By Pete Cava,
National Scholastic Sports Foundation
100 meters: One of those Who-Knows-Anything-Goes fields, with a dozen sub-10.60 performers in the fold. Golden West Invitational winner and Baylor recruit Whitney Prevost (Texas City, TX) is the fastest entry, courtesy of a winning time of 10.45 at this year's Texas 4A championships.
Junior T.J. Graham (Wakefield, NC) checks in at 10.45, followed by Trenton Guy (West, Charlotte, NC) at 10.48 and Terrell Wilks (Hillhouse, New Haven, CT) at 10.49. Guy will enter Clemson this fall while Wilks is bound for Villanova. Graham's father, embattled track coach Trevor Graham, won a 4x400 silver medal for Jamaica in the 1988 Olympics.
Antonio Sales (East Chapel Hill, NC) is the lone returnee from the 2006 final. The South Carolina signee was sixth last year.
200 meters: Golden West champ Mychal Dungey, a two-time Texas 5A champ and a Texas Christian recruit, comes in with a time of 20.87 from the Great Southwest meet in Albuquerque. Dungey's chief rivals include six other sub-21.3 performers - Texas 4A winner Whitney Prevost (Texas City, TX), Antonio Sales (East Chapel Hill, NC), Ryan Bailey (McKay, Salem, OR) Edward Alexander (West, Charlotte, NC), Trenton Guy (West, Charlotte, NC) and Terrell Wilks (Hillhouse, New Haven, CT).
Sales was fourth in this event a year ago. Guy pulled off a 100/200 double at the Golden South meet in Orlando on June 2.
400 meters: Antonio McKay (St. Pius, Atlanta, GA), son of the 1988 Olympic gold (4x400) and silver medalist (400) of the same name, is the year's second-fastest prep performer at 46.28.
McKay's up against a solid field that includes Sean Holston (Robert E. Lee, Springfield, VA), the 200 and 400m winner at Nike Indoor Nationals last March; two-time Texas 5A champion Danzell Fortson (Keller Central, Fort Worth, TX), who will represent the USA at this summer's World Youth Championships in Ostrava, Czech Republic; LSU recruit Chris Ward (Evans, Orlando, FL); 2006 NON sixth-placer Charles Cox (Monmouth Regional, Tinton Falls, NJ) and Gil Roberts (Millwood, Oklahoma City, OK).
800 meters: Arcadia Invitational champ Cory Primm (Westlake, Westlake Village, CA) is the year's best 800m performer with a time of 1:49.50. Primm, a 2007 California state champ who'll run for UCLA next year, is up against a strong field that includes two finalists from last year's NON 800 - James Gilreath (Bartlett, TN) and Andrew Rotz (Central Dauphin, Harrisburg, PA). The Baylor-bound Gilreath was fifth in 2006 while Rotz took sixth. Gilreath is third on the current prep list at 1:50.12.
South Plains JC signee Sharif Webb (Don Bosco, Ramsey, NJ), the year's fifth-fastest high school half-miler at 1:51.07, is also in the mix along with 2007 NIN indoor runnerup Chris Bilbrew (Smiths Station, Smiths, AL), Villanova-bound Jason Apwah (Roxbury, Succasunna, NJ), Arizona recruit Abdi Hassan (Nathan Hale, Seattle, WA) and junior Dylan Ferris (East Forsyth, Kernersville, NC).
Mile: You'd have more luck trying to forecast the 2008 presidential election than attempting to predict the outcome of this event. Sam Borchers (Yellow Springs, OH), seventh in this event last year, has a shot. Borchers, a Penn State signee coached by USATF national race walk chairman Vince Peters, won the NIN mile title last March.
There are no guarantees, however; not in a field that includes Arcadia winner and Arkansas recruit Michael Chinchar (Kentwood, Kent, WA); 2006 third-place finisher Ben Hubers (McEachern, Marietta, GA), who has signed with Indiana; DeSean Turner (Warren Central, Indianapolis, IN), another Indiana recruit and this year's Indiana state 1600m champ; and junior Charles White (Cherry Creek, Englewood, CO).
Chinchar's third on the 2007 high school 1500m list at 3:53.2 (en route) with Charles fifth at 3:53.92. Hubers has a 1600m best that converts to a 4:07.47 mile, giving him second place on the current prep mile chart.
Kent State-bound Scott Hilditch (Woolridge, Stow, OH), Belmont College signee Josh Tebeau (Potosi, MO) and Ohio Division I champ Jake Edwards (Hayes, Delaware, OH) bear watching, along with junior Joseph Franklin (Godby, Tallahassee, FL). Franklin is moving up to the mile after a second-place finish in the NON 800 final last year.
2-mile: And you think the mile is a tough race to handicap? This event has the nation's top four performers, and then some.
Craig Forys (Colts Neck, NJ), Paul Springer (Unionville, PA), Evan Jager (Jacobs, Algonquin, IL) and Mark Amirault (Xaverian, Westwood, MA) occupy the top four places on the current high school list.
Forys, an 8:48.99 performer this season, finished sixth in last year's NON mile. He won the NIN 2-mile crown last March. Forys is headed for Michigan this fall.
Springer, who'll attend Notre Dame, is right behind Forys on the prep list at 8:52.56. Forys's and Springer's times came in head-to-head competition at the May 4 Henderson Invitational in Hendersonville, N.C.
Jager and Amirault ran the NON 2-mile in 2006. Jager, a Wisconsin signee, took third while Amirault, a future Princetonian, came in ninth.
