Thursday Recap: New Balance Nationals

Ashley Erba's 5K was the highlight of the opening day, while Kris Horn took control of the decathlon competition.



Championship Boys Decathlon

Kris Horn (Pembroke MA) took command immediately by winning the 100m Dash in 10.91, a full three tenths faster than the next-fastest competitor.  Horn extended his lead by jumping 22' 0.5" in the long jump, then followed that with a 41' 8" shot put (good for fourth-best among the decathletes).  Robert Cacace (Hackley School NY) threw the furthest with a mark of 42' 11.5".  In the high jump, Devin Jones (Hewitt-Trussville) earned the most points by jumping 6' 6", while Horn cleared 6' 2.25" to easily maintain his lead.  Finally, the 400m Dash saw Dan Santalla (Torrington CT) post an impressive 49.52, as Horn finished second in 50.65.  At the end of day one, Horn led with 3766 points, trailed by Taylor Cudequest (Pascack Hills NJ) with 3413.  The competition for third place looks like it will be intense, as the difference between third and fifth is currently 17 points.



Championship Girls Heptathlon

Jennifer Cannon (Tennessee High School TN) got off to a great start by blazing to a 14.14 clocking in the 100 hurdles.  Aaron Howell (Farmington MI) closed the gap by winning the high jump with a clearance of 5' 6", while Cannon managed 5' 2.5" to maintain a slim lead.  Howell then moved into first place by scoring the most points in the shot put, throwing 37' 1.75".  Cannon tightened things up again by running 25.02 in th 200 to Howell's 25.79, leaving Howell with a 61-point lead (3087-3026).  Noel Jancewicz (Robbinsville NJ) and Shaina Burns (Prior Lake MN) are currently fighting for third, but both are close enough to make a move on the leaders.





Championship Boys Octathlon

Zachary McDermott (Christian Brothers NJ) did not win an event until the final one of the day, when he ran 50.22 in the 400m Dash.  Nonetheless, his consistency earned him enough points to lead after day one, with 2664.  Jon Wright (Pope John Paul XXIII NJ) is second with 2592 points.  




Championship Girls Swedish Relay (100-200-300-400)

According to the announcers at the meet, this is the first time this particular medley relay has been contested in a major US championship.  Of course, that means this year's winners hold the meet record, and maybe the national high school record as well (research pending on that).  Columbia (NJ) took home the first gold medal for this event at New Balance Nationals, putting up a time of 2:10.28 that included a fast anchor leg by Olivia Baker.  Withrow (OH) ran 2:12.47 in the first section, which held up for 2nd place, edging Western Branch (VA)'s 2:12.66.





Championship Boys Swedish Relay (100-200-300-400)

This event certainly provides some crazy moments that you wouldn't normally see on the track: sprinters breaking to the inside lane on a 200 leg, and a 4x4-style handoff at the 300 mark.  Smiths Station (AL) got caught up in the jumble at the second and third exchanges, but Quincy Smith brought them back with a sub-47 anchor leg, leading to a 1:54.56 overall time.  Suitland (MD), running as Rams TC, held on for second in 1:55.68





Championship Girls 5000

After the entire field stayed packed together for a few laps, Ashley Erba (Warsaw Community IN) decided to force the pace.  Wesley Frazier (Ravenscroft NC) responded, and the two pulled away from the rest of the field for the majority of the race.  In the last 2000, Erba wore Frazier down and continued to stretch out her lead, eventually getting within reach of the meet record.  Cheered on by the crowd, she powered down the final stretch to break that record by 7 tenths of a second, recording the seventh-fastest time in US history at 16:18.21.  Danielle Anderson (Eagan MN) was able to move up and overtake Frazier, clocking 16:43.65 for second place, with the Raleigh native and defending champion settling for third at 16:51.04.





Championship Boys 5000

It looked like the fast section of this race would come down to a three-man battle, but over the last 1000 Jake Leingang (Bismarck ND) pulled away from his challengers and closed out with a time of 14:27.16.  After running second almost the entire race, Daniel Lennon (Peru NY) was nipped down the last stretch by Jacob Thomson (Holy Cross KY), 14:34:78 to 14:37.32.  Leingang's time was only 2 seconds off of Edward Cheserek's record, set last year, although Leingang had competitiors pushing him deeper into the race than did Cheserek.