VIRGINIA BEACH, VIRGINIA -- On paper, the boys 60 meter final on Saturday may had the most overall star power of any race this weekend at The VA Showcase.
The field? It included three of the top ranked sprinters nationally at the distance and another inside the top 20. The names included Justin Braun, Terrell Robinson, Jordan Anthony, Nyckoles Harbor and Trevin Moyer.
Really, it was a Who's Who of national-level sprinters.
But in all truth, there was no race favorite.
Which brings us to Braun.
While the Westerville Central (OH) and Southern California signee had won the 200m and 300m on Friday -- setting new No. 1 times in the process -- the 60m was not his specialty (or at least not before the 2022 season).
Facing someone like Robinson, who had re-set the U.S. No. 1 mark in the 55m on Friday, or Jordan Anthony, whose speed over 60m was undeniable, was no easy task.
But once the gun went off, Braun was in it to win it. In the final meters, narrowly so even, he came away with the victory in a time of 6.75, which tied his previous best and stands as a U.S. No. 2 time. In all truth, it came down to the last step.
Robinson was second in 6.77, while Anthony was third in 6.77. Harbor was fourth in 6.78 while Moyer was fifth in 6.81. All five produced times inside the top six performances on the national leaderboard.
It was the fastest race -- at least up until this point -- of the year.
Which is maybe why Braun pounded his chest afterward. Nothing was guaranteed. But perhaps it was a signal that his training was working, or that his decision to focus exclusively on the short sprints this indoor season was a good move.
Three wins over two days? You don't get much better than that.
Photo Credit: Mary Ann Magnant/MileSplit
SATURDAY'S GIRLS PERFORMANCES
Girls 500m: Roisin Willis made it 2-for-2 on Saturday with another win over Sophia Gorriaran, creating enough of a gap in the final lap to hold off the talented Rhode Islander en route to a winning time of 1:10.90.
That performance by Willis, the first 500m of her career, was just the fourth overall under 1:10 all-time. The Stevens Point senior now stands at U.S. No. 4 all-time.
Gorriaran, meanwhile, made a valiant effort and even gained a second or two over the final 150 meters, though Willis held her off on the inside lane on the final turn and responded when the Rhode Islander made one last move.
For her money's worth, though, Gorriaran can walk away happy. She secured a new national junior class record in 1:11.26, passing the former mark of 1:11.78 last set by Lauryn Ghee in 2016.
Gorriaran also dipped under 1:12 for the first time in her career.
Girls Triple Jump: Forty-feet. It was the mark Alaysia Oakes was aiming to hit this weekend. On Saturday, she did. Twice. Recording a mark of 40 feet, 7.75 inches on her second attempt, the Stanford recruit claimed the overall win. She also landed at 40 on her first jump, too.
Ava Alexander was second with a mark of 38-7.75 while USC recruit Jada Foreman was third in 38-0.25.
Girls 3,200m: Walter Johnson sophomore Katie Dutko ran the fastest time in the open section of the 3,200m, clocking a time of 11:02.22. Bishop O'Connell's Molly Weithman was second in 11:04.75 while Providence Day School's Carly Arrington was third in 11:06.71.
Girls 4x800 Relay: It was a breakthrough moment for the Cuthbertson (NC) girls (above), who made a statement with a U.S. No. 1 time in the 2-mile relay in 9:18.13 on Saturday at The VA Showcase. Behind Charlotte Bell, Justine Preisano, Stella Kermes and Alyssa Preisano, the squad from North Carolina won by just over second, dispatching West Springfield, which was second in 9:39.24. Mount Tabor was third in 9:49.37.
Girls SMR: Call it 2-for-2 for the Cuthbertson (NC) girls, which won the sprint medley relay in a U.S. No. 4 time of 4:19.90. Archbishop Spalding (MD) was second in 4:26.35 while Cuthbertson's 'B' squad was fourth in 4:31.16.
Girls 60mH Final: Bullis School's Myla Greene secured a U.S. No. 5 performance of 8.53 to win the 60mH, dispatching Providence Day School's Falon Spearman, who was second in 8.62, and Cardinal Gibbons' Taylor McKinnon, who was third in 8.70.
In a final that lived up to the billing, it came down to the two fastest females at The VA Showcase.
But confidence was certainly rubbing off on Jackson, who burst out of the blocks and ran with poise through the finish.
The win put Jackson firmly in a dominant position nationally, as she now owns nation-leading times in the 55m, 60m and 300m.
