Girls One-Mile Race Walk - New Meet Record
It's pretty hard breaking two records in three days," Heather Buletti knew.
But it wasn't impossible, either, and that's exactly what his Westhampton Beach, NY senior went out and did.
In the very first NON track Friday final, Buletti blitzed the field in a start-to-finish, every-step-of-the-way, 7:00.87 victory. Reeling off 1:36, 1:47, 1:48 and 1:49 laps, passing the 1,500-meter mark in 6:32.32, she demolished the meet record of 7:16.02 set by another Long Islander, Maria Michta, two years ago.
But it wasn't an improvement on her own National record of 6:49.63 she had achieved just two days earlier back home in Bellmore, NY.
The heat and lack of anybody remotely close to her precluded any serious challenge to that 6:49.63.
Lauren Forgues of Boothbay Regional, Maine was over 100 meters back in 7:33.27 for the silver and another Long Islander, 2005 NON champion Jenna Monahan snared third in 7:51.57, 1.14 seconds speedier than her winning time a year back.
A young veteran of international competition - she was a top American finisher in the World Cup of Walking 10K in LaCoruna, Spain - Buletti is already considered a future Olympic candidate - if not 2008 Beijing, then 2012 London.
She's a winner in the classroom, too, as a perfect 4.0 student and salutatorian of her senior class.
"My splits weren't really on," she said. "After three laps, I was slowing down. But that's OK. I still have next year and college (to compete in the Junior/19-under ranks.)
"I'm going to RPI (as a biomedical engineering major) but I know I'll have to train independently because walking's not on the college program. My big goal for next year is to make the Pan American Cup down in Rio (de Janeiro, Brazil.) With more experience and more mileage under my belt, I know I can do a lot better."
The 17-athlete event went off in two sections and first heat winner Lindsay Conway of Rochester, NY (8:17.95) wound up seventh over-all.
Girls 100 Meter Final
Eight lanes, eight state champions. It was a true track devotee's vision of what a national final should be.
But there was no holding the Mayo, Gabby Mayo of nearby Raleigh, just 85 miles southeast on Highway 40.
The junior began opening ground on the field 55 meters down the track and won it by a full stride in 11.42, running into a slight-negative wind of 0.7 meters a second.
Many figured the race would belong to Bianca Knight, the Ridgeland, Mississippi junior who came in with the nation-leading legal-wind time of 1l.40. But others dug a little deeper into the stats heap and detected Mayo's wind-aided credential of 11.14.
Knight settled for second for the silver in 11.63 as the closest decisions involved separating the 3-4-5-6-7 finishers, who crossed the line within 0.08 seconds. It was Brittany Long of Atlanta (11.71) who emerged to snare third.
Moments before Mayo's triumph, the boys 100 title was claimed by her half-brother, Brandon Banks, in 10.42.
Mayo actually ran 1/100th faster in the trials, clocking an 11.41, with Knight advancing in 11:48. Richmond, Texas's Jessica Gregory had posted an 11.156 in her prelim, and that would have been fast enough for second in the final. But, next time around, she slowed to 11.77 for fifth.
The versatile Mayo is also a top hurdles candidate.
An interviewer asked: "Is there anything you can't do?"
Said Mayo, "yes, the high jump."
Mayo made no mistakes.
"It was the perfect race, it was the best race I've run this year," she said.
"My start was perfect. I've been working on it every day. I executed when the time was right.
"I was nervous today, and I know I'm going to be nervous tomorrow, in the hurdles."
Girls 200 Meters - final
Busy-busy-busy, Mayo had already won the 100 Friday and picked herself off the track after failing to finish the 100 hurdles final.
But the Raleigh racer couldn't add a second gold,settling for bronze in a race won by Bianca Day, the sensational Ridgeland, Mississippi junior and already a World Youth champion, in a clearcut 23.06.
Canoga Park, California senior Elizabeth Olear netted the silver (23.54) with Mayo grabbing third (23.55) precisely one-one hundredth back.
