Chad Johnson grabbed his jersey at the line and flicked it with some oomph.
The Colonel Crawford (OH) High senior wanted to make sure people knew where he was coming from and who he was: now the nation's top indoor 5K runner.
The standout from Ohio left second-place Connor Nisbet reaching for air at the line on Friday after a dirty kick that saw him grab a national championship at New Balance Nationals Indoor.
Johnson, an Iowa State signee, made a massive statement with a US No. 1 effort of 14:42.59. Nisbet was second in 14:44.82, while William Hare was third in 14:49.61.
After a cross country season where he sometimes played third-fiddle to statewide standouts Dustin Horter and Zach Kreft, Johnson made sure to instill his will on this race in New York. It was his fastest 5K indoors, and it bested his 14:54.88 from cross country this past fall.
Still, it marked his first national title and his sixth overall championship including state honors.
NBNI Boys 5K Finals 1 Johnson, Chad 18 North Robinson, OH 14:42.59 2 Nisbet, Connor 19 Wilmington, DE 14:44.82 3 Hare, William 18 Princeton, NJ 14:49.61 4 Meinke, Matthew 19 Neenah, WI 14:50.10 5 Mah, Andrew 18 Newton, MA 14:50.50 6 Payne, Andy 18 Westerville, OH 14:58.28 7 Mauri, Vincent 19 warren, OH 15:05.66 8 Baker, Colin 19 Mount Pleasant, SC 15:06.66
Jacqueline Gaughan, meanwhile, never left a doubt.
The sometimes-forgotten, national-caliber runner -- a senior at Exeter (NH) High who ran the third-fastest 5K in cross country this past fall -- imparted her dominance from the gun and was never questioned, winning her first national title in 16:19.42. Last June, she was fifth at New Balance Nationals Outdoor in the 5K.
It ended a seven-year streak of national records being broken after Katelyn Tuohy, the sophomore from North Rockland (NY) High, absolutely demolished the country's all-time best effort in January at The VA Showcase (15:37.12).
Gaughan, though, wasn't too shabby, either. She produced the US No. 9 best effort all-time and shrugged off competitors like super freshman Grace Ping of Winona Cotter (MN), who couldn't maintain an early pace.
Gaughan, a Notre Dame signee, shouldn't be doubted from this point forward. She finished fifth at Foot Locker Nationals in December and now adds a coveted national trophy to her collection of accolades. She'll continue her stretch run in the 2-mile championship on Sunday, though she'll have to face the aforementioned Tuohy and Saratoga Springs (NY) star Kelsey Chmiel.
Finals 1 Gaughan, Jacqueline 18 Exeter, NH 16:19.42J 2 2 Hebner, Monica 18 Allendale, NJ 16:53.91F 2 3 Helmers, Ryann 18 Charlottesville, VA 17:03.33F 2 4 Hebner, Isabel 18 Allendale, NJ 17:09.31 2 5 Ping, Grace 21 Winona, MN 17:11.37 2 6 Ping, Lauren 23 Winona, MN 17:17.30 2 7 Rauber, Brooke 21 Homer, NY 17:23.55 2 8 Wolfe, Kaitlynn 20 Blacksburg, VA 17:23.93 2
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