The Awards Stand: The Best of This Past Weekend's Performances

Wow! That's all that can really be said to sum up this past weekend's performances across the nation. With great weather, peak performances and deep fields, some of the results simply impressed. With nearly ten seperate state meets to cover, and numerous other top-tier invitationals, we've decided to merge it all into one big article, a new feature we're going to call The Awards Stand. Each week for the rest of the season we'll recap what the top performances were in each event grouping. See who made it this week.

The Awards Stand (5/8 - 5/11)

Welcome to this seasons first Awards Stand. With so many state meets taking place this weekend, along with some great regional and conference performances, we decided to create a place where all these nationally ranked athletes can have their performances shared. We've broken down all the events into five seperate areas. Enjoy this week's edition and keep coming back each Monday as we release this new MileSplit US feature.

Sprints & Hurdles

Performers of the Weekend - Boys: Tavaris Tate (Starkville, MS) / Girls: Victoria Jordan (Dunbar, TX)

It's rare for a junior to be ranked atop of the boys 400m dash rankings, but that is just the case with Tavaris Tate (Jr., Starkville, MS). Tate had an outstanding weekend at the Mississippi State T&F Championships. The junior sensation ran a U.S. #1 time in the 400m dash with a 46.41 win and ranking him as one of the faster juniors of all-time. top girls performance was easily Victoria Jordan (Sr., Fort Worth Dunbar, TX) (pictured left by Alex Aldaco). Jordan may have even earned herself the top distinction of the entire weekend regardless of event. The senior ran a U.S. #4 all-time performance in the 100m dash, winning the Texas 4A championship in 11.16. Jordan's time also broke the state meet record set just last year. She also led her team to double victory in the 4x100m relay and 4x200m relay.

While the flat sprints always tend to shine this time of year, the hurdles really dominated the weekend. No less than seven hurdlers make our Awards Stand article this week. Donique' Flemings (Jr., Saginaw, TX) led the way with her double hurdle victory performance at the UIL Championships (Texas State Meet). Flemings, who's only a junior, won the 300m hurdles in 40.96, good enough for a U.S. #11 all-time mark, while also winning the 100m hurdles in 13.52w.

The Texas duo of Brandon Tucker (Sr., Lewisville, TX) and Chance Casey (Sr., Crosby, TX) also performed well in the hurdle events at the UIL Championships. Tucker ran a U.S. #3 mark in the 300m hurdles with his 36.38 win, while also claiming top prize in his classification at the 110m hurdles in 13.44w. Meanwhile, Casey scored a U.S. #2 mark for 300m hurdles with his 36.32 win and also won the 110m hurdles in 13.87., furthern north and furthern east, Dalilah Muhammed (Sr., Cardoza, NY) ran a U.S. #2 time in the girls 400m hurdles with her winning mark of 59.84 at the Loucks Games (NY). Spencer Adams (Sr., Butler, NC) beat Wayne Davis (Jr., Southeast Raleigh, NC) in the 4A North Carolina State Championships at the 110m hurdles. Adams ran a U.S. #3 time of 13.51.

In Georgia, William Wynne (Sr., McEachern, GA) (pictured right by Tim Rogan) and Amaechi Morton (Sr., Riverwood, GA) tore up the hurdle events. Wynne earned a U.S. #1 performance in the 110m hurdles with a 13.52 victory and earned a U.S. #4 performance in the 300m hurdles by winning the event in 36.28. Morton was nearly equal in his performances, winning his classification's 110m hurldes in 36.71 and the 400m dash in a U.S. top ten performance of 46.75. Christian Taylor (Sr., Sandy Creek, GA) scored a U.S. top five effort in the 400m dash as well with his 46.50 effort.


Performers of the Weekend - Boys: Colby Lowe (Carroll, TX) / Girls: Laura Roesler (Fargo South, ND)

The 800m dash was all the rage this past weekend, as new U.S. #1 and U.S. #2 performances were earned. The surprise of the weekend came from Laura Roesler (So., Fargo South, ND), who won the Fargo Classic 800m in a U.S. #2 time of 2:05.68. Roesler has shown glimpses of this level of talent for the past year, but this performance definitely puts her at another level. Only four other athletes have run as fast as Roesler this decade.

One of those athletes that has run faster than Roesler is Chanelle Price (Sr., Easton, PA). Price wanted to see just what type of 800m shape she was in after her 4:46 1600m performance early last week, taking part in a meet in New York City. Price showed her incredible fitness by lowering her 2008 personal best to 2:03.20, while maintaining a strong hold on her U.S. #1 position.