At 23.46, Mayo had led the way in the 32-runner prelims Saturday morning. Knight qualified in 23.77, Evanston, Illinois' Shalina Clarke in 23.89 and Olear 23.93 in other sections. It took a 24.35 or better to advance.
Girls 400 Meters - New Meet Record
Jessica Beard, the Euclid, Ohio junior, will soon be ready for her sport's biggest time. Her golden 52.04 400-meter NON performance already has a lot of track and field's most knowledgeable fans predicting a glory-filled future.
Beard, third at NON 2005, did a lot more than move to the top of the USA 2006 year list with that 52.04. It was a meet record, demolishing Brittany Jones' 52.44 of 2005, and gained an equal share of 11th place on the USA all-time list.
With 120 meters to go, this was anybody's race. But, as Missouri's Brandi Cross weakened, Beard gathered new strength and sped home a two-stride winner.
Cross clocked a 52.65 while Greenbelt, Md/Blazin' Raider Club's Elan Hilaire (54.40) was edging NJ State Meet of Champions winner Tiffany Grant of Ocean Township (54.68) for third.
"I like going against the best," said Beard. "It's a challenge to run against all of them. I don't get that opportunity at home, I knew I'd had to kick early the way she (Cross) was running."
Girls 800 Meters
The late Kim Gallagher's 1982 National record of 2:00.07 may endure for eons. It's not even under discussion these days. Tameika Grizzle's NON mark of 2:04.55 in 1996 is pretty impressive, too.
Chanelle Price, running for the United Stars, is only a sophomore at Easton Area High School, Pa. but maybe there's hope of her moving to national record territory, too, before graduation in 2008.
Price was a most impressive winner, of the seventh heat and all of NON. crossing the line in 2:07.71. with Fairfield, California's Dominique Jackson (2:08.25) snaring second and Boulder, Colorado's Sarah Cocco (2:08.50) third. This was a youngster's event race - not a senior making top five.
"It was so competitive," said Price. "I like to feel the competition on the first lap and then accelerate about 600. It was hot but I like it this way. This was my first year running in this meet and I'm very glad I came."
Leading 2006 NON senior happened to be celebrated LSU-bound Latavia Thomas of Philadelphia's West Catholic. Thomas took the sixth section in 2:09.40, only to see five others run faster in the next race.
Girls Freshman Mile
Look out, track and field world, here comes Jillian Smith.
The Southern Regional/Manahawkin, NJ rookie came on like a whirlwind the final month of her season running behind varsity star Danielle Tauro, the Millrose Games and Penn Relays champion.
The NON race, at last, gave 14-year-old a chance to step out on her own on a major stage, and she took full advantage of the opportunity.
Unleashing a 1:10.3 final lap kick, Smith won this one, the third of three sections, going away in 4:59.08, some six seconds off her best but first-rate in the hot conditions.
Voorhees Track Club's Melanie Thompson (5:06.30) was outclassed by Smith down the stretch. The silver medal eventually went to Saint Charles East of Illinois' Elizabeth Hynes, winner of heat two in 5:00.77.
Mary Prakel, Versailles of Ohio, nabbed heat one in 5:13.24 and was 11th over-all.
The NON record, 4:54.08 set last year, remains sole property of Chesapeake, Va.'s Aurora Scott.
Danielle Tauro had already won the Millrose Games mile, the Penn Relays mile, and everything she surveyed in New Jersey, But the Southern Regional/Manahawkin, NJjunior still had a big world to conquer, specifically the 2006 NON.
Many here were touting the sensational 14-year-old Mission College Prep,San Luis Obispo, California freshman, Jordan Hasay, already the Footlocker National XC champion.
Others touted another super Californian, Corona Del Mar senior Anne St. Geme. A pack of other hot runners, all sub-five-minute caliber, would line up for the 10-athlete third section event, too.
Sachem, NY's Laura Greene had taken the opening section in 4:59.38. Catherine White, Roanoke, Va. Northside, claimed race two in 4:53.09.
