Note: This is a corrected version of the original NSAF Bulletin in which the name Project Javelin thrower Joe Nizich was accidentally left off. The NSAF apologizes for the omission.
Athing Mu won NBN 800 titles both indoors and outdoors in 2018. Photo from NBNationals.com.
NBNI Final Countdown has commenced!
We’re entering the peak of the indoor season and the 2019 New Balance Nationals Indoor is bearing down on us like two elite sprinters battling to the tape in the 4x200 Championship Final! That’s right, we can’t wait either!
More than 3,000 athletes from 40+ states and Canada will again converge on the Fort Washington Armory in New York City (Washington Heights), March 8-10. It’s our 9th indoor nationals with New Balance and the 37th undercover championship since our beloved NSAF founders Jim Spier and the late Mike Byrnes helped create it in 1983. We couldn’t do it without all of our staff, officials and volunteers who lovingly serve from all corners of the country.
Anticipation is as great as ever for the track and field fireworks that are sure to take place. What events are you looking forward to most and what athletes are you most excited to watch? Will the Bulldogs of Bullis add to or rewrite their own national boys’ and girls’ relay records? Can the amazing Anna Hall three-peat in the pentathlon and top Kendell Williams’ 4,068-point standard? How far will Northwest strongman Trey Knight throw the 25-pound weight? Will Jasmine Moore win her 3rd straight triple jump title? Can Katelyn Tuohy add to her amazing resume of records and championships? Are rising stars like Marcellus Moore, Kurt Powdar and Max Manson ready to win their first indoor titles?
Second Hall of Fame class to be inducted!
No one who attended the inaugural National High School Track and Field Hall of Fame induction ceremony at the NYAC last year will ever forget it. The celebration of the accomplishments of legends like Jesse Owens, Jim Ryun, Mary Decker Slaney and Allyson Felix – among many others – can’t really be topped. But the acknowledging the incredible history of the sport goes beyond just the “household names” and seeks to recognize those that may not have the name-recognition of some, but whose achievements made them all-time greats in their events and their eras.
So the recently announced 2019 class – set to be inducted after NBNI on Sunday, March 10 – includes four members of the historic 1968 U.S. Olympic Team who made the team as preps, as well as athletes and coaches instrumental to the advancement of women’s track and field before Title IX. The list of inductees is 17-strong, including three coaches and contributors, and ranges from Bud Houser of the Class of 1922 to Roy “Robot” Martin in the Class of 1985. The 1968 Olympians (while preps) include Patty van Wolvelaere, Reynaldo Brown, Casey Carrigan and Margaret Johnson Bailes, while Barbara Friedrich made the '68 team the year following her graduation. The inductees also includes Atoms Track Club founder and long-time coach Fred Thompson of Brooklyn, who passed away just weeks ago. Tickets can be purchased here.
Unforgettable: Team NSAF's first-ever trip to Iceland
There’s one thing Team NSAF knows for sure after their historic first trip to Iceland in early February: They can’t wait to go back! A 2020 return is already being planned after a spectacular first experience at the Reykjavik International Games in the Icelandic capital. The performances ranged from good to great, the sightseeing was spectacular and the hospitality shown by the European nation’s athletics federation – topped by an unexpected awards celebration the final evening – was unforgettable.
Eight athletes were chosen for the event earlier in the winter: Marcellus Moore, Ashton Allen, Mordecai McDaniel and Malcolm Johnson Jr. for the boys; Leah Phillips, Nia Frederick, Hannah Waller and Mary Gregory for the girls. Team NSAF fielded two 4x200 relays; an outstanding 1:26.40 victory for the boys and a fine 1:39.36 runner-up performance for the girls. Individually, all eight athletes excelled, with Marcellus (US#1 6.71 60m dash) and Ashton (US#2 47.70 400m) scoring victories.
Speed ruled for Team NSAF and next year we hope to expand the team to 12 athletes and extend the trip an extra day. #RIG19 was an experience all will remember for a long time to come.
Project Triple Jump thrilled with historic Cuba trip
What an amazing bounty it was last month to take our NSAF Project Triple Jump athletes to Cuba for the first time! From 2015-17, the NSAF sent a team for our Caribbean Scholastic Invitational, then the Memorial Barrientos meet. But this is the first time we’d held a clinic in Havana – capital of a nation that has produced so many outstanding medal-winning and record-setting jumpers. We were blessed with not only our NSAF Project founding coaches, but U.S. triple jump legends Willie Banks and Kenny Harrison – both of whom were overwhelmed to be in Cuba for the first time – and a Cuban coaching staff led by Juan Gualberto Nápoles Cárdena and Yoelbi Quesada. And, of course, Cuban Olympic legends Alberto Juantorena worked with us to help make it happen.
So, after that stellar weekend in January, we look forward to seeing what our athletes can do with the rest of the indoor season and then the outdoor season ahead. India Turk, Nick Drayden, Ty Trinh, Malcolm Clemens and Riley Burger are all in their second or third years with the Project, while Jadan Hanson, Orsciana Beard and Jordan Hardy are our first-year athletes. Seven of our jumpers have already been competing, winning and setting PRs indoors, while Malcolm (our Californian) is prepping for an early outdoor campaign after repping Team USA in the LJ in last fall’s Youth Olympics!
Project Javelin preps for outdoor explosion at LSU
An outstanding 2018-19 clinic season for the NSAF’s Project Javelin Gold concluded last weekend with another super clinic at Baton Rouge – with the Project athletes and many other registrants preparing for the outdoor season soon at hand in the Bayou as has been done on several previous occasions. Once again, we had the bounty of working with German Olympian Raymond Hecht, our special guest coach visiting for the 2nd time in four months – as well as the stellar NSAF staff. And it was again a privilege to have Coach Rob Woosley as our local host, providing unmatched hospitality in addition to his coaching.
We can’t wait to see what our Project athletes accomplish in 2018: Veterans Joe Nizich, Skylar Ciccolini, Zech Blake, Sam Hankins and Ty Hampton, plus 1st-year throwers Sydney Juszczyk, Katelyn Fairchild and Alianna Eucker! Already several have achieved All-American status and Skylar repped Team USA last fall in the Youth Olympics. Championships and records await this spring.
NSAF Select Meets on fire!
The 2018-19 NSAF Select Meet season has been a thriller so far, with some of the biggest highlights coming at the VA Showcase meet in January, as the national record-setting included new 4x400 and 4x200 boys’ standards by Coach Joe Lee’s Bullis School (MD) Bulldogs (photo of the Bullis boys 4x400 from Mary Ann Magnant gallery, part of Milestat.com coverage). The winter slate to date has also included the “BIG3” High School Series at Ocean Breeze, the Mondo Elite HS Invitational at the JDL Fast Track in Winston-Salem, and the new Bullis Champion Speed Invite at The Armory in NYC.
The last pre-NBNI Select Meet is this weekend’s 41st Annual Simplot Games in Pocatello, ID. Then the outdoor schedule includes the Bob Hayes Invitational, Chandler Rotary Invite, Beach Run Invitational, Arcadia Invitational, Mobile Challenge of Champions, Bojangles T&F Classic Bulldog Invitational, Howard Wood Dakota Relays and the post-season Great Southwest Classic. Check out this story for an explanation of the Select Meet program, plus dates, location, meet directors and links.