Montverde Academy's Micayah Holland was third in 7.47 while Madison Ridgeland's Kennedi Sanders was fourth in 7.56. Westerville Central's Olivia Pace was the fifth runner under 7.6. All four performances were under the top 20 performances nationally.
Girls 2-Mile: Moon Area's Mia Cochran found a slice of weekend redemption on Saturday, winning the 2-mile just a day after relinquishing a lead in the mile. Cochran produced a new U.S. No. 1 time of 10:25.61 -- 21 seconds faster than the current national best -- as she dominated the field. Brownsville Area's Jolena Quarzo was second in 10:32.48 while Herndon's Gillian Bushee was third in 10:33.06.
Girls 4x200: Bullis School. The girls program culminated a productive weekend of action with another U.S. No. 1 time, authoring a finish of 1:39.19 to win the fast section. Newport News Heritage was second in 1:39.50, clocking a U.S. No. 2 time, while Wakefield was third in 1:40.62. Over Friday and Saturday, the Maryland powerhouse set two new U.S. No. 1 times in both the 4x200 and 4x400.
Girls 1,000m: Ocean Lakes Aniya Mosley was in the company of one on Saturday. The senior clocked a U.S. No. 3 time of 2:49.09, a full 10 seconds in front of runner-up Alyssa Preisano of Cuthbertson, who finished in 2:59.58. Howard's Nimrit Ahuja was third in 2:59.69. Saturday's 1K's represented sanctioned 1Ks for athletes competing, while Friday's performances from Roisin Willis and Sophia Gorriaran both produced unattached results -- ultimately those times will not go toward state championship seeding.
SATURDAY'S BOYS PERFORMANCES
Boys 1K: Competing in the first indoor race of his career and season, Rheinhardt Harrison didn't let a little thing like nerves get in the way. He ran the No. 2 time in high school history, clocking a new Florida record of 2:22.77.
Watching Harrison compete, in fact, you wouldn't have even realized it was his first time on a banked track.
Whether it was the start -- Harrison pressed over the first 150m to gain position -- or the middle of the race -- arguably the most important laps -- he looked positive, poised and confident.
And when he finished, it looked like just any other race for Harrison.
Which should tell you something. If this was the first race of his season, what exactly should we expect in 2022?
Dylan Look was second in 2:28.14 while Antonio Camacho-Bucks was third in 2:29.41.
Boys 500m: New national record. For more, check out the story here.
Boys 60mH Final: A day after finishing third in the prelims, Calvert Hall College's Jason Holmes-Williamson shored up his race plan and followed with an impressive win, earning a U.S. No. 4 time of 7.90 -- he already owns the country's fastest 55mH time -- as he dispatched a talented field.
Southern Columbia's Jake Rose continued his ascent up the rankings, finishing in second in 7.95, a U.S. No. 6 time and his first under eight seconds. Winchester's Easton Tan was third in 7.96 and Holmes-Williamson's teammate, Thomas Smith IV, was fourth in 7.97. The top four finishers all ran a top 10 time or faster.
Boys 2-Mile: Seven runners dipped under the previous national leading time on Saturday, with Archbishop Wood's (PA) Gary Martin setting a new bar -- and meet record -- with a time of 9:04.65.
The performance was just two seconds off Martin's personal best of 9:02 and came just a month after his All-American performance at the Garmin RunningLane Championships.
Marvin Ridge's (NC) Ethan Snyder was second in 9:08.40 while Porter Ridge's (VA) Jacob Laney, who won the mile on Friday, was third in 9:09.17. Justice's (VA) Ryan Watson followed in 9:09.89, Loudoun Valley's (VA) Graham Mussmon was fifth in 9:13.20, Arundel's (MD) Tucker Sangster was sixth in 9:14.39 and Patrick Henry's Luke Taylor was seventh in 9:17.95. All seven performances are now U.S. No. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 times.
Boys 4x200: The country's No. 1 team showed up. Calvert Hall (MD) clocked a new U.S. No. 1 time of 1:27.80. It was a full second faster than second-place Woodberry Forest (1:29.24), which operated out of the penultimate heat. Archbishop Carroll was third in 1:29.79.
Boys High Jump: This one was a Friday result. But it certainly is deserving of recognition. Palmer Trinity's (FL) Brandon Pottinger became the first boy over 7-feet this indoor season, going 7-0 to win -- by six inches.
Mixed Relay: Perhaps bragging rights were present here. And this year, they went to Nansemond River (VA), which dispatched second-place Bullis School by eight seconds, winning the overall heat in 3:36.60.