Now it was time to get it on with one of the most heralded high school races in years.
Maple Leaf Track Club's Bridget Franek led the pack through an opening 1:09.8 lap before giving way. It was Hasay and St. Geme together at 2:23.9 for 800, with Tauro now lurking prominently.
It was 3:34.1 at 1200 and Tauro at Hasay's shoulder.
The NJ star, true to past races, waited until the final backstretch to make her signature move.
Unleashing the speed that's made her the 55.9 anchor on the Southern 4x400 team, she let it all out around the final turn and into the straightaway.
Now, it was only a matter of the final time.
Soon it was known - 4;39.25, fifth fastest in American history. Hasay faded just enough to let St. Geme move up to claim second, 4:41.57 to 4:42.27.
Dennis-Yarmouth, Mass.'s Colleen Wetherbee, another great junior, was under 4:50, too, with her 4:49.44 fourth place.
"Awesome, amazing," Southern Regional coach Brian Zatorski called it. "Danielle was extremely nervous going in. Her teammates did a great job of calming her down."
"On the last lap, I was looking for another gearr…and I found it," said Tauro. "After all the excitement, and all the build-up, I just stuck to coach's game plan. Everything went perfectly."
"I know I gave it my best effort," said Hasay. "It was just a great race and I was happy to be part of it. Danielle, she was just too good for us today."Girls Two-Mile Run
After Cypress Bay, Florida's Emilie Amaro (10:51.36) and Corona Del Mar, California's Sarah Cummings (10:44.52) won the opening sections, the real racing was underway.
Would someone break 10 minutes? (The meet and National records are Molly Huddle's 10:01.08 in 2002.)
Would someone break 10:10? (Not achieved since Huddle?)
Would anyone outspeed the 2005 winner, Elizabeth Yetzer of Lakeville, Minnesota (10:15.73)?
Answers: no, no, yes.
The racing was superb - still anyone's to win around the final turn.
Yetzer beat her 2005 time, all right, with a 10:12.09, but she couldn't beat another senior Minnesotan, Bria Wetsch of Holy Family Catholic High, Victoria.
Wetsch took it in 10:10.50, now No. 2 time in NON history, with Yetzer's 10:12.09 now No. 3 on the NON charts.
Runnng their way onto the all-time meet list, too, were Eureka, Missouri's Merideth Snow (10:15.49) and Warwick Valley, NY's Aislinn Ryan (10:16.85.)
"Wow, I PRed by 12 seconds," said the delighted Wetsch. "Coming in, my best was 10:22.
"The conditions were perfect. In Minnesota, it's usually very windy.
"I was actually born in North Carolina (May 24, 1988), in Durham. Then we moved to Minnesota when I was 2."
Her next stop: Eugene, Oregon.
"I'm going to be a Duck," she said, smiling.
Girls 5,000 Meters
Bona Jones turned the first edition of the NON 5,000 meters into a runaway. The Estero, Florida senior cruised her 12.5 laps in 16:57.61 for an automatic meet record, leaving runnerup Stefanie Slekis of Woodbridge, Va. (17:44.17) and third-placer Laura Gallo of Cranford, NJ (17:49.47) on the far side of the track.
Girls 100-Meter Hurdles Trials
April Williams becomes top choice in the Saturday final. The Syline High/Dallas Flyers Club junior star was the clear class of the 36-runner, six-section prelims with her 13.70 romp.
Four were blanketed just 0.05 apart behind her - 100-meter champion Gabby Mayo of Raleigh (13.78), Shalina Clarke of Evanston, Illinois (13.82), Jacquelyn Coward of Knoxville (13.82), and 2006 Nike indoor champion Nia Ali of Pleasantville, NJ (13.83.)
Girls 100 Meter Hurdles
Gabby Mayo's hopes of adding the 100 hurdles to the 100 flat title she claimed Friday night evaporated over the eighth hurdle. Tangled up, she failed to finish and saw seven others racing to the wire.
