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"I felt like giving up on the fourth lap, but the crowd was so loud at the end. I just had to keep going and going and going."
-- Amanuel Putz
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GREENSBORO, NORTH CAROLINA -- Exhaustion started to set in for 12-year-old Amanuel Putz as he headed toward the bell lap of the boys 12-year-old 1,500m on Thursday at Aggie Stadium.
But Putz could feel the energy. He knew he couldn't let down the fans.
"I felt like giving up on the fourth lap, but the crowd was so loud at the end," he said. "I just had keep going and going and going."
So with everyone going wild around him, the La Crosse Track Club athlete dug deep. He somehow gutted out the last 400 meters in 66 seconds. And he made it look easy.
"I was willing to put my full effort into it," said Putz.
The result? A time of 4:18.10, a new national age group record. Putz's time surpassed the original record of 4:22.84 set by former youth star Brandon Miller in 2014.
To run such an impressive time takes fine-tuned skill, and Putz feels thankful to possess those qualities already at such young age.
"I'm so blessed to have this talent, to run this fast," he said.
Putz's race attire even showed off this sentiment; he was clad with a large black sweatband reading "#BLESSED" across it in bold blue lettering.
When asked, Putz wasn't sure what his goals are exactly in the future. But he is certain about one thing: He has some speed and talent left in the tank for future races.
"I've got so much more that I can do," he said.
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Girls 8-under 1,500m: Kyann Craig completed the middle distance double with her 5:28.88 1,500m win on Thursday, adding to her 800m title that she won Wednesday. Sydney Clarke (Marlboro Boys and Girls Track Club) had a strong push for second place with a run of 5:35.30.
Boys 8-under 1,500m: Victor Jaimez-Solorio absolutely smashed the national record by 11 seconds in an entertaining effort to win the event in 5:07.14. Jaimez-Solorio now gets to travel back home to California with both a 1,500m and 800m title having won the latter Wednesday morning. Alexander Riley (VO2 Max Track Club) ran just a couple seconds off of the previous national record, posting a time of 5:20.71 for second.
Girls 9yo 1,500m: Eleven girls made up the beginning lead pack, but it was Flo Jo San Antonio's Jayla Flemons who pulled away on the bell lap to win the event in 5:15.85. Lexington Blazin Cats' Aven Thomas sprinted to the finish to place second, and
Boys 9yo 1,500m: Motor City Track Club's Jaidyn Mott earned redemption after finishing second in the 800m on Wednesday, winning the title 1,500m in 5:08.65. Braylon McQueen of Str8 Smokin Track Club ran a confident race to finish second in 5:11.83, and Ultimate Speed Academy's Warnicke Beatty Jr. came in close behind McQueen in 5:12.66.
Girls 10yo 1,500m: Anyla Robinson (Track Life University) ran away with it from the gun to win the event in a near-national record time of 4:55.87. Robinson's winning time was just a second off the record of 4:54.59 set in 2009. Paige Sheppard (Speed Skills Track Club) and Mirielle Trumpower both had strong races as well to finish second and third.
Boys 10yo 1,500m: Yet another national record came early Thursday morning: 4:46.94. Kieran Tyrrell (Proskills Track Club) ran that impressive time to win a very fast and competitive 1,500m race. Kaleb Young (Infinity Track Club) wasn't too far behind and finished second in 4:51.17.
Girls 11yo 1,500m: Chester Cheetahs Track Club's Damira Allen looked very smooth and confident as she surged ahead of Jeuness Track Club's Julia Grant on the final lap en route to her first win of the meet in 4:51.77. Allen now gets to add the 1,500m title to her name as she bounced back from her runner-up finish in the 800m on Wednesday. Both Grant and Eight O Four Relays' Iyndia Bey broke the five minute barrier to finish second and third.
Boys 11yo 1,500m: Charlotte Panthers' Drew Johnson could not be stopped as he sprinted down the home stretch to win a well-fought battle in 4:43.73. Kaleb Wilson of Green Mile Runners threw down a fast final lap to move into second place, and Miami Gardens Xpress' Josiah Sinclair-Bergin finished in third just less than a second behind Wilson.
