Multiple Champions And Meet Records Dominate Final Day Of New Balance Nationals
MULTIPLE CHAMPIONS AND MEET RECORDS DOMINATE FINAL DAY OF NEW BALANCE NATIONALS
By Chris Lotsbom
NEW YORK, NY, USA (10-Mar) -- On the final day of competition here at New Balance Nationals, meet records tumbled and champions earned their second -- and some their third -- titles to conclude a historic weekend in New York City.
Leading the way was New Jersey's Union Catholic TC, who won a pair of titles on Sunday to add to their already successful meet. By the end of competition, the small school located in Scotch Plains had three Championship wins, a national record, and an Emerging Elite title to their name.
To begin Sunday, Union Catholic's Boys 4x200m relay won gold with a mark of 1:28.15. Made up of Jordan Jimerson, Taylor McLaughlin, Obafemi Animashaun, and Zach Ghizzone, the team cruised to victory.
Though they didn't match their meet record of 1:27.80 -- set in yesterday's prelims -- the team was still excited. But they weren't done yet.
Less than two and a half hours later, Union Catholic was again on top of the podium, as the school's 4x400m relay won in 3:16.31. This time Animashaun was the opening leg, with Jordan Jimerson, Mike DeAngelis, and Taylor McLaughlin following.
"When we get challenged, we know how to show up," said Animashaun, the only member who was also on Saturday's winning Shuttle Hurdle Relay team, who set a national record.
All four thought the three National Championship titles put Union Catholic on the map as one of the best track and field schools in the nation.
"It's a great accomplishment because Union Catholic's normally known to be a distance school," said Animashaun, noting that only about 400 boys go to the school. "But we are making it more well rounded by showing the nation how we work, that we are dedicated, and that we can do what we set our mind to."
Union Catholic wasn't the only one to leave The Armory with more than one gold medal. Girls 800m champion Sabrina Southerland captured her second national title by setting a new meet record of 2:03.59 to win the 800m. After going out in close to 59 seconds, Southerland surprised herself by timing under 2:05.
"Basically I was just going for the win and I ended up PRing," said the senior who timed the second fast prep mark of all time. "It was really fast at 400 meters but I felt like I still had more energy left to keep going."
Southerland's title came less than 48 hours after she captured the Distance Medley Relay with her Benjamin Cardozo teammates.
Similar to Southerland, Boys Mile winner Henry Wynne added to his Distance Medley Relay title earned on Friday. The Staples, Connecticut, athlete timed 4:08.1 after a tremendous finishing kick.
"I knew that I had a little left and that I was going to put it all on the line. Last race of the season and a national championship, there's no reason not to," said Wynne.
Earning her second individual title of the meet was North Carolina's Wesley Frazier, taking the two mile. Frazier broke the tape in 10:12.23 after going out at a conservative pace, just like she had when setting the national 5000m record on Friday.
"I wanted to perform really well this weekend, and I think I did that," she said.
Boy's Two Mile champion Edward Cheserek was another double champion, separating himself from the field with 500m remaining to win the tenth national crown of his career.
"It is very awesome to get that many," said the quiet Cheserek.
In the 400 meters, it was Hillhouse TC's Precious Holmes taking the title. The senior came across the line in 53.43, adding a second gold medal to her collection; on Saturday, she was part of the Sprint Medley Relay championship team.
After being disqualified due to a false start in the 60m, Kali Davis-White won the 200 meters in a meet record of 23.48. She will be attending Florida State in the fall.
Also setting a meet record was Canadian Sasha Wallace, who timed 8.17 seconds in the 60m hurdles.
Girls Mile champion Elise Cranny ran a personal best of more than 15 seconds to defeat reigning champion Hannah Meier. Her time was 4:40.62, nearly two seconds faster than the previous meet record.
In the final event of the day, the 4x400m, the girls of Columbia TC (NJ) ran 3:42.03, shaving more than a half second off the previous meet record of 3:42.67. The team was made up of Olivia Baker, Shanika Dessein, Kenya Gaston, and Cheyenne Trigg.
In the field, no meet records were broken on Sunday. But, there were some great performances particularly in the throws.
Rudy Winkler won his third national title in the Boys Weight Throw with a mark of 25.45 meters. Also for the third consecutive year a girl from Throw1deep in Georgia won the Girls Weight Throw. That title went to Casidy Callahan (17.88 meters).
Having come to the conclusion of the indoor season, athletes now turn their focus outdoors. New Balance Nationals Outdoors will take place from June 14-16 in Greensboro, North Carolina.