April Williams emerged as the gold medal pick a day earlier. The Syline High/Dallas Flyers Club junior star was at the top of her game with her decisive 13.70 prelim run.
Challenges out of the trials, though, loomed from Shalina Clarke of Evanston, Illinois (13.82), Jacquelyn Coward of Knoxville (13.82), 2006 Nike indoor champion Nia Ali of Pleasantville, NJ (13.83), along with Mayo.
All that early form held up in the final as Williams raced home in 13.52 with Clarke (13.59), Coward (13.62) and Ali (13.65) in a tight blanket finish.
Girls 400 Meter Hurdles
Once upon a time, Hudson County, NJ was a major producer of big-time track athletes. Such notables as Andy Stanfield, Al Blozis, Charlie Mays, Bob Rodenkirchen, Charley Slade, Ian Pyka and Johnny Kopil all had Hudson County roots.
Now, it's Leslie Njoku's turn to make a name for herself. The McNair Academic of Jersey City junior came in as the champion of her state and goes home as the champion of the nation.
With a solid 59.28 performance, Njoku led all NON pursuers. Three other Northeasterners - Nicole Saunders of Menchville, Va. (59.50), Ryann Krais of Methacton, Pa. (59.64) and Dalilah Muhammad of Queens, NYC (59.82) - grabbed spots 2-3-4 and were the only others under a minute.
"You come into a meet, thinking you're going to have a hard time winning, and then you walk away with a gold medal - that's amazing," said Njoku.
"There is so much great competition here. From the (pre-meet) times I saw, I knew everyone was close, so you don't know.
"I made a move off the (second) turn, and I just tried o stay smooth over the last hurdle.
"The beginning of my season was crazy. I didn't do as well as I'd hoped at Penn Relays. But during the state meet I stepped up my game, and all this gives me a lot of confidence."
Not here, though, was senior Krystal Cantey who won the 2005 NON in a meet record 56.83 for Winslow Township, NJ. The National record of 55.20 by Leslie Maxie dates back to 1984.
Girls 2000 Meter Steeplechase - New National Record
The new steeplechasing shoes go "squish, squish, squish" - letting the water seep out - so runners don't go "flop, flop, flop." So NON announcer Ty Smith reminded the crowd.
This one sure was no flop - producing the huge drama of a two-time, defending NON champion and National record-holder Lindsey Ferguson of Kinetic Track Club/Saratoga Springs, NY losing both her NON crown and the National and meet records.
Ferguson was considered a virtual "lock," one of the strongest favorites at NON 2006. After all, she'd won here as a sophomore (6:45.49) and junior (6:39.60) and lowered the USA record to 6:36.05 just last Saturday.
But no one was consulting Reno, Nevada junior Marie "Mel" Lawrence, already a USA XC junior internationalist in any of this analysis - what a mistake.
It was anyone's race with some 250 meters to go. But Lawrence passed the Notre Dame-bound Ferguson on the last barrier of the backstretch, extended the lead through the water jump, and won it going away.
Ferguson had no real response after Lawence passed her and settled for the silver in 6:45.46. Kinetic TC had the third-placer, too, sophomore Hannah Davidson in 6:58.79, with no one else under 7.
"My coach told me to stop running for second," said Lawrence. "I've been training pretty hard for this ever since the state meet. I run hard at least once a week and the rest of the time I do drills.
"I don't have a steeplechase setup at my high school so I try to simulate the water jump with the way I hop off the hurdle.
"At the 600-meter (remaining) mark, I still had a lot left, so I felt myself starting to pick up. At about 400 meters, I begin to see her (Ferguson) starting to fade."
Providing prologue was first-section winner Danielle Karagannis of Northport, NY in 7:38.55.
Girls 4x100 Meter Relay Qualifying
Four heats whittled 28 candidtate teams to eight finalists, led by section winners Harding University High (47.01), Spartanburg, SC (47.24), Hempstead, NY (47.24) and Therrell of Atlanta (47.36.)