Girls 12yo 1,500m: Covering the last 400 meters in 1:18, Philly Factor Track Club's Payton Drumwright grabbed the Junior Olympic title in 4:51.30. 3,000m champion Sahar Victoria of The Camp outleaned Solano Elite Track Club's Ruby Ford out the finish to earn the silver medal, running 4:54.93 to Ford's 4:54.97.
Boys 12yo 1,500m: La Crosse Track Club's Amanuel Putz put together a record-breaking performance in the last 1,500m race of the meet that excited the thousands of fans at Aggie Stadium. Putz ran 4:18.10 to easily surpass the previous national record by four seconds and earn the win. Joshua Gammage of Miami Gardens Xpress ran a time of 4:32.67 to solidly secure second place
Girls 11yo 80m Hurdles: It was D'Asia Duncan of Central CT Jaguars Track Club that secured the win in the first hurdle final of the day. Duncan clocked 13.07 to win the gold medal ahead of Selah Edwards in second place.
Boys 11yo 80m Hurdles: Motor City Track Club's Zacchaeus Brocks pulled away from the rest of the field and reset a national record in the process, running 12.10 to lower the record by half a second. Kobe Johnson of Olympic Track Club also broke 13 seconds to earn second.
Girls 12yo 80m Hurdles: It came down to a dip at the line to determine the winner, but it was Shakayla Lavender (Virginia Elite Sports League) that gained the two hundredth of a second advantage over Elizabeth Deen to take the win in 12.01. Aleesa Samuel finished third with a time of 12.41.
Boys 12yo 80m Hurdles: Empire Athletics' Tyson Carter gained slight separation between himself and the rest of the field to win the title in 12.27. Derrick Harrell of Virginia Elite Sports League and Dreamchaserz' David Daniels battled it out for second place, and Harell came out on top in 12.40.
Girls 13yo 100m Hurdles: 14.42 for Atlanta Zoom Athletics' Ron-Niah Wright earned her the win and even tied the national record set back in 2008. Makeriah Harris of SBR Jags ran 14.73 to place second, just ahead of third-place finisher Arayana Ladson of Windsor Elite Track Club.
Boys 13yo 100m Hurdles: Michael Lane (The Doors) crushed the field by over half a second to win the 100m hurdles in 14.42 with ease. He later said he dedicated the race to his late father. Shaddai Carter (South Dade Express Track Club) just missed going sub-15 seconds to finish second in 15.02.
Girls 14yo 100m Hurdles: Akala Garrett (Purpose Driven NC Elite Track Club) was overcome with emotion after her stellar run to win the event in 13.83. Garrett's time came in slightly under the national record of 13.82--just .01 short of the mark. Nonah Waldron (Motor City Track Club) ran a strong race to finish second in 14.37.
Boys 14yo 100m Hurdles: Topeka Blazers Track Club's Jeremiah Smith took the win in 13.50, ahead of Greater Houston Track Club's Zion Brown. Brown hit a time of 13.63 for second, and Peyton Jones of Virginia Elite Sports League crossed the finish in 13.79.
Girls 15-16yo 100m Hurdles: In-state athlete Kendall Jordan of Durham Striders Track Club came into Thursday's final with just the fourth-fastest prelim time, but she came out on top in the only heat the mattered. Jordan ran 14.18 to place first, and Panthers Elite Track and Field's Alyssa Rowe and Jahnelle Saunders of Virginia Elite Sports League finished second and third.
Boys 15-16yo 110m Hurdles: Another race that ended in a photo finish saw Alexander Nunley out lean Central Virginia Track and Field's Michael Bourne by one-hundredth of a second to win in 14.18. Bourne came into the finals with the fastest time from the prelims, but could not hold off Nunley at the finish. Leonard Musti of Olympia Track Club crossed the line for third in 14.42.
Girls 17-18yo 100m Hurdles: Behind a dominant effort, Aasia Laurencin gave Motor City Track Club yet another All-American finish, winning the event in 13.57. Zariyah Black of Platinum Sports Academy joined Laurencin as the only athletes to break 14 seconds in the event, running 14.88 for second.
Boys 17-18yo 110m Hurdles: The entire field raced close together for the entire race, but it was Cortney Watkins (Blue Thunder Track Club) in lane eight that won the race in 13.79. Second- and third-place were separated by just fractions of a second, with Alexander Shields (Empire Athletics) winning the silver and Brevin Sims (D-Elite) grabbing bronze.
