* The boys gold race at the "Large Schools" Jesse Owens Classic 2020.
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This weekend we got to see some of the nation's best in head-to-head battles that we might not get to see again this year. In Arizona, Utah, Alabama and Georgia there were nationally ranked talents competing in some of the biggest races of the year.
Take a look below at a recap of some of the key meets that could reshape the MileSplit50 rankings for the season.
* Race starts at 1:53.01.
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Masciarelli, Rauber, and Puffer Compete In Pro 5K
Many states in the Northeast have not gone back to high school competitions yet this season. But that hasn't stopped seniors Sydney Masciarelli and Brooke Rauber from chasing after their goals anyway, and both ladies competed Friday night at the Night of the 5K - Presented by Trials of Miles x Bakline.
With the help of a pacer, eventual winner Allie Kieffer started the race at a fast pace. Once the pacer dropped off at 2K, Kieffer was left to finish the race alone. Rauber and Masciarelli hung back in the chase pack and led that group for the majority of the race. They separated to form a group of their own and came through with three laps to go in 12:37. Kieffer would win the race in a PR of 15:41.41 with Lindsay Crevoiserat running 16:17.00 for second place.
Down the home stretch, it was Rauber who just edged out Masicarelli 16:28.34 to 16:30.06, earning the duo third- and fourth-place overall, respectively. The two ran practically side-by-side the entire evening.
Rauber improved on her time from two weeks ago when she ran 16:32.62, which made her the fourth-fastest outdoor 5K runner in New York state history. She now moves up the rankings to the third-fastest outdoor 5K runner.
Heat B of the men's 5K also saw one of the nation's top high school boys compete. Manchester (CT) High School's Aidan Puffer ran a new all-around 5K PR of 14:25.82. He's run 14:30 on the roads earlier this year at the Step One Day race. He was second in his heat only behind 2020 Loomis Chaffee (CT) graduate now Princeton freshmen Matthew Farrell who ran 14:19.83.
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Desert Twilight Did Not Disappoint
The biggest meet of the weekend was hands down the Desert Twilight Invitational. On Friday night, many of the nation's top athletes took to the new The LINKS at Queen Creek course to see just how fast they could go. Let's just say the outcome was wild.
With neither of the major high school national championships taking place this season, this race may be remembered as being one of the most competitive of the season.
How about this fun fact? The Newbury Park boys averaged 15:04.98 for their scoring five, which reportedly is the second-fastest team 5K performance of all-time, just behind South Eugene's 15:01.02 from the Oregon State Meet in 1978.
Click here to read about all the action that went down on Friday night.
Related Desert Twilight Links:
* Vestavia Hills (AL) junior Crawford West took home the win in the girl's gold race running 17:34.29.
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Jesse Owens Classic Big Team Wins and Quick Times
The Jesse Owens Classic saw a field of some of the South's best-ranked squads. In the boys field, MileSplit's No. 7 ranked Huntsville was back to the grind, while in the girls race No. 23 Brentwood (TN) came ready to run, too.
Huntsville put together one of its best showings of the season outside of The Southern Showcase. The Eagles placed third, fourth, eighth, 15th, and 16th individually, scoring a total of 46 points. The squad also had a spread of under one minute and a 5K average of 15:41. Junior Will Pinson and senior Jackson Danner led the team, placing third and fourth, respectively. Taking the overall win in the boys' race was Vestavia Hills (AL) senior Ethan Strand, who ran 15:02.25 to edge out Oak Mountain's (AL) Walker Cole. Strand is currently ranked No. 7 on the MileSplit50 rankings.
In the girls race, the ladies from Brentwood High School (TN) came in as the favorite and proved why. The Bruins scored 61 points and were led by Kaitlyn Vanderkolk, who placed fifth overall in 17:45.98. The team had a spread of 1:53 and a five-person 5K average of 18:40. The Vestavia Hills team also saw an individual win, as junior Crawford West took home her second win of the season in 17:34.29.
* Alexander Asics girls championship race.
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Kamari Miller Takes Down Loaded Field at Alexander / Asics Invitational
While the Jesse Ownes Classic in Alabama had some of the nation's top-ranked teams, the Alexander Asics Invitational had some of the country's top-ranked individuals.
Miller, the Marietta (GA) High School senior, would come away with the win in 14:55.02, while Wachtel followed in 15:00.92 to place fourth. Miller actually saw his biggest challenge from unranked Catawba Ridge (SC) High School junior Sam Rich, who was right on Miller's heels -- he clocked a 14:55.41.