Girls 4x100 Meter Relay Final
Long Beach Poly's Natonal 2004 record of 44.50 remains safe. Same for Skyline of Dallas' NON best-ever 45.63, also in '04.
But the eight 2006 finalists still delivered a brilliant competitive, anybody-can-win-it, one lapper.
Harding University High, running with freshman Ranae Nelson, soph Ashley Bethune, frosh Nyosha Bryant and junior Felicia Paulding, brought the golds back to nearby Charlotte in 46.61. Hard on the Harding heels were Hempstead, NY at 46.81, Therell of Atlanta at 47.10 and Uniondale, NY at 47.42. Four more clubs went under 48.
Nelson saw it as "organized chaos for us.
"We had people all over. Two of us were getting ready for the long jump."
Friday's four heats whittled 28 candidtate teams to the eight finalists, led by section winners Harding (47.01), Spartanburg, SC (47.24), Hempstead (47.24) and Therrell (47.36.)
Girls 4x200 Meter Relay
Three and a half hours after their sprint medley victory, those Blazin' Raiders of Eleanor Roosevelt High blazed again.
The same four carried the baton -Antoinette Arrington, Elan Hilaire, and twins Takecia and Tameka Jameson.
They again made it look easy, zipping two laps in 1:37.80 for an easy section verdict over Harding University High (1:39.47.)
But the over-all silvers went to Therrell of Atlanta, first heat winner in 1:38.62.
Girls 4x400 Meter Relay
Chalk up No. 3 for the Blazin' Raiders of Eleanor Roosevelt High, Greenbelt, Md.
They'd already raced to golds in the 1600-meter sprint medley and the 4x200 Friday and completed the trifecta with a 3:40.16 verdict in the 4x400.
This time, it was the quartet of Tasha Stanley, Elan Hilaire, and twins Takecia and Tameka Jameson doing the job, every step of every lap.
"We made sure we'd give it our all, even if we had to crawl to finish line," said Stanley.
"To do what we did against all these great fields, that's a great honor."
Added Tameka Jameson: "It's not easy to run that far out front. It was really the crowd that helped us. I loved the excitement of running under the lights, here on a good track, in North Carolina."
It was no contest.
Brooklyn's Boys and Girls High ran second (3:45.98) with Miami Northwestern third (3:46.35.)
Five teams broke 3:50, 12 went under 3:55, and 24 of the 41 entries beat four minutes.
Other heat winners were: Newburgh, NY Elite (4:00.31), Rumson-Fair Haven, NJ Regional (3:56.16), Morgan Park, Illinois (3:57.43), Benjamin Cardozo (3:48.79) and Weaver of Hartford, Ct. (3:53.18.)
Girls 4x800 Meter Relay
It was the 25 teams chasing Suffern, NY who were doing the sufferin'.
"They're doing a great, great job gapping a great, great field," announcer Doug Speck told the Irwin Belk Stadium crowd.
Suffern had posted the second best time in US history, 8:51.00, just off the Boys and Girls of Brooklyn 2002 National record of 8:50.41, coming in and had high hopes of dipping into National record territory.
It just wasn't to be.
Suffern, with no serious challenger on the premises, won it in 8:55.32, for the eighth best time in US annals.
Christy Goldmann (2:16.9), Shelby Greany (2:13.8), Kara McKenna (2:11.1) and Caroline Heidt (2:13.6) made it look easy for Suffern.
"We went out pretty slow, actually," said Goldmann. "Then everyone started to pick it up. We like running at night. The conditions were like this when we ran 8:51 (at the Warwick Valley, NY meet.)"
Added Heidt: "I'm a little disappointed we didn't get the record, but the victory was more important."
The Spirit of Pre Track Club/Saline, Michigan girls were a distant second in 9:04.91 with Irish Road Track Club/Conestoga, Pa. third in 9:07.90.
Girls 4xMile Relay - New Meet Record
Roxbury, NJ freshman Ariann Neutts is already one of the nation's great young middle distance prospects.
