taking place at the Armory in New York, New York. This historic event will match some of the East Coast's top athletes against each other. In the girls 800m, Kristin Reese (NY) takes on Sarah McCurdy (NY), while upwards of eight girls could break five minutes in the mile.
On the boys side, Mike Alleman (NJ) and Nick Vena (NJ) will dual it out once again in the shot put after their intense competition this past weekend at the NJ State Championships, which saw Vena throw a new U.S. #1 in the event. In the jumps, Steve Crouse (NY) is the top seed in the triple jump, while Daryl Baptiste (CT) is the top seed in the long jump. Foot Locker finalist Brandon Jarrett (NJ) is scheduled to compete in the two mile, and could put up a big time assuming he is healthy.
Wednesday and Thursday few meets of national relevance take place, with the biggest competitions taking place once again on Friday and Saturday. A handful of exceptional state meet take place, including Pennsylvania, Virginia and Michigan. However, the biggest competititon of the weekend should come from the New England Championships.
Athletes from Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut will converge at the Reggie Lewis Center in Boston, MA, as each state matches their best athletes against one another for regional bragging rights. This meet always produces some amazing performances, and this year should be no different.