Two male performances stood out in the 800m event as well. Joseph Franklin (Sr., Godby, FL) ran 1:48.97 at the All Class Showdown. Franklin, who's been showing signs of this type of speed the past few weeks, was paced out by former NCAA champion Jonathan Johnson in 55 seconds. The University of Tennessee-bound senior then exploded with 200m to go to finish with a U.S. #1 ranking. Meanwhile, Andrew Perkins (Sr., Watertown, WI) furthered his exceptional season by running 1:49.96 to beat a collegiate and post-collegiate field at the Wisconsin Twilight Classic (WI). Perkins' mark made him only the third athlete under 1:50 this season and gave him a U.S. #3 ranking. two fantastic 800m performances on the boys side, the headliner of the week came from Colby Lowe (Sr., Southlake Carroll, TX) (pictured left by Alex Aldaco). Lowe, running in his last state meet, won both the 3200m run and 1600m run, just missing the state record in the long event. Lowe seemingly cruised to a 8:53.32 performance in the 90 degree Texas heat, then coming back later in the day to run a U.S. #1 1600m performance of 4:06.87. Donn Cabral (Sr., Glastonbury, CT) also ran a sub-4:10 1600 equivilant by winning the one mile run at the Hartford Public Invitational in 4:09.80, while junior Jeff Thode (Jr., Conant, IL) ran the fastest 1600m time by a junior this season in 4:10.80.

On the girls side, Neely Spence (Sr., Shippensburg, PA) lowered her 1600m personal best by pushing the pace early on and finishing up in a U.S. #5 performance of 4:44.38. Initially Spence was not going to run as fast as she did, but after seeing Chanelle Price run 4:46 earlier in the week Spence stated, "she can have the 800, this one's mine."

The girl's 3200m run was also filled with top performances. Foot Locker champion Ashley Brasovan (Jr., Wellington, FL) continued her steady accent back to one of the top spots in the nation after an early season injury. Brasovan beat a star-studded field of Florida Foot Locker finalists at the All Comers Showdown in 10:21.12.

Further west, Jessica Tonn (So., Xavier Prep, AZ) ran the most impressive double of the weekend by winning the 3200m run in 10:30.55 and 1600m run in 4:50.42 at her state championships. Tonn beat teammate Sarah Penney and Foot Locker finalists Nadya Bishton (Sr., Mountain Ridge, AZ) and Nastia Bishton (Sr., Mountain Ridge, AZ) in the process. Both performances rank Tonn in the top twelve nationally.


Performers of the Weekend - Boys: Mason Finley (Buena Vista, CO) / Girls: Allison Horner (Lovett, GA)

It wasn't hard to pick the top performer of the weekend of the throws until Sunday. Mason Finley (Jr., Buena Vista, CO) stole the show Friday night at his regional competition by coming up with a huge discus throw of 222-01. Not only does this mark give Finley a U.S. #1 ranking in the event, not only does this give Finley the farthest junior class throw of all-time, but it also ranks him U.S. #3 all-time regardless class. Finley has shown consistent improvement all season long and this weekend marked just how truly outstanding he is.

While Finley's performance might have been the clear cut winner of the weekend, Sunday gave Finley's mark a challenge. At the Mother's Day Open (GA), and only one day removed from their state meet, Allison Horner (Sr., Lovett, GA) and Lauren Chambers (Jr., Kell, GA) powered to the U.S. #5 and U.S. #7 all-time marks in the girls hammer throw. Horner topped Chambers just barely by throwing 187-11 to Chambers' 184-09. With their regular season now over, expect some huge post-season performances from some of the top throwers in Georgia as they resume competing for their club squad, Throw 1 Deep.

Two shot put marks stood out this weekend as well. Jordan Clarke (Sr., Bartlett, AK) would have had the top boys performance of the weekend if not for Finley. Clarke showed progress as the Alaskan outdoor track season gets rolling along, this time throwing 67-10.75 in the shot put, good enough for a U.S. #1 ranking. Meanwhile, Becky O'Brien (Greely, ME), who placed second at Nike Indoor Nationals, threw her best mark of the outdoor season with a 49-05.75 effort at the Hartford Public Invitational. O'Brien is coming on strong here at the end of the season, with her state meet only a few weeks away.

Weight throw superstar Victoria Flowers (Sr., Classical, RI) also came up big in a throwing event at the Hartford Public Invitational. While Horner and Chambers stole the show in the girls hammer throw, Flowers showed she is no slouch in the event as well by throwing a U.S. #12 all-time performance. The Connecticut-bound senior threw 179-00.

Meanwhile, Geoffrey Tabor (Sr., Ardmore, OK) had a fantastic weekend at the Oklahoma State T&F Championships. Tabor had the best all-around performance for a male thrower on the weekend, tossing the shot put 63-09.75 and a U.S. #3 mark in the discus with a 210-08 effort. Natalie Baird (Parkview, VA) also competed well by throwing a U.S. #4 performance in the girls discus throw. Baird furthered her seasonal personal best with a 158-11 toss, missing her all-time personal best by only five inches.