"She needs a 4:53 now," announcer Doug Speck told the early-morning crowd as Neutts took the stick for her four anchor laps in the 4xmile relay.
Well, Neutts was terrific and delivered a solid 4:55.2 anchor and brought Roxbury home handsomely with no one else remotely close.
With senior Jenn Ennis (4:58.0) leading off, sophomore Lauren Penney (5:00.3) second, and senior Kristen Stevens (5:03.8) setting it up, Neutts did the rest.
"All of us have put in the dedication it takes this year, so anything we accomplish is not a surprise," said Neutts."The race was still close when I started running, but I knew I had an excellent shot of pulling away."
Roxbury's 19:58.07 will be recorded as the second best time in USA history, topped only by Suffern, NY's 19:56.80 two weeks ago.
The Runnin' Gear/Fort Washington, Md. team was a distant second in 20:46.69 with Kinetic Track Club/Saratoga Springs, NY third in 21:03.26.
Minnesota's Lakeville North (21:08.99) and Bronxville, NY's 21:09.99 snared the 4-5 spots, and Colonie, NY's 21:36,73 out of the second section wound up taking seventh over-all.
Girls Distance Medley Relay
Anne St. Geme had settled for second in the individual mile. The Stanford-bound Corona Del Mar, California senior wasn't going to settle for second in the DMR.
It took a 4:46.9 concluding four laps to do it, fighting off determined Warwick Valley, NY senior rival Aislinn Ryan, whose own split was under 4:48.
Corona Del Mar's Shelby Buckley, Claire Schmidt and Sarah Cummings set the stage for anchor St. Geme.
The team's first three splits: 3:30.5, 59.8 and 2:17.4. St. Geme's stamina was never in question.
"During the season I've done a lot of triples and I've got a lot of strength like that," she said.
"We really had the National record in mind, but we wanted the title more than anything.
"There were so many great teams out there."
Corona Del Mar's 11:34.65 and Warwick Valley's 11:36.41 go into the books as the 3-4 marks of all time. Still atop the list: Bayshore, NY's 11:33.42 at the 2004 NON.
Girls 800m Sprint Medley Relay
The Uniondale, NY Long Islanders were fast and dominant.
Vanessa Thompson, Heidi Paul, Ashley Hendrix and Ashlea McLaughlin did the job in this 100-100-200-400 special, clocking a 1:42.95 and now rank fourth on the all-time NON charts, a list headed by William Penn of Philadelphia's 1:40.95 of 2003.
Said the overjoyed Hendrix, "This feels really good for all of us because we accomplished everything we said we would when we came in here.
"Even if we didn't come in first, it still would have been good to come in here and compete against the best in the nation."
Northwestern of Miami's 1:43.59 grabbed second, with three New Jersey squads, Camden (1:44.33), East Orange Campus (1:45.30) and Woodrow Wilson of Camden (1:45.78) right on their heels. That's an interesting factoid - because this short sprint medley is almost never run in New Jersey.
Girls 1600 Sprint Medley Relay
The Blazin' Raiders of Eleanor Roosevelt High, Greenbelt, Md. knew they could sizzle. And so did the 32 other teams in the five-section, 200-200-400-800 event, even West Catholic of Philadelphia, riding a three-year NON winning streak, even with 2004-05 anchor and LSU-bound Latavia Thomas back for West Catholic.
The Raiders did not disappoint.
Their 3:52.38 out of heat five will go into the books as the number two time in USA history, topped only by West Catholic's 2004 3:52.22. West Catholic's other winners were a 3:53.78 in 2005 and a 3:57.27 in 2003.
Thomas ran a solid 2:11.9 anchor and her team ran fourth in 3:58.32.
But the eye-opener was Tameka Jameson's 2:09.4 anchor for the Blazin' Raiders.
Antoinette Arrington, the Raider quartet's only senior, who raced over from the triple jump runway (she wound up seventh in the TJ), wasn't completely content. All she'd say was "I ran OK."
"This was tough," said No. 2 Raider Elan Hilaire. "We had the national record-holders in with us. But we had enough to win."
