Three National Records Fall On Day Two Of New Balance Nationals
By Chris Lotsbom
June 14, 2014
GREENSBORO, NC, USA — Day two of New Balance Nationals Outdoor 2014 was one for the history books, as three national records fell by the wayside. Columbia TC (New Jersey) became the fastest prep quartet ever to complete the girls 1600m sprint medley relay, while the girls of Western Branch (Virginia) were the first team to dip under 57 seconds in the 100m shuttle hurdle relay. Colorado’s Bailey Roth set a boys national record in the 2000m steeplechase, timing 5:41.67.
More than 15 national champions were crowned on Saturday, the second day of competition at North Carolina A&T’s Aggie Stadium.
For many years Columbia TC has been a fixture at New Balance Nationals, claiming numerous titles both indoors and out. Eagerly anticipating this year’s meet, the team had one goal in mind as they took to the track: demolish the sprint medley relay national and meet record of 3:51.90, set back in 2007.
Cheyenne Trigg, Kayla Richardson, Emilie Cowan, and Olivia Baker lined up with a fire in their eyes, ready to bring the national crown back to New Jersey. That they did, establishing a sizable lead midway through and never looking back.
“It’s amazing, it really is,” said Cowan, a junior. “We really wanted to be the record holders for a very long time.”
Closing with a 2:06.85 800m anchor leg, Baker crossed the line in 3:50.82 all by her lonesome and knew the record was theirs to keep.
“I wasn’t thinking about it. I knew we were here to get the job done,” said Baker, who will attend Stanford in the fall. “I was just focusing on my execution of the race to get the record.”
Working very hard all season, Columbia TC knew that their time to shine would come in Greensboro, especially in an event that favors teams with sprinting depth.
“We are the type of team that has great overall athletes. We’re tough in an event like this where you can take several races and put it together in one relay. We knew the SMR was definitely a race that we were not only going to win but we had a chance to beat the record,” said Richardson, a senior.
On Sunday, Columbia TC is one of the favorites in the 4x400m relay.
Western Branch of Virginia put on a clinic of perfection in the girls 4x100m shuttle hurdle relay, taking both first and second place. Milan Parks, Irielle Little, Ebony White, and Funlayo Oluwole combined to become the first girls shuttle hurdle relay team ever to run under 57 seconds, finishing in 56.55.
At New Balance Nationals Indoor last March, Western Branch finished a devastating second place to Hoover of Alabama. Using that as motivation, the team banded together and was set on taking the Outdoor title. A national record was the cherry on top.
“We just came out here saying we wanted to get our title back because we took it very personal,” Little said with a smile. “So we just came out here with that mindset and we did that.”
Flawlessly running each leg, Western Branch obliterated Vacaville’s national record of 57.17 seconds. Western Branch made it a clean sweep by winning the boys shuttle hurdle relay in 57.13, yet the school from Chesapeake, Virginia wasn’t done: they’d also win the girl’s 4x800m relay in 8:52.38.
Colorado’s Bailey Roth establishing his own national record of 5:41.67 in the boys 2000m steeplechase. Running out front from start to finish, Roth eclipsed Steve Guerrini’s national mark of 5:43.9h and Cory Thorne’s meet record of 5:49.11.
With the win, Roth accomplished his goal of successfully defending his 2000m steeplechase title from last year. Lap after lap, the senior from Colorado Springs consistently edged away from the field, clearing the barriers and water pit with ease.
“I knew I was capable of [the national record], but coming into races I don’t usually like to shoot for records or all that,” he’d say. “I knew what I had to do, running my splits as close as I can, and if it’s within reach with two laps to go then I’m going to go for it.”
That he did, and now the University of Arizona-bound distance runner is not only a national champion, but an American high school record holder.
Sophomore Alexis Duncan dipped under the girls 100m hurdles meet record, running 13.33 seconds. The sophomore bettered Olympian Joanna Hayes’s mark of 13.38, which had stood since 1995.
History was made in the boys two mile, as three athletes from Northport High School broke 9 minutes, each earning All-American honors. Junior Mike Brannigan unleashed a furious kick with 300 meters remaining, going on to claim his first national crown in 8:53.59. Brothers Tim and Jack McGowan –teammates of Brannigan– placed third and fourth with times of 8:56.60 and 8:57.57. It is the first time in history that three teammates have broken 9:00 all in the same race.
Claiming titles in the 100 meter dash were Candace Hill of Georgia and Darryl Haraway of Maryland, finishing in 11.34 and 10.20 respectively.
Shaina Burns of Prior Lake, Minnesota was first in the heptathlon with 5163 points. New Balance Nationals Indoor girls pole vault champion Desiree Freier picked up a victory, clearing 4.05m (13-3.5 feet), while reigning triple jump winner Keturah Orji defended her title with a leap of 13.12m (43.05 feet). Bryanna Hames won the girls discus with a throw of 47.37m (155.5 feet).
Benjamin Bonhurst of New York won the boys shot put, the same event he claimed indoors. His farthest throw was 20.06m (65-9.75 feet). Also matching their New Balance Nationals Indoor crown was Isaiah Moore in the boys 110m hurdles (13.40).
Competition comes to a close tomorrow, when more than 15 national titles will be contested. Among the most anticipated events are the mile and 4x400m relay.
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