Welcome to the 2015 New Balance Nationals Outdoor

If it were just about the numbers – the history, the athletes, the records – the 2015 New Balance Nationals Outdoor would be impressive enough.  For starters, it was the 25th edition of the meet – that is to say, the 25th national outdoor championships that the National Scholastic Athletics Foundation has hosted, with the last six in concert with our partner, New Balance, and expressed most often as NBNO.  The big celebration is planned for 2016, the 25th “Anniversary” – don’t miss that!

Then there were the pure number of athletes who enjoyed the weekend – nearly 5,400 from 46 states, the District of Columbia and three Canadian provinces – the first time we’ve had more than 5,000 in one of our indoor or outdoor championships.  The standards keep getting tougher, but the kids keep getting better and better, and yearning more and more to join us in Greensboro.  Can’t beat that.

And then there’s the records: 5 national records, 3 class marks, and 33 – count ‘em, 33 – meet records.  That the majority of those records came in Emerging Elite, Freshman and even Junior High events says something to us:  While the competition between post-season meets for the most elite of elite athletes gets tougher each year, NBNO is also, unequivocally, where you go to become elite – where elite athletes are made!

But it’s the details of and the context wherein some of these records and other outstanding performances were produced that made the weekend so special.  So take a look at the list of records below, then consider these stories:

Moments before co-Athlete of the Meet (girls) Kate Hall of Lake Region, Maine would launch into the runup of her 6th attempt in the girls’ championship long jump Sunday afternoon, she watched Courtney Corrin take the lead with a personal best and all-conditions, nation-leading 21-5.25w effort.  If Hall was going to beat the Californian again, as she did with a meet record at NBN Indoor, she would need the jump of her life.  With a titanic effort, she got that and more – an eye-popping, wind-legal 22-5 that erased one of the oldest national prep records in the book (22-3 by Kathy McMillan in 1976).

As the baton reached Sammy Watson of Rush-Henrietta HS in New York in the girls’ 1,600m sprint medley relay Saturday afternoon – and she took off with it on the 800m anchor leg – a steady rain shower at Aggie Stadium was becoming a thunderous downpour.  Watson just took that as a sign she should run harder.  Her jaw-dropping 2:03.08 anchor completed Rush-Henrietta’s 3.17-second demolition of the national record in the event, lowering it to a once unthinkable 3:47.65.

The once-in-a-generation sprint/hurdles talent that is Sydney McLaughlin was on display three times – each a record-setting performance.  Friday, she anchored her Union Catholic, NJ 1,000m Swedish medley to a national best 2:08.88 with a 51.28 400m anchor.  Then Sunday, she started with a defense of her 400m hurdles title in 55.87 – a soph class nat’l record and just .24 off her 2014 PR that was #2 all-time.  But it was the 4x400m relay that was most impressive, not just for McLaughlin’s 51.45 anchor of the #4 all-time 3:35.90 performance, but that fact that she and Union Catholic fronted the best, deepest race in the history of the event.  The Motor City TC in 3:36.72 was the fastest non-winner ever in any race and five teams broke 3:40 for the first time!

How fitting was it that on a weekend that veteran mentor Carmen Jackson was honored as our national Mike Byrnes Coach of the Year, that her stellar girls at Miami Northwestern, Fla. crushed the meet record in the 4x200m relay (1:34.87), nearly did the same in ruling the 4x100m (45.57 after a 45.52 prelim), and nearly had an individual title from soph Twanisha Terry (2nd by .01 in the 100m final)?

And how about those thrilling moments and accomplishments that won’t be in the record book per se, but were a memorable part of the fabric of NBNO 2015?  They showed the best qualities of our student-athletes:

The determination and perseverance of co-Athlete of the Meet (girls) Ryan Frazier, as she duplicated the 5,000m/2-Mile/1-Mile triple of her sister Wesley from 2013 – with the NC State soph witnessing her sibling’s races and presenting the awards after each effort.

The prodigal talent and fearlessness of Tia Jones, the 8th-grade age-group phenom from Georgia who came into Greensboro for the 100m hurdles and defeated several older stars with her wind-aided, but blistering 13.08w – a performance unseen by anyone younger than a high school junior.  And, speaking of prodigies, don’t forget about the 46.44 400m 3rd-place finish by Florida’s Tyrese Cooper – another barrier-busting performance by an 8th-grader.

The execution of Athlete of the Meet (boys) Rai Benjamin of Mt. Vernon, New York, as he ran the first sub-50 400m hurdles by a prep in six years and held off tremendous challenges by Taylor McLaughlin and Norman Grimes with his 49.97.

The boldness of John Lewis of Cheltenham HS in Pa., as he scorched an unheard-of 49.41 first lap in the boys’ 800m final, then held on without losing form in a 1:48.33 triumph.

The predominance of the brothers Lyles of T.C. Williams HS in Virginia, as Noah swept the 100m and 200m dashes and Josephus overcame illness to defend his 400m title.

The redemption for athletes like Logan Wetzel in the long relays, Taylor McLaughlin in the hurdles/relays, throwers Haley Showalter and Adam Kelly and vaulter Paulo Benavides – among others – all of whom bounced back from difficult defeats, either from earlier in the meet or in previous NBN meets.