Boys 9yo Turbo Javelin: In a competition that saw two athletes surpass the original national record in the event, Adonis Dunnigan of Next Level Elite took the title and the record over Rise n Fly Track Club's Justin Gilmor with a throw of 94-7. Gilmor's second place throw of 92-2 still beat the previous record by nearly two feet, and third place Izard Evan of Rising Stars Track Club came just short of it with a 89-11 mark.
Girls 12yo High Jump: Karea Copeland of Elite Striders and Hannah Berry each reached a height of 4-11, but Copeland was awarded the win after both girls missed all attempts at 5-1. Copeland took less attempts to clear 5-1, so she earned gold and Berry earned the silver medal.
Boys 12yo Discus: Carson McInerney (Tristate Track and Field) needed a solid final throw to move into first place, and he did just that. His last throw of 115-10 won him the Junior Olympic title over Teegan Simmons (Waza Track Club). Simmons threw 114-11 for his silver medal, and Demetrius Jenkins (Trailblazers Youth Athletic Ministry) hit a mark of 109-8 on his final throw to place third.
Girls 13yo Long Jump: A one-inch margin was all Adaejah Hodge (Legacy Athletics) needed to secure her win in the long jump on Thursday morning with a distance of 17-9.75. Hodge defeated Juliana Balon (Delaware Elite Track Club), the second place finisher and only other competitor to soar out over 17 feet.
Boys 13yo Long Jump: Both Elijah Kellum (Severn Highsteppers Track Club) and Jason Woods (Spartan Chosen VA) had monster final jumps, but Kellum out-jumped Woods by just a couple of inches to win with a jump of 20-0.5. Kendred Walker (Greenville Jets) also had a big jump in the last round that moved him up the leader board into third place.
Girls 15-16yo Javelin: After only throwing a best of 116-7 through the first five rounds, Marysa Flieg (Jefferson County Jets Track Club) came out of nowhere and threw 136-1 on her final throw to steal the win in the javelin competition. Camille Clay (Flippen Flyers Track Club) also had a great final throw to narrowly finish second, and Amaani Hogan (ATL Zoom Athletics) finished solidly in second with a mark of 126-2.
Boys 15-16yo Pole Vault: As it happened in the girls contest yesterday, three athletes held the leading mark of 14-4.5: John Mann, Beau Domingue (Louisiana Pole Vault Compound), and Isaac Whitaker. In a tie-breaker based on missed clearances, Mann, Domingue, and Whitaker were awarded first, second, and third in that order.
Girls 17-18yo High Jump: Carolina Allstars Track Club's Morgan Smalls attempted to reset the national record at 6-0.75 and just missed it, but the star jumper still cleared 5-10.75 to finish in first place. Smalls finished two inches ahead of second- and third-place finishers Madison Alegria of Javelina Country and Michigan Accelerators Track Club's Kennedy Jackson. Both Alegria and Jackson cleared 5-8.75, but Alegria earned second since she missed less attempts.
Boys 17-18yo Discus: A first round throw of 170-5 was all Daniel Pepper needed to win the discus title on Thursday morning. Pepper's throw exceeded second place Corey Preusse's (Hill Country Comets Track Club) by around seven feet, and Devante Gambrell threw the disc out 161-6 for third.
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TOP PERFORMER OF THE DAY
Breaking into an all-out sprint over the last 200 meters and showing off his impeccable form, young Victor Jaimez-Solorio stole the show as he set a new national record in the boys 8-under 1,500m. Jaimez-Solorio came in under the previous record by an astounding 11 seconds, a run that earned the skilled youngster the performance of the day by far. He already has big dreams of becoming a professional track athlete and an NFL star, so Thursday's record could be the first of many to come for Jaimez-Solorio.
Victor Jaimez-Solorio, 8, Apple Valley, CA
New national record
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INTERVIEW OF THE DAY
Anyla Robinson, Track Life University
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QUOTE OF THE DAY
On what was going through his mind as he approached the finish in his record-breaking boys 10yo 1,500m
"I was just thinking, 'don't slow down, keep on going fast, and don't risk it.' You've only got one chance to get that record."
-- Kieran Tyrrell, 10, McKinney, TX
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