NEW YORKERS SWEEP MILES AT NIKE INDOOR NATIONALS

By Chris Lotsbom
(c) 2010 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved

BOSTON (14-Mar) -- Emily Lipari and Alex Hatz won the Nike Indoor National girl's and boy's miles today at the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center, setting meet records in the process.

In the girl's race, Lipari came from behind to win in the final 150 meters. After passing the first quarter in 70.7 seconds, Lipari was in third, boxed in behind Colorado's Eleanor Fulton, Virginia's Joanna Stevens, and Mississippi's Cory McGee.  At the half mile, Lipari was still boxed in, as McGee took over the lead and began to create a gap.

"I was in the mix of the pack for a good three quarters of the race, and I didn't want the leaders to pull away from me," Lipari said.

After moving into second at the 1000m mark, Lipari began to kick.  Coming into the bell lap, she was still behind McGee, who had increased her lead to about three meters.

"I thought to myself, I have been chilling, I have been behind these girls the whole race, and I want to go for it," Lipari, from Roslyn, explained.  "I am so close to it, why should I give up now when it's right in front of me?"

Coming around the turn with 200m to go, Lipari gave all she had, soon pulling even with McGee.  That's when the after burners kicked in, as Lipari mimicked her Reebok Boston Indoor Games performance (where she won in the last lap), unleashing a ferocious kick.  Lipari rounded the final turn onto the homestretch with the crowd on their feet, crossing the line with her hands in the air in a time of 4:42.64, the fourth-fastest indoor high school mile in American history.  When she turned around to see her time, Lipari's hands went to her face in shock.

"I just felt amazing," said the Villanova-bound senior, who is the nation's top miler for the second year in a row. "I just bettered my PR by four seconds!"

A similar race played out on the boy's side, where Fayetteville-Manlius senior Alex Hatz won after passing Kirubel Erassa with 200m left.

Leading from the gun was Erassa, a senior from Georgia who won the 5000m on Friday.  After going through halfway in 2:03, Erassa had a five meter lead on Hatz and Colby Alexander of Ohio.  Moving up bit by bit, Hatz passed Alexander and kept gaining on Erassa, until he finally made the move as the bell rang.

"I wanted to stay in contact with the leaders, and I ended up on the outside.  That's the first time I have ever done that.  I took it out a little too slow... I panicked for a second, then with 500m to go I started reeling them in."

Crossing the line in 4:05.50, Hatz bettered Alan Webb's meet record of 4:07.87, set in 2000, running the third-fastest mile in USA indoor high school history.  The mark also set the fastest time ever run in a high school-only race.

"It's unbelievable, it hasn't really hit me yet," said Hatz, who will attend the University of Wisconsin in the fall.  "It's my first national championship.  I can't believe it."

Attending the meet and watching Hatz's race was U.S. Olympian and two-mile record holder Matt Tegenkamp, a Wisconsin alum.

"It was impressive, the patient racing style really paid off [for him]," said Tegenkamp.  "Coming back after the really hard 5000m on Friday night, and being back in it.  He didn't care; he just pushed the pace and made it exciting.  It is pretty impressive."

Tegenkamp also said if he was in races like the mile here in high school, he would not even be in the picture.

"I wouldn't have made [these races] in high school with the times I was running," he said.  He continued: "It's great for the sport.  The bar has been raised so high, it shows the kids not to be intimidated; just go out there and compete, run your best, and good things will happen."

 

 

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