Performers of the Weekend - Boys: Marquise Goodwin (Rowlett, TX) / Girls: Elizabeth Stover (Longmont, CO)

For the first time since Troy Twillie (LA) accomplished the feat in 1994, a boys prep jumper lept 26+ feet in the long jump. At Saturday's UIL Championships (Texas State Meet), Marquise Goodwin (Jr., Rowlett, TX) lept 26-01.50w to not only win the long jump, but also become only the twentieeth prep athlete to ever leap 26+ feet. Goodwin's mark easily ranked him as the top boys jump performer on the weekend, while he also won the 5A triple jump in 50-00.50 and helped his team's sprint relays.

The top performer of the week on the girls side was Elizabeth Stover (Sr., Longmont, CO) who continued to climb the pole vault rankings, this time tying the U.S. #4 mark of 13-04 and earning a U.S. #18 all-time distinction. Stover's shown steady improvement this entire season and with her state meet this coming weekend she'll be eyeing 13-06 now.

Three boys triple jump marks made some noise on Thursday and Saturday as well. Christian Taylor (Sr., Sandy Creek, GA) dominated the Georgia Olympics (Georgia State Meet), winning the long jump, triple jump, 400m dash and helping his team to a 4x400m relay victory. Taylor lept two U.S. #1 marks Thursday evening by winning the triple jump in 52-06.50 and the long jump in 25-06. While his long jump mark was exceeded later in the weekend by Goodwin, Taylor held onto his triple jump position and looks primed to further those marks in the coming weeks. two other great triple jump marks came from Arizona rivals Will Claye (Jr., Mountain Pointe, AZ) (pictured right by Margot Kelly) and Bryce Lamb (Jr., Chandler, AZ) at the Arizona State T&F Championships Saturday. The two juniors dualed it out, with Claye finally overcoming Lamb with his winning leap of 52-04.75, while Lamb placed second in 52-02. The best part about these two might be that they are both juniors and have one more year to compete against one another.

Three more fine weekend performances came from state meet performers. Ricky Robertson (Hernando, MS) continued his streak of performing as the top boys high jumper in the country. Robertson just missed his 7-03 U.S. #1 performance by winning the Mississippi State T&F Champs. high jump title with a leap of 7-02. Meanwhile, Whitney Rose (Jr., Pearland, TX) earned a U.S. #3 mark in the girls triple jump with a 41-10.75 effort, ranking only behind Vashti Thomas (Mt. Pleasant, CA) and Jessica Ubanyionwu (El Paso Eastwood, TX), while Mitchell Erickson (Sr., Marian, IL) won his conference pole vault title with a U.S. #3 mark of 16-10, just missing clearance at 17-00.


Performers of the Weekend - Boys: Desert Vista (AZ) / Girls: Fort Worth Dunbar (TX)

The depth of the UIL Championships (Texas State Meet) always shows in the relay events. This year's meet showed incredible amounts of talent, especially on the girl's side. Three sprint teams in particular showed just how mighty Texas is this year. The top girl's relay squad of the weekend came from Fort Worth Dunbar (TX). With star sprinters Victoria Jordan and Ashley Collier on the squad, Dunbar ran a U.S. #1 time in the 4x100m relay in 45.17, while nearly equalling their U.S. #1 performance in the 4x200m relay in 1:36.17, a full second over the second best Texas team on the weekend. Both performances rank Dunbar in the U.S. top fifteen all-time.

While Dunbar stole much of the attention, Alief Elsik (TX) and Dallas Skyline (TX) showed some talent as well. Alief Elsik scored two U.S. top three performance by running the 4x100m relay in 45.83 and the 4x200m relay in 1:37.17. Skyline went one further by earning U.S. top four rankings in three seperate relays. Skyline ran the 4x100m relay in 45.74, the 4x200m relay in 1:37.31and the 4x400m relay in 3:42.25. Simply outstanding!

The top girls 4x400m relay of the weekend came from Lancaster (TX), who dominated the event at the UIL Championships. Lancaster used powerful third and fourth legs to simply run away with it, winning their race by seven seconds in a new U.S. #2 time of 3:40.41. Lancaster only sits behind U.S. #1 Eleanor Roosevelt (MD), who ran 3:37.16 and Boys & Girls (NY), who are ranked with a 3:40.17. top relays team on the boys side was easily Desert Vista (AZ) (pictured left by Margot Kelly). The squad from Phoenix, Arizona won state championships in both the 4x400m relay and the 4x800m relay. Led by middle-distance star John Kline, Desert Vista cruised to a monster win in the longer relay, running the U.S. #2 time in the event this season of 7:45.40. The squad's performance ranks only behind North Penn's (PA) stellar Penn Relays race. In the shorter relay, Desert Vista ran even through all four legs, winning with a U.S. #2 mark of 3:13.50. Dominguez (CA) still tops the rankings in the 4x400m relay with their 3:12.13 set at the Arcadia Invitational last month.

The top girls 4x800m relay of the weekend came from Barrington High School (IL). The northwest suburban Chicago school ran a state record mark of 9:03.10 to easily win their sectional and head into this weekend's Illinois Girls State T&F Championships as the top ranked team in the state and will vie for the overall team title as well.