The New Balance Azusa Meet of Champions rewrote the national distance rankings Saturday night in Azusa, California. In total there were almost 200 national elite performances from the meet, which only runs the 800m, 1600m, 3200m, and invitational mile.
In an extremely exciting boys mile, 10 guys went sub-4:21, taking the top 10 spots in the boy's mile rankings. Elias Opsahl from Redlands East Valley (CA) made a decision early to take it out harder than the rest of the pack, running 65 for the first 400m, while the pack lagged behind at 67.
At the 800m mark, Opsahl clocked in 2:08-2:07 while the rest of the pack came through at around 2:10. From there, Opsahl pushed hard in the third lap opening a 20-30 meter lead. Then on the last lap with less than 200m to go the rest of the pack closed the gap down, bringing home a huge kick. Xavier Court from Mira Coast High School would take the win running 4:15.90.
Moises Medrano from Highland High Bakersfield placed second, just one second back, running 4:16.60. Opshal would end up placing fifth in 4:19.20 which currently ranks US No. 5.
The girls mile race had the same effect on the national rankings. Out of the girls mile field, 13 girls ran times that are inside the top 15 in the nation; all were 5:09.20 or faster.
Haley Herberg from Capistrano Valley High (CA) led from the beginning of the race and held on for the entire thing until the last lap. In the last lap, freshman Mia Barnett from Village Christian (CA) made a big move which put her in the led until around 150m to go. Herberg made a big push in the last 100m to breeze by the freshman and take the win, running a new US No. 1 time of 4:53.20.
Rounding out the top three were Barnett (4:54.80) and Chloe Arriaga (4:55.00) from Walnut High (CA). Barnett's time is the fastest freshman time in the nation.
The 3200m races were also impressive on the boys side with four guys who ran times in the top 15 in the nation, while in the girls race there were six girls in the top nine. Great Oak's (CA) Carlos Carvajal won the boys 3200m race running the new US No. 6 time of 9:06.10. He also doubled back and won the 1600m running the new US No. 7 time of 4:13.90.
In the girls race, Great Oak High School picked up another W, this time from sophomore Tori Gaitan. Gaitan blazed a 10:18.80 for her new nation-leading time. She beat her teammate Fatima Cortes, who finished second by seven seconds (10:25.90). Rounding out the top three were Mikaela Ramirez from Ayala High School (CA) and Ramirez, who ran 10:26.20 for US No. 4. Gaitan like Carvajal also doubled down and got the win in the 1600m running the new US No. 4 time of 4:51.60.
Check out all the top race videos above and see more from the New Balance Azusa Meet of Champions in the links below.