What a Way to Celebrate!
Sydney McLaughlin and Champ Allison earned New Balance Girls' and Boys' Athletes of the Meet awards (1st two photos). Tripp Piperi and Jasmine Moore (last two photos) were two of the top field performers (see below). Photos by Ross Dettman for New Balance (McLaughlin) and Vic Sailer, Photorun.net (Allison, Piperi, Moore).
25th Anniversary NBNO was One to Remember!
The 2016 25th Anniversary edition of New Balance Nationals Outdoor (June 17-19) was one for the record-books and the memory banks -- more than 5,700 athletes; some very special guests, sponsors and honorees; and a weekend of near-perfect June weather at Aggie Stadium in Greensboro made sure of it!
Our NSAF outdoor nationals had some humble beginnings in California back in 1991, but thanks to partners like New Balance, Eastbay and many others, Father's Day weekend at North Carolina A&T State plays host to prep track and field's greatest spectacle -- three days of superlative performances by athletes from 44 states, Canada and South Africa in the sprints, hurdles, distances, throws, jumps, walks and multis.
Among those performances were four national records, seven national class records and 22 meet records: nine championship, 11 Emerging Elite and two Freshman.
The four national record-setters:
- Sydney McLaughlin, the Union Catholic, NJ junior and girls' New Balance Athlete of the Meet who crushed the 32-year-old girls' 400H mark (Leslie Maxie, 55.20 in '84) Sunday with a mind-blowing 54.46 -- also topping U.S. Youth, U.S. Junior and World Youth records simultaneously, and moving to #2 all-time World Junior. It was her 3rd straight NBNO 400H title.
- The Union Catholic, NJ girls Swedish medley relay, which zipped 2:07.99 to break its own 2015 standard and was anchored by McLaughlin's 50.93 -- thought to be the fastest-ever 400 leg by a prep girl in any relay.
- Lauren Harris, the Sachem East, NY junior who had previously become the first prep girl under 7:00 for the indoor 1-mile racewalk at NBNI, accomplished the same feat here Friday with her 6:52.23.
- The Ogden, UT boys' 4x1 mile relay, which held off Great Oak, CA (4x1600m record-holders) in a super-dramatic finish, 17:04.55 to 17:04.61 -- both under South Eugene's 1976 mark.
Some of the other most memorable performances, records or otherwise, included
- The greatest boys' prep shot put competition ever, as two -- Adrian Piperi at a meet record 73-5.25 and Jordan Geist at 73-2.75 -- went over 73 and three exceeded 71 feet in a single meet for the 1st time. And while Alyssa Wilson wasn't pushed as hard, she improved her #2 all-time girls' shot put to 55-9.25.
- A legendary girls' 100m hurdles final -- won by Chanel Brissett at 13.01 (#3 all-time) that featured two under 13.10, four under 13.20 and five under the meet record of 13.33.
- A rare 4x1/4x2/4x4 girls' relay sweep by Nansemond River/WAR, which set two meet records and two (nearly 3) national leaders. The only other girls' teams to achieve such a sweep were Dallas Skyline in 2004 and J.W. North in 2001.
- An unexpected boys' 100m/200m double (10.44/20.71) by 400 runner Champion Allison, who shared Athlete of the Meet honors with McLaughlin.
- An eye-popping 16:44.80 5,000m run by Minnesota 7th-grader Grace Ping, taking 2nd place behind champion Weini Kelati and breaking age-group/grade records.
- A pair of extraordinary victories by freshmen, including another 9th-grade national mark by Tyrese Cooper with his 45.69 400 win, and an all-conditions frosh best 43-5.75w triple jump by Jasmine Moore.
- Incredibly close winning margins in longer races, like the Kelati-Mareno battle in the girls' 2M (.06 seconds), the boys' 4x1 Mile Ogden vs. Great Oak war (also .06).
- Great performances by our 28-strong Team NSAF which competed at the Memorial Barrientos in Cuba, as well as 2015 Cuba CSI alums, as 8 scored victories and more than twice that were All-American. Also, our Project Javelin Gold athletes swept the javelin finals (Liam Christensen and a meet record by Katelyn Gochenour); another won the hept with a meet record (Emma Fitzgerald); and our Project Triple Jump girls went 1-2 in that event (Moore and Chinne Okoronkwo).
A special opening ceremonies honored our late NSAF co-founder, Mike Byrnes, as well as Honorary Referrees Tracy Yengo and Tracey Kobayashi, Mike Byrnes Coach of the Year Mike Smith, and staff awards to Walt Brem, Al Berkowski and Bob Baratta.
Again, a huge thanks to our great partners at New Balance, who worked with us to make this a truly memorable anniversary weekend; to Eastbay, our Presenting Sponsor; and all of those who worked ceaselessly for us here at the NSAF all weekend long.
A special note from Eastbay: Congratulations to all the elite athletes who competed at the 25th annual New Balance Nationals Outdoor! As presenting sponsors, Eastbay is honored to be part of your successful track and field season. And while that season may be over, the work never is. The best train year round, and we’re your preparation headquarters. Because at Eastbay, there is no offseason. Head to eastbay.com for our huge selection of New Balance gear.
A big thanks, too, to our other sponsors:
The Relaybatons.com (Official Baton Supplier) booth was hopping all weekend as teams had personalized batons created on the spot.
Others were hanging out at the Roll Recovery booth, trying out the products while warming up or recovering.
Thousands were wearing the bibs from Athlete Race Numbers, as they ran, walked, hurdled, jumped and threw.
More summer events
- Junior Nationals: The following weekend we witnessed three days of competition at USATF Junior Nationals at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Clovis, Calif. (the home of the CIF state meet). It was tremendous for us to see 11 NBNO champions bouncing back and winning Junior titles and earning tickets to the 2016 World Juniors in Bydgoszcz, Poland! They included our Project Jav throwers Katelyn Gochenour and Emma Fitzgerald (hept). Our Project Triple Jumper, Chinne Okoronkwo, made the team as well. Nearly 30 others who competed with us in Greensboro (or previous NBN meets) also earned berths with runner-up finishes or making relay pools. Check out interviews on our Facebook page. We will be in Poland with Team USA, bringing you coverage from the World Juniors, July 19-24, so stay tuned!
- Project Javelin in Finland: Our NSAF Project Javelin Gold is currently on its fourth trip to Finland for a week of training and competition with some of the world's best coaches. Check out training and competition clips, plus interviews on our Facebook page.
- American JavFest: The National Scholastic Athletics Foundation’s Project Javelin is proud to announce its second annual American JavFest, to be held in East Stroudsburg, Pa., the weekend of Saturday-Sunday, July 30-31, 2016. The first edition of the event in 2015 was a huge success, with javelin coaches and legends Jeff Gorski, Tom Pukstys, Duncan Atwood and Kate Schmidt educating and motivating, and the athletes producing outstanding performances. Details at the American JavFest site.
News You Can Use
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