By Chris Lotsbom. Guest Correspondent. A great weekend of action wrapped up today at Nike Indoor Nationals, taking place at the Reggie Lewis Center in Roxbury, MA. Here are some recaps of the distance races from Sunday, March 15, 2009.
Girls Mile Final (Seeded Heet) The Girls mile was taken out at a fast pace, as Cory McGee of Missouri led the pack through an opening split of 33 second at the 200m mark. Soon after, though, New York’s Emily Lipari, the state champion in the 1500m took to the front. She led until the 800m mark, where Massachusetts state 1000m champ Camille Murphy decided to pick up the pace. They passed the half mile in 2:22.
"I wanted to keep the pace up, cause it seemed like in the middle it slowed for a bit," said Murphy.
With 200m to go, McGee again took the lead, and held off New Jersey’s Melanie Thompson around the final turn. But, with 50 meters left, Lipari came out of nowhere, like she was shot from a cannon. Moving from fourth to first on the final stretch, Lipari crossed the tape first in 4:47.44, a new personal record. Thompson, McGee, and Murphy followed finishing two, three, four.
"I just told myself I was almost done, and that I was still in it. I wanted to break 4:50, and that was my goal coming in, no matter what place, I wanted to break 4:50."
She did, and took home her first Nike Indoor National championship.
Boys Mile Final (Seeded Heet) The guys mile also had a stacked field, as 3 men in the race had already broken 4:10 this season. Led by Boston Indoor Games champ Mac Fleet and runner up Andrew Springer, the pace was fast early, as 61.11 was the first quarter split. Through 800 in 2:03.9, Fleet kept the lead safe until the 1000m mark. Their, Springer came up beside and challenged for the lead. The lead pack of five runners were still all close together, and as they were jockeying for position, Brett
Johnson of New Jersey ended up taking a spill. Luckily, he got right back up and sprinted back, just off the tail end of the lead group. But by then Springer, Fleet and Pat McGregor (Hoover, AL) had made their move. Springer ended up kicking home in an unbelievable 28.6 last 200, to set the leading time in America this year, 4:08.47. McGregor and Fleet also came in under 4:09, placing two-three.
Remarkably, after the race, Fleet took his shoe off to reveal four spike wounds, which had bloodied his whole calf and ankle. Yet, he still managed to set a personal record and afterwards said he would be ok.
Girls Two Mile Final (Seeded Heet) This was truly the Jordan Hasay show. The two-time Foot Locker Cross Country national champ didn’t think twice about taking the lead, as she did right from the gun. Attempting to break Melody Fairchild’s record of 9:55.92 from 1991, Hasay took the mile out in 5:01. By then, she had created a sizeable gap between herself and 2007 FLCC National Champ Ashley Brasovan and the nation’s leading two miler in Emily Jones. Despite slowing a little bit down mid-race, Hasay
proved that she was in a class of her own, averaging about 37 second laps around the 200m track. She broke the tape in 10:10.89, all alone and 14 seconds ahead of second place finisher Shelby Greany.
"Indoor is a lot different than outdoor," said Hasay, "More turns and I felt like I wanted to be done half way. But I am happy with it."
Boys Two Mile (Seeded Heet) Lukas Verzbicas continued to add on to what has already been an impressive weekend: he set a national high school record of 14:18.42 on Friday, and won the two mile today in a freshman record 8:57.44. That shatters the previous mark by 19 seconds (Sintayehu Taye 9:16.65, 2005)! After staying in the back
of the pack for the first 800m, Verzbicas went to the front. He led the doubling Andrew Springer and Mason, Ohio’s Zach Willis through the mile in 4:31.5, and from that point on began to distance himself from the pack. With 800 to go and passing the clock in 6:46.2, Verzbikas went to a second gear. He crossed the line with his second record in three days, and was followed in by Wes Rickman and Bill Matthews.
After this weekend, Verzbikas said he would give some thought to committing himself solely to running, as he is a highly touted triathelete. But for now, he said he would be gearing up for the World Junior Triathlon Championships. Only a freshman, Verzbikas has an extremely bright future ahead of him.
4x800 World Junior Record In the 4x800, Albemarle, VA set a national record of 7:36.99.
This ranks #13 all time amongst all junior 4x800’s indoor OR out. The team, comprised of Garrett Bradley, Zach Vrhovac, Luke Noble, and Anthony Kostelac, was pumped with the win. Their goal was to set a record from the start, as a birthday present for their coach Buzz Male. Male easily got the best present a coach could ever receive. When asked what their first thought was after the win, the team jokingly replied, "We are going to Chinatown!" (They planned on going out to dinner after the meet, eating
in Boston’s Chinatown district.) They all agreed that they were surprised by how much they beat the record by, and were happy to end their indoor careers on a special note (all but Kostelac are seniors).