By Christopher Hunt
GREENSBORO, N.C. – Fayetteville-Manilus (N.Y.) senior Courtney Chapman summed it best when she explained why she could close the gap on Cami Chapus of Harvard-Westlake (Calif.). Chapman grinded a 15-meter lead down to a single step.
“I tried to stay with her,” Chapman said. “She’s just really good.”
Harvard-Westlake was just too good. Amy Weissenbach (3:24.85), K.C. Cord (58.46), Lauren Hansson (2:13.70) and Chapus annihilated the national record in the distance medley relay and stewarded the greatest high school SMR in United States history Saturday at the New Balance Outdoor Nationals. They clocked an incredible 11:22.23 while Fayetteville-Manilus (Stotan Racing) finished second in 11:25.13. North Shore, led by Samantha Nadel’s 4:42.75 anchor, was third in 11:30.45.
The race provided the three fastest times in nation history and mashed last year’s national record of 11:31.26 set by Blacksburg (Va.). The North Hollywood team with the all-star coaching staff – Quincy Watts, Joanna Hayes and Felix Sanchez all help – never trailed in the race. They also put up a US #1 mark while winning the sprint medley Friday.
It might have shocked spectators to see Harvard-Westlake trounce the national DMR record but nothing or no one stunned the crowd like Wesley Frazier of Raleigh, N.C. After winning the 5,000 meters Thursday night, taking third in the 2-mile Friday night, the sophomore found it in her legs to blow by three runners in the last 50 meters to win the mile 4:44.76, and make a case to be considered the most versatile young distance runner in the country.
“I was absolutely surprised,” Frazier said. “I was feeling really good and I was like, I only have 200 meters left and I tried to kick. I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, maybe I could do it. And then I only had 50 meters left and I was passing people. I thought I’m gonna do it. I was just really surprised. I couldn’t believe it.”
Bronxville freshman pushed the pace through nearly three laps but gave the inside position to Hannah Meier of Grosse Pointe South (Mich.), who took over at the bell, towing a tight group. Frazier was buried in fifth before she made her move.
“It all hurt,” Frazier said. “I was surprised at how strong I felt each day.”
Meier finished second in 4:45.28 with Molly Seidel (Hartland, Wisc.) third in 4:46.08 and Haley Meier fourth in 4:46.36.
Kendall Baisden (Detriot, Mich.) won her first outdoor 400 title in 52.87, pulling away from Connecticut’s Precious Holmes and recent Dreher (S.C.) graduate Christal Green in the home stretch.
“Everyone got out really fast,” Baisden said. “I was able to break the stagger after the first 150. Then at 200, I knew I had to either go or lose the race.”
Another Michigan star, Kyra Jefferson, won the 200 in 24.18. The senior exploded off the curve and dominated the final, which did not include Octavious Freeman, who was disqualified for a lane violation in the prelims.
“I wish that she was in the race,” Jefferson said. “I think then I would have been able to run 23. I felt like I was running for her.”
Medgar Evers overcame a rough final exchange to win the 4x100 in 46.23, narrowly missing the New York State record of 46.16.
“We wanted the record,” said leadoff leg Sheniece Daphness. “But was more important to get the baton around. If you can’t get the baton around you can’t win the race. I wasn’t going to leave here without a ring.”
Reach Christopher Hunt at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter: @ChrisHuntArmory.