In the girls race, all eyes were on Science Hill (TN) High School's Jenna Hutchins. The senior clocked the nation's fastest time of the weekend in an impressive 16:40.79. She won the race by over a minute.
* Dalton Mortensen won the Region 5 Championships
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Utah Gets Underway With State Meet Qualifying
Utah started its state-qualifying process this week with region meets getting underway. These meets deserve a breakout of their own, as many of the country's top teams and individuals come from Utah. Take a look at some of the highlights below.
- Bountiful's Dalton Mortensen continues his undefeated streak with a win at the Region 5 Championships. The senior and MileSplit50 No. 7 ranked athlete clocked a 15:02.40 to claim victory. The MileSplit50 No.15 ranked Farmington boys won the team battle handily. The program scored 24 points, had a 16-second 1-5 split, and put together a 15:39 five-man 5K average.
- The girls race was one for the record books as it came down to a tight battle between Lone Peak and Skyridge. While Lone Peak opted to sit its top seven athletes, including MileSplit50 No. 25 ranked Eliza Arrington, it ended up squeaking by with a by a score of 52-54. The Knights showed off their depth and showed why they are ranked sixth in the nation.
- The boys race also featured a few MileSplit50 ranked teams and individuals, including No.1 Skyridge and No. 3 American Fork. The Skyridge boys won in decisive fashion, scoring 36 points. American Fork fell to third behind Corner Canyon, but like the Lone Peak girls, the Cavemen chose to sit their top seven. MileSplit50 No. 9 Creed Thompson took home the individual win, running 15:24.00, with his twin brother Davin placed second in 15:34.80. Skyridge junior and MileSplit No. 22 ranked Seth Wallgren placed fifth.
- The Region 7 Championships featured MileSplit50 No. 13 ranked Timpanogos against No. 14 ranked Orem. It was a tightly contested battle with Orem's Taylor Knight and Jayden Holdsworth placing 1-2. Timpanogos' Bronson Dameron and Luke Douglas placed third and fourth, respectively. Timpanogos would take the win, though, having a slight advantage from its final three scorers placing sixth, ninth, and 13th, respectivley. Orem would take second with 38 points. Timpanogos had a 21-second compression and a three-mile average of 15:14.
Top Performances Of The Weekend:
- Klein's (TX) Christopher Daniels earned his second win of the season at the Nike South Invitational, running 15:26.60. The Woodlands, which is ranked No. 17 in the MileSplit50, took the team win with 44 points. The team had a 29-second spread and a 15:53 average.
- Katy Cinco Ranch (TX) senior Sophie Atkinson took home her third win of the season in decisive fashion, too. The future University of Virginia cavalier ran a 17:00.40 to take home the win.
- Dawson Mayberry won the boys 5A-6A race at the Chile Pepper Cross Country Festival. The Bentonville (AR) High School senior clocked a 15:15.72 to take home the win.
- Anchorage Christian (AK) High School senior Tristian Merchant continued his winning streak, clocking a 14:41.32 to win the Region 3 North Championships. His time is the second-fastest of the weekend.
- Fremont (MI) senior Nathan Walker won the Bulldog Invitational in 15:04.02. It's the third win of the season for the MileSplit No. 17 ranked Walker.
- Nathan Mountain and the St. Xavier (OH) boys continue to roll as they took home a narrow seven-point win over Lakota West 30 to 37 at the St. Xavier XC Invitational -- avenging a previous loss in both team's debuts for 2020. Mountain led the team with his time of 15:07.00 -- which finished as the 13th-fastest time of the weekend.
- Stillwater (MN) senior and BYU commit Analee Weaver continues to roll as she took home her third win of the season on Saturday. She clocked an unofficial Minnesota state 5K cross country record of 16:42.60 to at the Forest Lake SEC Tri meet.
- Salem (MI) senior Talha Syed also made some personal history, running under 15 minutes for the first time in his career -- this coming on a track -- at the Saline vs. Salem Twilight 5K, recording a time of 14:54.69. According to Michigan writer Jeff Hollobaugh, it's the eighth-fastest outdoor time in Michigan history.
- Maine's top girls runner, Sofie Matson, raced her second time in two weeks and produced a nearly identical mark to her debut, hitting 18:24.00 on the clock in a dual-meet versus Portland. The Falmouth had qualified for Foot Locker Nationals the past two seasons.
- Abby Vanderkooi had her best outing of the fall this weekend, beating the varsity girls field at the Allendale Invite by nearly a minute in 16:48.71. That performance marked a career-best for the junior from Michigan. Her previous best was a third-place finish at Foot Locker Nationals' difficult Balboa Park course last December in 16:55.20.