* Michailyn Rose shows emotion after competing in a highly intensive 800m
Photo Credit: Cory Mull/MileSplit
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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- adidas Outdoor Nationals was an all-out show.
The second annual national championship at Truist Stadium in Greensboro, North Carolina featured a long list of accomplished athletes from across the U.S.
Each event showcased a selection of the nation's top high school track and field talent, and some even elevated into elite-level performances. One athlete even netted a new World age group record.
It did NOT disappoint.
We decided to highlight some of our favorite moments and hand out awards.
Let us know what you think on our nominations.
Note: As a way to give appreciation to the athletes and teams that set the path last year, we named some of our awards after last year's talent.
Honorable Mention Candidates:
Girls: Rachel Mehringer, Forest Park (IL); Marianna Wright, Monroe Comprehensive (GA); Sydney Harris, Buford (GA); Brynn Crandell, Indian River (DE), Oluwatosin Awoleye, South Cobb (GA), Michailyn Rose, FIA (VA).
The Track 757 Award For Best Supporting Cast
Winner: 704 Elite (aka Myers Park High Schoo, NC)
This is a tough category to choose, if only because national championship relays tend to be exorbitantly fast.
That being said, every relay isn't created equally.
Here's why. High school national championships aren't sanctioned by the National Federation of High School State Associations (NFHS), and so that results in relay teams being quasi all-star teams -- a foursome of athletes from varying schools.
It sometimes produces exhilarating results. But tending on how you look at these things, those performances can also be skewed based on the amount of 'stacked' athletes one club or team may possess.
This wasn't the case during the championship girls distance medley relay.
All four members of the 704 Elite, a squad out of Charlotte, North Carolina, were from Myers Park (NC) High School.
Molly Barber, Charlotte Britt, Claire Dixon and Mary Bonner Dalton certainly didn't let anything to chance.
Competing in over 90-degree heat, the Charlotte high school produced a U.S. No. 21 time of 12:08.99, which was also a North Carolina No. 1.
All four girls laid down fantastic splits en route to their all-time performance.
They are now one of only 24 teams this spring nationally to break 12:10. In North Carolina, the performance was also the seventh-best in state history.
Better yet, all four member of the supporting cast will be back next year, meaning the squad could yield higher ambitions in 2024. The next Cuthbertson, anyone?
This one was easy. It was the Myers Park girls.
The Award For 'I Can't Believe This Just Happened' At Nationals
Winner: Melanie Doggett, Major Impact
This one is too easy. We'll call Friday the Melanie Doggett experience.
On Day 1, we all learned the sixth-grader's name when she ran a wind-legal 11.67 seconds in the 100m, scoring a new World age group record.
The firefly exploded like a bottle rocket out of the blocks and surged ahead against the field, pushing the gap to what seemed like 10 or 20 meters.
While she didn't win in the finals of the National Elite division, her time of 11.78 seconds was not far off from her previous attempt, meaning her first run wasn't a fluke.
You just don't see that every day.
What's more, though, Doggett's club, Major Impact, then begun to rack up win after win, the team's bright blue singlet in full view.
Doggett's teammate, Somto Igwilo, won that very same 100m race with Doggett in it, scorching toward the line in a winning time of 11.63 seconds. She's just in the eighth-grade.
A day later, Sarah Marshall, another eighth-grader from the Georgia-based track team, won the 200m National Elite title in 24.08 seconds.
Whatever the club is doing, it's working.
The Jordan Ware Award For 'Athlete Most Likely To Become A Sprint Star Next Spring'
Winner: Donovan Calhoun, High Point Wesleyan Christian
Few inside the high school track and field world knew the name Jordan Ware before adidas Outdoor Nationals in 2022.
They started to know his name after.
This year, the Memphis Central senior blitzed through 100 meters as if it were a full-time job. He clocked career best times of of 10.13 and 20.63 seconds, respectively, at the Tennessee State Championships.
So we began to think: Who was this year's Jordan Ware?
We have to throw it to Donovan Calhoun.
The junior from High Point Wesleyan Christian dominated in the National Elite section, cobbling up two straight wins in the 100m and 200m over times of 10.62 and 21.20 seconds, both of which were wind-legal.
That latter performance puts him inside the nation's top 100 sprinters for 2023, and that's a big deal, considering he did not even win a title this year during the NCISAA Division I State Championships.
Perhaps those results are coming soon enough, though.
No one was within an earshot of Calhoun in that 200m.
The JaMeesia Ford Award For Leading Female Athlete At Nationals
Winner: Delaney Dumm, Forest Hills (PA)
Whether it was a breezy 70-degree Saturday night or a humidity-thick Sunday afternoon, Dumm rolled through adidas Nationals as if it were old hat.
What's crazy, though, is that this was Dumm's first appearance at a national championship event.
The Pennsylvania standout and Lipscomb University signee had her best meet of the year, locking down two national titles in the mile and two-mile with times of 4:53.42 and 10:23.79, respectively.
Consider this: While Dumm didn't win a Pennsylvania state title this year in the 1,600m or 3,200m -- she was third and second in Class AA -- her splits on Saturday and Sunday were faster than those state-winning marks just weeks ago.
Talk about being locked in.
Her first performance in the mile entrenched her inside the nation's top 100 results for the spring, while her second mark entered her into the country's top 20 efforts.
Each race featured a blazing-fast Dumm zooming around the track.
And so it was: Two races, two wins and a hallmark final meet for Dumm.
The Award For Best Grind It Out Performance
Winner: Nathan Johnson, Yakima Eisenhower (WA)
Johnson's trip to Virginia was first prompted by a snub.
A native of Yakima, Washington, the high school senior's first intention was to compete at Nike Outdoor Nationals, which was a reasonable five hour drive south.
He had competed in the 2K steeplechase at least once or twice each outdoor season since his freshman year of high school.
"I just really wanted the win and got it done."
Photo Credit: Josh Brown
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Recently, he was even coming off a performance of 6:17 -- which, before this weekend, would have had him inside the nation's top 20 performances.
That time qualified him for any -- and all -- of the national championships across the U.S.
But ...Johnson was left on the outs after Nike filled up early and didn't allow any further entries in the event.
So what is a gritty athlete to do?
He signed up for adidas Outdoor Nationals and flew 2,700 miles to compete in the 2K steeplechase final on Saturday.
He won the championship in a blazing 6:21.
"I just really wanted the win and got it done," he said.
The Award For Leading Male Athlete At Nationals
Winner: Shavique Bascus, Clarke County (GA)
It was a runaway.
This honor has to go to Clarke Central's Shavique Bascus, who ran the fastest wind-legal 200m performance of any athlete over the weekend -- that's right, faster than any athlete at New Balance Nationals Outdoor or Nike Outdoor Nationals.
Few deserved it more.
Bascus only started running two years ago. He found his form in 2023, winning two Georgia state titles before adding another at the Wingfoot Meet of Champions in May. .
Then his coach left his program for another job.
Bascus had to train on his own for weeks.
But over the weekend, he ran the fastest times of his career ... and it wasn't even close.
He polished off times of 10.40 seconds in the 100m and 20.64 seconds in the 200m, the latter coming off the heels of another PR of 20.74 in the prelims.
What's more, he did so on his future home track at North Carolina A&T, and he ran in front of his future coach, Allen Johnson, not to mention a few of his future teammates.
There's no better way to make an impression.
The Award For Best Swag aka Drip
This recognition is best observed through visuals representation.
Here, for your consideration: