New Balance Nationals Indoor: Day 1 Final Recap

* Westerville Central's Justin Braun in the preliminaries of the 400m on Friday at New Balance Nationals Indoor

Photo Credit: Cory Mull/MileSplit

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NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK -- It was smooth sailing for Justin Braun in the preliminaries of the boys 400m championship on Friday at New Balance Nationals Indoor. 

The Westerville Central High School (OH) senior took section three in a new U.S. No. 2 time of 47.12, logging the fastest performance of the day.

But perhaps better yet, it was his first effort at the distance on the season, and just four-hundredths of a second off his personal best of 46.77. 

Braun will head into Saturday's final looking to topple that mark, and potentially a U.S. No. 1 mark of 46.78. 

Overall, he was one of two athletes under 48 seconds. Overland Park senior William Jones, competing in just his second race of the season, went 47.74. 

Wesley Noble (48.14), Jayson Ward (48.28), Andrew Regnier (48.39), Nikolas Butler-Simpson (48.49), Andrew O'Donnell (48.52) and Devin Nugent (48.53) all moved on to the finals.

Two athletes who broke 49 seconds -- Mekhi Gammons (48.70) and Michael Mazero (48.72) -- were just 0.16 seconds shy of qualifying.  

Girls 400m Championship: Scotch Plains-Fanwood (NJ) senior Julia Jackson came out firing on all cylinders. 

Jackson moved up to U.S. No. 1 on the season with her performance of 53.73 in section seven, blowing away the field by over two seconds. 

Gabriella Grossman was second in 54.78, while Sophia Gorriaran was third in 55.44. Also qualifying for the final round on Saturday were Rachel Joseph (55.50), Tyler Lowe (55.62), Delea Martins (55.79), Leeah Burr (55.82) and Sage Hinton (55.88). 

Boys Rising Stars 2-Mile: Jimmy Mullarkey, a senior from Louisville Fern Creek, won the boys Rising Stars 2-mile race early Friday morning in a U.S. No. 13 time of 9:14.05. He was one of three boys under 9:20. Grant Morgenfeld, a sophomore from Palo Alto (CA), was second in 9:16.90 while Brian Boler, a junior from the Delbarton School in Morristown, New Jersey, was third in 9:18.15.

Girls Rising Stars 2-Mile: Michigan native Jayden Harberts took the overall win in 10:42.689, moving past the field in the final laps en route to a U.S. No. 11 time. Natalie McLean was second in 10:51.04 while Varri Higgins was third in 10:53.53 ... out of the first heat. 

Boys Rising Stars 400m: Cashieve Blair clocked a winning time of 49.36 seconds to record the fastest effort of the day for the classification. Mekhi Stone was second in 49.42 and Maximilian DeAngelo was third in 49.43.

Girls Rising Stars 400m: Bangor (ME) junior Anna Connors clocked the second-fastest indoor time in Maine history, going 56.46 to qualify for the finals on Saturday. Cherry Creek's (CO) Kinsey Christianson was second in 57.20 while Motor City Track Club's (MI) Nevaeh Burns was third in 57.62.

Boys Freshman 400m: Archbishop Carroll's Mickey Green scored a freshman title with his time of 50.84 seconds, defeating DeMarion Gardner (51.05) heads up. Evan Pardue was third in section two in 51.14.

Girls Freshman 400m: Motor City Track Club's (MI) Taryn Henderson clocked a winning time of 58.67 seconds, just two hundredths of a second ahead of second-place Shanel Morgan of Coconut Creek. Alexandra Allen was third in 59.61.

Boys Freshman 1-Mile: Knoxville Catholic's Keegan Smith set a new freshman class record with his time of 4:14.63, a performance that netted him a six-second PR. Landon Pretre was second in 4:20.12, while Jack Graffeo was third in 4:25.94.

Girls Freshman 1-Mile: Flower Mound's Alexandra Fox led all first-year athletes in the classification with a winning time of 5:01.61. Chesterfield's (VA) Liliah Gordon was second in 5:10.42, while Elly Velasquez was third in 5:10.45.

