2014 NBNI Previews: Boys and Girls Hurdles

by Steve Underwood

First in a series.

BOYS 60m HURDLES

(scroll down for Girls 60m Hurdles)

National Record:  7.57  Donovan Robertson  OH  2012
Meet Record:  7.60  Wayne Davis II  NC  2009

Top 6 Entrants
(based on current 60H, or 55H times converted)
7.84  Davon Anderson  14  (=US#1)
7.84  Chad Zallow  15  OH  (=US#1)
7.84*  Isaiah Moore  14  NC  (=US#1 7.28 55H)
7.84*  Grant Holloway  16  VA  (=US#1 7.28 55H)
7.90* Lee Warren  14  VA  (US#3 7.34 55H)
7.92  Marlon Humphrey  14  AL  (US#4)
(*=55H time X 1.076)

(based on career best)
7.76**  Marlon Humphrey  14  AL  14
7.84  Davon Anderson  14  OH  14
7.84  Chad Zallow  15  OH
7.84*  Isaiah Moore  14  NC
7.84*  Grant Holloway  16  VA
7.90*  Lee Warren  14  VA
(**=2013 PR)

2013 NBNI Top 6
(top 6 registered returnees in bold)
1  Freddie Crittenden  13  MI  7.72
Marlon Humphrey  14  AL  7.76
Isaiah Moore  14  NC  7.87
4  Charlie Forbes  13  AL  7.93
5  Jung Park  13  MA  7.99
Charles Graham  15  VA  8.00
Additional top returnees
Jay Hebert  14  NY  8.08 
2 (EE) Craig Rock  15  LA  8.02
(tie) 4 (EE pre) Grant Holloway  16  VA  8.14

Analysis
With a loaded field that includes a “little bit of everything,” this should really be an outstanding and intriguing event.  You have to start with last year’s 2nd- and 3rd-place finishers and top returnees, Marlon Humphrey (Hoover, AL senior) and Isaiah Moore (Cummings, NC senior).  Of course, NBNI was just the beginning of an amazing year for these two, with both going on to make the World Youth Champs final in the 110H (Humphrey 2nd and Moore 6th).  But while Moore’s full and pretty consistent undercover campaign – including a =US#1 7.28 55H and NC state title – makes him at least a co-favorite, Humphrey is more of a question mark.  On January 4, he ran a 7.92 in a prelim of an Icebreaker meet at the Birmingham Crossplex, but felt a "tweak" that kept him out of the final of that meet.  The injury acted up again at state, where he long jumped but did not hurdle.  Of course, Humphrey is a 5-star football recruit who signed with Alabama a few weeks ago.  He's reportedly healthy now and, if he's on, obviously has the talent to win with room to spare.

But there’s at least three more serious contenders for the 60H title besides Humphrey and Moore.  Prodigal talent Grant Holloway (Grassfield, VA soph) has been duking it with Moore for the national 55H lead all winter and, with his 7.28, now owns the frosh- and soph-class HSRs.  Despite competing for adjacent states, geographically, Holloway and Moore never met this winter.  But Holloway may remember last winter here as he went for a freshman/EE triple, winning the frosh 60 dash and 400, but false-starting the Emerging Elite 60H final.  He has plenty of reasons to be motivated.

Then there’s the Ohio duo of Chad Zallow (John F. Kennedy-Warren, junior) and Davon Anderson (Glenville, senior).  They share the US#1 spot at 7.84, but have had recent struggles.  Zallow ran his PR back on Jan. 11, but had a DNF when he matched up against Anderson in late February.  Anderson ran 7.95 in that race, after his PR run earlier in the month, but in today’s (March 8) Ohio D1 state meet, he was just 7th in 8.19 (after an 8.19 prelim).  Whether either will be back to form in New York is questionable.

And the list of contenders hardly ends with the above quintet.  Six others have run sub-8.00 for 60H or sub-7.40 for 55H, including additional 2013 NBNI 60H finalists Charles Graham (Phoebus, VA senior) and Jay Hebert (Ticonderoga, NY senior).  Both have run 7.37 for 55H this winter after taking 6th and 8th here, respectively, last March.  In sum, while it’s likely both the national and meet records will be safe, it should be a deep event with lots of intrigue.


GIRLS 60m HURDLES

National Record:  8.16  Jackie Coward  TN  2008
Meet Record:  8.17  Sasha Wallace  CA  2013

Top 6 Entrants
(based on current 60H, or 55H times converted)
8.18  Dior Hall  14  CO  (US#1)
8.37  Chantel Ray  14  VA  (US#2)
8.45  Sierra Brabham-Lawrence  15  PA  (=US#3)
8.46  Ciara Leonard  15  PA  (US#5)
8.47  Quenee’ Dale  14  MI  (US#6)
8.51  Alexis Duncan  16  TX  (US#7)
(*=55H time, X 1.076)

(based on career best)
8.17**  Dior Hall  14  CO
8.37  Chantel Ray  14  VA
8.45  Sierra Brabham-Lawrence  15  PA
8.46  Ciara Leonard  15  PA
8.47  Quenee’ Dale  14  MI
8.51  Alexis Duncan  16  TX
(**=2013 PR)

2013 NBNI Top 6
(top 6 registered returnees in bold)
1  Sasha Wallace  13  CA  8.17
2  Kendell Williams  13 GA  8.35
3  Shamier Little  13  IL  8.55
4  Leah Lott  13  VA  8.56
Chantel Ray  14  VA  8.64
Quenee' Dale  14  MI  8.67
Additional top returnees
Dior Hall  14  CO  8.71 (8.30sf)
3(EE)  Brittley Humphrey  AL  8.73
11(sf)  Shanel Burr  14  GA  8.77
12(sf)  Natisha Dixon  14  GA  8.81

Analysis
Unlike the boys’ 60m hurdles, the girls’ version of this event does have a heavy favorite:  Someone hoping to break a national record they’ve chased for three years and hoping to win their 2nd NBNI title.  Dior Hall (Denver Science and Tech/George Washington CO senior) was actually in a rare (for her) underdog role in 2012 when she won here with a soph class USR 8.19, beating favorite Trinity Wilson.  Last year, Hall was the co-fave with another Californian, Sasha Wallace – and dropped to 7th after hitting the last hurdle and stumbling in.  So she comes to New York seeking atonement and finally getting that record.  To illustrate Hall’s stature on the all-time lists, there are nine performances in history at 8.21 or better – Hall has five of them, compared to two for Wallace and HSR-holder Jackie Coward.  At Simplot last month, she was similarly wanting both a record and to make up for a fall in the 2012 event; she won, but with 8.20 – that was .04 off the record.

Behind Hall, there is a massive group of nine girls who have run sub-8.00 for 55H or sub-8.60 for 60H.  But Chantel Ray (Hampton, VA senior) – the top returnee from the 2013 NBNI 60H in 5th – gained some separation with her US#2 8.37 60H win in Kentucky and her nation-leading 7.90 at 55H.  Quenee’ Dale (Saline, MI senior), 6th here last year, ran 8.47 behind Ray at Kentucky.  Rising on the 60H list ahead of Dale last week at the Pennsylvania state meet, though, were Sierra Brabham-Lawrence (Harrisburg, junior) and Ciara Leonard (Cheltenham, junior) with 8.45 and 8.46 performances.  Ray and Dale, by the way, repped Team NSAF at the Caribbean Scholastic Invite last June.  It should be noted that Mikiah Brisco (Baton Rouge, LA senior), who shares a US#3 8.45 with Brabham-Lawrence, is focusing on the 60 dash (where she is US#1).


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