No. 3 Raider Takecia Jameson, twin of Tameka, had full confidence in her sister's ability.
"I said to myself, if anyone else is going to catch Tameka, they're really going to have to run. It would have been nice getting the National record, but winning Nationals is pretty good, too.
Tameka more than lived up to expectations.
"Sure there was a lot of pressure on me, but I knew that if my teammates had the lead after three legs, I could hold it," she said.
Boys and Girls High of Brooklyn came on strong to snare second in 3:56.08 with Northwestern of Miami, Florida (3:56.92) also getting in ahead of West Catholic.
Emily Pendleton, the Woodmere of Lindsey, Ohio junior, came in as owner of all the top marks - best of 172-8 - on the year list and so was the overwhelming favorite.
She did not disappoint - whirling out all six throws longer than second-place sophomore Natalie Baird's 155-6 for Sterling, Va. Pendleton's eventual winner, 166-3, came in the fourth round. Her big series also included 165-8 and 163-9 heaves.
Pendleton expects to be back at NON 2007 and take one more shot at the meet record - Krista Keir's 175-9 for Ohio's Westerville South, dating back to 1997. Two more beat 150 - Colorado's Paige Newby (153-0) and Union City, Pa.'s Natalie Clickett (151-0.)
Said Pendleton: "I've won (Ohio) States for three years in a row, so hopefully I can make it four. And there's more to go this summer. I can't wait for more meets.
Girls Hammer Throw
Pocatello, Idahoan Maureen Griffin's 1998 National record of 201-7 looks better with every passing season. No one at NON 2006 was anywhere close to being in Griffin's league.
Marietta, Ga. claimed the first two spots in the nation with the exploits of senior Emily Bernhardt (169-1) and sophomore Allison Horner (158-5.) Two more Georgians, both freshmen, Patrice Gates of Villa Rica (147-6) and Lauren Chambers of Kell High. Acworth (143-11) went 3-4 to make this a peach of an event.
"I wanted the meet record (Griffin's 187-10 in 1997) and I'm upset that I didn't get it," said Bernhardt. "I was so loose, but I fouled two of my (preliminary round) throws."
She also fouled toss No. 5 but all three of her legal throws were in the 51-meter (167ish) range.
Girls High Jump
Just four girls in NON history have ever cleared six feet or more, but none since 2002.
The number holds at four - after Tressa Beckel's triumph at 5-10.75. The Waseca High/Austin, Minnesota senior then missed three cracks at 6-0.
Patience Coleman, Durham, NC junior, was the obvious pre-NON pick with a pair of six-foot jumps this spring.
But this wasn't her day; she wound up third at 5-8.75, same height as Brittany Dexter, Burnt Hills, NY senior, but more misses on the way up.
"I knew the competition would be great and that made me more pumped up," said Beckel.
"We don't have that much competition in Minnesota. I jumped 5-10.75, so that's a Minnesota state record."
Girls Javelin Throw
Just as predicted, the National (176-5) and meet (168-4) records were never threatened. Nevertheless, Karlee McQuillen, the Westmont Hilltop/Johnstown, Pa. junior proved the class of the field with her sixth-round 150-1 heave.
There was plenty of drama in it as another Pennsylvanian, Lorraine Hill of Chambersburg, a senior, took the lead with her opening-round 143-6. McQuillen bettered that by just one centimeter in round three but didn't take it all until her final toss.
Brieanna Kennedy, a sophomore at Caravel Academy of Newark, Del., had already impressed with her second-flight leader, 139-2.
So now it boiled to the eight-thrower finals.
Hill did not improve but Kennedy got one out to 150 feet even. McQuillen's 150-1 took the gold by a single inch.
With McQuillen and Hill, along Palmyra's Meghan Briggs (140-2) and William Allen of Allentown's Anber Troxell (136-7) occupying the 1-3-5-6 spots, the event was dominated by Pennsylvanians. Millville, NJ's Jocelyn McRae hit 141-0 in round one and hung in for fourth.