* Gavin Sherry finishes out the boys 2-mile championship on Friday at New Balance Nationals Indoor

Photo Credit: Cory Mull/Milesplit

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Gavin Sherry played it safe for the first 400m, kind of, perhaps long enough for him to decide when to attack and for how long.

But by lap three and four of the boys 2-mile championship on Friday at New Balance Nationals Indoor the Stanford recruit was well in charge, led through the mile and then ripped off an impressive final kick in the last 450 meters that gapped the entire field. 

He finished with a new U.S. No. 1 time -- Sherry defeated his own personal best -- of 8:48.59, solidifying a national championship in the process.  

Right behind him? 

His brother, Callum Sherry, who clocked a 60-second final 400 meters that put him firmly in control of second and gave him a U.S. No. 2 time of 8:50.59 -- in his best race of his season, maybe of his career. 

Belmont's James Donahue, running against high schoolers for the first time all season, went third overall -- he led the race early -- and finished in 8:51.87, continuing one of the nation's top overall seasons.

Aidan Puffer was fourth in 8:52.33 while Nick Falk won the fourth section -- the the second-to-last heat -- and finished fifth overall in 8:57.65.

Boys Championship 4x200 Prelims: Archbishop Carroll ran the fastest time of the day in 1:28.25, guaranteeing a spot in the finals on Saturday. Calvert Hall was second in 1:29.01 while Spartan Chosen was third in 1:29.09.

Girls Championship 4x200 Prelims: Track Life University, a foursome from Detroit Renaissance High School, remained in control of the distance on the national stage, clocking a time of 1:37.82 in the prelims, the fastest of the day. Bullis School, though, wasn't far behind -- in fact, the Maryland powerhouse fielded its 'A' and 'B' squads in the second- and third-fastest positions, going 1:38.08 and 1:40.71. The finals are on Saturday. 

Girls Championship 2-Mile: A historic performance went down in the second half of the race as Flower Mound's Natalie Cook surged ahead in the final mile, clocking a 10-second negative-split en route to a final time of 9:44.44. It was the second-fastest performance at the distance indoors all-time. Ellie Shea and Angelina Perez were both under 10 minutes, logging times of 9:52.35 and 9:56.96, respectively.

Boys Championship DMR: Ridge's boys set a new national record of 9:53.40 as they held off a hard-charging Union Catholic in 9:55.12. Loudoun Valley was third in 10:07.22.

Girls Championship DMR: The Ann Arbor Pioneer girls set a new national record, claiming the top spot with a time of 11:32.68, roughly two seconds faster than the previous mark set back in 2017. Union Catholic was second in 11:50.85 while West Springfield was third in 11:57.31.

Boys Championship SMR: The Westfield (NJ) boys broke free and claimed a national title in a winning time of 3:28.49, defeating second-place Union Catholic (3:30.91) and third-place Scarborough (3:32.33).

Girls Championship SMR: It was Motor City Track Club's race to win. The Oak Park (MI) girls clocked the only time under four minutes, winning with an effort of 3:59.51 behind the work of Drelin Mapp, Morgan Roundtree, Nonah Waldron and Kylee King. Tub Gator was second in 4:04.27 while Bullis School was third in 4:04.51.

Girls Championship Weight Throw: IMG Academy's Kosi Umerah, in just her first year throwing, claimed a weight throw title with a mark of 18 meters (59-0.5). Barry's Olivia Campbell was second in 16.22m and Zoe Carter-Konate was third with a throw of 15.89m.

Girls Rising Stars High Jump: Suffern's Kyra Skoglund produced the win with a mark of 5-3.25.

Girls Rising Stars Weight Throw: Madison Peters authored a mark of 13.67m (44-10.25)

Girls Rising Stars Pole Vault: Shipley's Vault Lab's Ava Allen claimed the win with a 3.60 meter mark (11-9.75).

* MileSplit will update this recap as events become complete on Friday.