The ubiquitousness of the Western Branch, Va. boys on the medal stand as they took not two, not three, but four short relay titles: The 4x110m shuttle hurdles, the 800m sprint medley, the 1,000m Swedish medley and the 4x100m – surpassing even their stellar girls’ accomplishments this time.

The breakthroughs of champs like Kaylee Antill in discus, Jayla Kirkland in the 100 and 200, Christopher McBride in the long jump, Kiara Williams in the triple jump – all of whom served notice of upgrades in their elite status among the nation’s best athletes.

And, finally, the determined efforts of our 28 CSI/Cuba Team NSAF athletes – less than a week after returning from Havana – with victories by the Lyles brothers, Jaron Brooks, Nicole Greene and Sophia Rivera, and medal stand performances by many more.  They represented the best qualities of our athletes nationally and internationally.

What a weekend it was in Greensboro – and what a weekend we have to look forward to in 2016!

Photos of (top-to-bottom) Kate Hall, Sammy Watson, Ryen Fraizer and Rai Benjamin by Vic Sailer, Photorun.net

2015 Quickstart

More meet info

Valid USATF cards are required.

Spectacular Performances from 2015

Here are some of the outstanding performances from 2015:

2015 New Balance Nationals Outdoors - Records Summary
National Records
BOYS
Swedish Medley Western Branch Chesapeake VA 1:52.64
GIRLS
1600m Medley Rush-Henrietta Henrietta NY 3:47.65
Swedish Medley Union Catholic Scotch Plains NJ 2:08.88
4x100m Hurdles Western Branch Chesapeake VA 55.36
Long Jump Kate Hall Lake Region Casco ME 22-05
National Class Records
GIRLS
400m Hurdles Sydney Mc Laughlin Union Catholic Scotch Plains NJ 55.87 Sophomore
Mile Racewalk Lauren Harris Holtsville Holtsville NY 7:12.96 Sophomore
Long Jump Kate Hall Lake Region Casco ME 22-05 Senior
Meet Records
BOYS
Swedish Medley Western Branch Chesapeake VA 1:52.64
EE 400m Ky-Mani Dula Southern Alamance Graham NC 47.96
EE 800m Cameron Cooper Oak Oark Oak Park MI 1:52.05
EE Mile Chris Heydrick Ellicott City Ellicott City MD 4:12.30
EE 4x200m Andover Andover MA 1:28.70
EE 4x800m Summit Summit NJ 7:52.24
EE 1600m Medley North Mecklenburg Charlotte NC 3:25.89
EE Discus Cameron Yon Great Mills Great Mills MD 171-01
EE Javelin Jacob Stanko Manchester Manchester NH 181-02
EE Hammer John Putnam Massapequa Massapequa NY 190-06
Freshman TJ Jayvon James Fleming Roanoke VA 43-07.25
JHS Mile Noah Tindale Guilderland Guilderland NY 4:31.94
JHS Javelin Roman Mitchell Southeast Raleigh NC 193-01
GIRLS
400m Hurdles Sydney Mc Laughlin Union Catholic Scotch Plains NJ 55.87
4x200m Relay Northwestern Miami FL 1:34.87
4x400m Relay Union Catholic Scotch Plains NJ 3:35.90
1600m Medley Rush-Henrietta Henrietta NY 3:47.65
Swedish Medley Union Catholic Scotch Plains NJ 2:08.88
4x100m Hurdles Western Branch Chesapeake VA 55.36
Long Jump Kate Hall Lake Region Casco ME 22-05
EE 100m Brooke Raglin Bryan Station Lexington KY 11.84
EE 400m Danielle Bess American Heritage Plantation FL 55.13
EE 800m Ceara Watson Rush-Henrietta Henrietta NY 2:08.61
EE 100m Hurdles Shamaria Lovett Northwestern Miami FL 14.06
EE 400m Hurdles De'Andreah Young Northwestern Miami FL 60.19
EE 4x400m Bullis Potomac MD 3:48.12
EE DMR Coginchaug Durham CT 11:57.06
EE Pole Vault= Landon Kemp Greenville Greenville MI 12-03.5
EE Triple Jump Jamie Robinson De La Salle Chicago IL 40-07.5
EE Javelin Meghan Owens King Harrodsburg KY 136-05
Freshman LJ Breanna Gambrell Athens Athens PA 18-05.75
Freshman TJ Amiya Anoma Randallstown Randallstown MD 36-11.5
JHS Javelin Alexis Clark Fredericksburg Fredericksbug MD 112-07
See all results

Emerging Elite vs Championship

The Championship races are for those who have made the qualifying standards for those events. The Emerging Elite is for those who have not quite made those standards. The Emerging Elite Division is open to any high school athlete who has made the Emerging Elite standards, whether they be Freshman, Sophomores, Juniors or Seniors.

The idea is that, eventually, an Emerging Elite athlete will join the elite ranks, but has not yet attained that status. We have had this division in place for several years now in the outdoor version of this meet. A prime example is that of Kyle Merber. He won the Emerging Elite mile as a junior in 2007 in 4:15.95 (The championship mile was won in 4:03.33). The next year he was New York State 1600m Champion. And, this year, his Sophomore year at Columbia U, he ran 3:58.62 for a mile! Similarly, Megan Goethals was the Emerging Elite mile champion in 2008 in 4:59.26. In 2009, she became the Foot Locker National Champion in cross-country.

Our Partners

Our Meet Partners