"The announcer kept saying I should be throwing 160," said McQuillen.
"But I'm happy just winning. It was a very good, close competition."
McQuillen's 2006 best is a 162-4 winning the Pennsylvania state title.
Girls Long Jump
NON's all-time role model is Tianna Madison, who set the meet record of 20-7 1/4 for Elyria, Ohio High in 2003. Little more than two years later, she was the IAAF World Champion in Helsinki.
NON's all-time role model is Tianna Madison, who set the meet record of 20-7 1/4 for Elyria, Ohio High in 2003. Little more than two years later, she was the IAAF World Champion in Helsinki.
Someday, Arantxa King of Medford, Mass. hopes to be competing at this exalted level. After all, she'd already snared golds in the long and triple jumps - as a sophomore, at NON 2005.
But she skipped the TJ Friday to rest her aching hamstrings and focus on the LJ, a move that paid off in a highly competitive event.
Colorado's Nyeisha Wright had seized the lead with her first-round 19-7 1/2. King, who'd twice fouled early jumps, finally pulled it out with her last-leap 20-1 3/4.
Wright improved to 19-10 3/4 on her last jump, but there was no catching King.
Only one other athlete went past 19 feet - Shakie Forbes of Bethel/Hampton, Va. at 19-4 3/4.
"It was harder this year than last year; there was a lot more pressure on me this time," said King.
Girls Pole Vault - New Meet Record
The Hoosier State's just loaded with PV potential.
Just ask Katie Veith, the new NON champion and record-breaker, a junior out of Fort Wayne, Indiana's Homestead High.
"We have so many great coaches up there (in the state)," she said. "Everything seems to be coming together for me, like the training, and everything else. We just seem to have a lot of talent."
Her name will be in the books, now that she's cleared 13-2.5 to erase the 13-1.5 mark shared by three NON predecessors.
This was a triumph of perseverance. She had misses at 12-4.75 and 12-10.75 on the way up, and two misses before clearing the 13-2.5 winner. Her day ended with three unsuccessful cracks at 13-6.5.
"I didn't even know what the meet record was," said Veith, who'd done 13-9 this spring. "So to go home with a meet record, that's awesome, even though I was hoping to go higher and maybe break the 14-foot barrier (national record altitude).
"I wasn't at my best physically, after a 12-hour car ride. But I love the people here. The officials are so nice, and the competition is so great."
Sharing second at 12-4.75 were Akron, Ohio's Carrie Keyes and New Orleans' Katelyn Rodriguez.
Super freshman prospect Shade Weygandt of Mansfield, Texas cleared 11-10.75 for fifth.
Girls Shot Put
Kamorean Hayes is a two-time NON champion and she's still just a junior.
The Harding High of Charlotte home-stater muscled it 51-1 to win in 2005 but wasn't up to that kind of oomph this time.
Still, her 50-10 put, achieved in round two, sufficed for the win, six inches ahead of silver medalist Allyn Laughlin's 50-4 for Center Area High of Monaca, Pa.
Third place went to Stamford, Ct's Tynisha McMillian with a 49-3 toss but no one else her bested 46.
Hayes had plenty of motivation.
"My grandfather died last week so I did it for him," she said. "He never got to see me compete because he was so sick."
"On my best throw, that was a defining moment for me because I had a purpose."
Girls Triple Jump
After Nyeisha Wright of Colorado Springs went 38-9 in the first round and fouled her second jump, there were serious doubts. But then she put it all together and spanned 41-8 third time down the runway and that was it.
For icing on the cake, the senior star went 40-4.25 in round five and 40-10.25 in round six, making it three jumps that topped runnerup April Sinkler's 39-5.75 for Stafford, Va. High. Best of the rest in the 20-jumper field was Bradford, Pa. senior Erin Hannon at 38-7.5.
Wright's 41-8 was the fourth longest winning mark in NON annals but no threat to Erica McLain's meet record 44-1.25 for Plano, Texas in 2004.