* Cuthbertson's Charlotte Bell's two-day performance at the All-American Track Classic was an eye-opener
Photo Credit: Dan Loughlin/Milesplit
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You couldn't have asked for a better two days from Charlotte Bell.
On Friday, on the first day of action at the All-American Track Classic in Columbia, South Carolina, the sophomore from Cuthbertson High School (NC) covered a nearly 30 meter gap at the beginning of the third leg of the 4x800, bringing back one of the nation's top 3,200m relay teams from near defeat to secure an early season-defining win in 9:07.24.
But it was only the precursor.
Bell, who split her third leg in roughly 2:15, would have an even bigger Saturday, winning two other events, including a new meet record in the mile.
Earning two U.S. top 50 times in the 800m and mile, Bell signaled her emergence on the national scene, scoring two personal record times of 2:12.83 and 4:54.10, respectively.
Facing a national-caliber field in the 800m, Bell held off a hard-charging Maddie Huecker, the North Carolina signee from Lake Norman (NC), as she secured a career-best time.
That performance was U.S. No. 48 on the season, No. 2 in North Carolina and the 11th-best sophomore effort of 2022 thus far.
More impressive, though, was her follow-up effort in the the mile.
Entering the field, which included Eastbay XC Championship qualifier Ciara O'Shea and Mountain Brook's Reagan Riley, Bell had never broken five minutes.
She sure did on Saturday.
Just before the 400m mark, the Cuthbertson sophomore made her move and didn't look back.
By the half mile, only O'Shea held strong on her hip.
But the second half was where they truly showed her form, negative-splitting the next two laps in 2:24.
Bell led five girls under five minutes -- including two teammates, Stella Kermes and Justine Preisano -- as she flew into the finish line in a career-best and U.S. top 30 performance of 4:54.10.
It was the fifth-best sophomore effort of the season.