The first day of Nike Outdoor Nationals is about to start a fabulous weekend of action. Tonight the only high school races were the boys and girls 5k runs. From start to finish the 5k races were quite interesting, but in opposite ways. Foot Locker champion Ashley Brasovan (FL) ran away from the girls field, running by herself after two laps, winning in 16:18.53, U.S. #6 all-time. On the boys side NIN 5k champion Solomon Haile (MD) continued his impressive streak of national appearances, winning the boys race in 14:38.23, tying the meet record. Haile showed his strength at the mile, jumping to the lead and slowly lowering the pace. His tractics worked perfectly and he took home another Nike Nationals title. Such great results signify great things ahead this weekend in Greensboro.
Nike Outdoor Nationals Coverage - Thursday
Highlights & Results
Girls 5k - Ashley Brasovan (Wellington, FL) (pictured left by Don Rich) took out the pace hard in the first race of Nike Outdoor Nationals. Brasovan dominated the field, lapping nearly everyone, finishing in 16:18.53. Brasovan's time was not only a meet record, but ranks her U.S. #6 all-time. "I wanted to get the meet record and maybe the national record, but running by myself that last mile was really hard," Brasovan said afterwards.
With fists pumping and her loping stride chewing up track, Brasovan demonstrated why she was Foot Locker champion this past fall, showing grit and determination that she wanted to do something special. Despite having very little speed work under her, Brasovan ran a 5:08.9 opening 1600m, while tearing through the 3200m mark in 10:25.3.
"Running even splits was important and I didn't want to take it out too hard," said Brasovan, "I tried to hold my splits, but I didn't have anyone to run with and the wind picked up."
Despite the wind picking up, Brasovan still closed with a 76 second last 400m, the crowd rising to their feet to cheer a champion's finish. When asked about tomorrow's two-mile race she said, "I need to see how I feel. I felt pretty good today and yesterday. If I wake up and am feeling good then I'll see what I have."
One of the reasons why Brasovan decided to focus much of her energy on the 5k this season was due to her injury earlier in the season. "I did not do a lot of track work this season. I don't think I have enough speed to run a really good two-mile."
Well the junior star showed she does have speed and while it might not be what she was hoping for this season, she still gets to walk away on this cool North Carolina summer evening knowing she is still a national champion despite having to deal with adversity for a good portion of the season.
Girls 5000 Meter Run
National: $ 15:52.88 7/13/2004 Caitlin Chock, Granite Bay, CA
Name Year School Finals
1 1529 Brasovan, Ashley 09 Wellington, FL 16:18.91O
2 753 Ley, Chelsea 10 Clarksboro, NJ 17:12.08
3 1262 Abrahamian, Tiffany 08 Rochester Hills, MI 17:20.07
4 1683 Ziemian, Sophia 09 Lewisburg, PA 17:34.98
5 1175 Smith, Kristen 09 Clarkston, MI 17:43.59
Boys 5k - The Nike Indoor Nationals 5k champion Solomon Haile (Sherwood, MD) (pictured right by Tim Fulton) came back after an excellent regular season to win the NON 5k Thursday evening in a new meet record time of 14:38.23. Haile started off strong, running right on the shoulder of Zachary Ornelas (Cedar Park, TX) for much of the first mile. After four laps Haile moved to the lead, pushing the pace after feeling the pace was out too slow.
From there Haile, Ornelas and Ben DeJarnette (Mechanicsville, VA) ran together for much of the second mile before Haile pushed with four and a half laps to go, pushing the pace and seperating from the field by four seconds in one lap. The Maryland junior finished strong and crossed the line with a strong victory. Ornelas finished a strong second in 14:56.42.
The victory by Haile highlights his amazing story this season, moving to the United States from Ethiopia eight months ago, not being able to officially run in his new homestate of Maryland's indoor state meet because he didn't have the minimum number of races to compete at state, then going to Nike Indoor Nationals and winning. Then, Haile raced a strong outdoor season and topped it off with another national title. Two national titles in just over half a year...simply outstanding.
Boys 5000 Meter Run
National: $ 13:37.91 7/31/2004 Galen Rupp, Cent Cath,Portland,OR
Name Year School Finals
1 1309 Haile, Solomon 09 Silver Spring, MD 14:38.23M
2 1709 Ornelas, Zachary 09 Cedar Park, TX 14:56.42F
3 254 McDonnell, Kevin 08 Moorestown, NJ 15:01.01F
4 1176 Misenti, Forrest 08 Haddam, CT 15:03.88F
5 1332 Signoretti, Giovann 08 Smithtown, NY 15:05.22F