Another blue-chip college prospect, Matthew Centrowitz (Broadneck, Annapolis, MD), should contribute to a lively race. Centrowitz, the son of 1976 Olympian Matt Centrowitz, is this year's top prep miler. He finished second to Forys in this year's NIN 2-mile. Centrowitz will run for Oregon next year, following in his dad's footsteps.
Also under nine minutes for the 2-mile this year are Virginia recruit Emil Heineking (Chardon, VA), Washington-bound Maxwell O'Donoghue-McDonald (Seattle Prep, Seattle, WA), Notre Dame signee Dan Jackson (Dexter, Ann Arbor, MI), future Stanford runner Elliott Heath (Winona, MN), junior Luke Puskedra (Judge Memorial, Salt Lake City, UT), and Dan Chenoweth (Geneseo, IL).
110m hurdles: Three of last year's top finishers return, including defending champion Johnny Dutch (Clayton, NC). Dutch, who heads off to South Carolina this fall, is a 13.79 performer this season. He also has a wind-aided mark of 13.39. Dutch's career best, 13.54, came in 2006.
Oscar Spurlock (Carter, Dallas, TX), this year's Texas 5A champ, was fourth here in 2006. Spurlock was runnerup to Dutch last March at NIN. The other returnee, Tennessee-bound Charlton Rolle (Reynolds, Winston-Salem, NC), was sixth here last year. Dutch, Spurlock and Rolle have the three fastest wind-aided times this year - 13.39, 13.52 and 13.53, respectively.
Three more who could make a difference this time around are Denarius Moore (Tatum, TX) and juniors William Wynne (McEachern, Powder Springs, GA) and Booker Nunley (Garner, NC). Moore, a 13.69 performer, is the Texas 2A winner while Wynne captured the Georgia 5A crown. Nunley was third in the North Carolina 3A championships behind Dutch and Rolle.
400m hurdles: Another explosive event, which includes two returning finalists from last year - fourth-place finisher Charlton Rolle (Reynolds, Winston-Salem, NC) and Emmanuel Mayers (Lakewood, NJ), who finished sixth.
Two more top entries are Jeshua Anderson (Taft, Woodland Hills, CA), a winner at Arcadia and Golden West this year, and junior William Wynne (McEachern, Powder Springs, GA). Earlier this month at the California state meet, Anderson broke the 22-year-old national high school record for the 300H with a time of 35.28. Wynne, a double winner at Georgia's state championships, leads the prep 400H list with a time of 51.65.
Other contenders include sophomore Reggie Wyatt (JW North, Riverside, CA), runnerup to Anderson at the California state meet; Golden South winner Spencer Adams (Butler, Matthews, NC), Aaron Younger, (Delsea, NJ), Kyle Rowbotham (Scotch Plains-Fanwood, Scotch Plains, NJ) and Johnny Dutch (Clayton, NC).
Wynne (51.65), Mayers (51.98), Younger (52.66), Adams (52.89) and Rowbotham (53.11) hold down the top five spots n the prep 400H chart.
2,000m steeplechase: Ryan McDermott (Chaminade, Mineola, NY), last year's runnerup, is back. The Duke recruit has a time of 9:08.11 for the 3,000m steeple this year, tops on the high school list.
The event has a strong Empire State flavor, with Phil Cawkwell (Byram Hills, Armonk, NY), A.J. Savoia (North Rockland, Thiells, NY), junior Taylor Morgan (Stark Street AC, Portland, OR) and sophomore Sean Halpin (Iona Prep, New Rochelle, NY) among the top entries.
Savoia's 6:04.2 is the best high school 2k steeple mark. He was fourth here in 2006. Cawkell, a Penn signee, has times of 6:05.17 and 9:16.88. Morgan (Central Catholic, Portland, OR) was last year's third-place finisher.
Mile walk: Maine athletes abound in this year's event. Taylor Burns (Scarborough, ME), last year's runnerup, tops the entry lists at 6:57.55, followed by freshman Matthew Forgues (Boothbay, ME) at 7:08.00. There's also Grant Bacon (Skowhegan, ME) at 7:10.40.
The lone outsider among the top entries is junior Evan Crowdus (Morganfield, KY), whose 2007 best is 7:18.30. Crowdus happens to be the defending champ.
High jump: Four seven-foot jumpers highlight this field, including current national leader Randal Carter (Papillion-La Vista, Papillion, NE). Carter, who comes here with a best of 7-4, will compete for Johnson County CC next year.
Texas 5A champ Grant Lindsay (Mansfield, TX) ranks second on the prep list at 7-3. Lindsay is a Kentucky recruit.
Eddie McClain (Bonner Springs, KS), bound for Wichita State, has cleared 7-0. McClain was runnerup at Golden West this year.
Major Clay (Lanphier, Springfield, IL), a 6-10 performer this season, went 7-0 in 2006.
Pole vault: Six entries have cleared 16-9 this year, led by Spencer McCorkel (Bryant, AR). McCorkel's best is 17-7, tops in the land this season. Third here last year, McCorkel was runnerup at the NIN last March.
Also over 17-feet are Casey Roche (St. Francis, Mountain View, CA) and sophomore Corey Shank (Northrop, Fort Wayne, IN). Roche, the 2006 NON fifth-placer and a Stanford recruit, cleared 17-0 at Arcadia this year. Shank's 17-0 foot clearance at the Indiana state championships was a meet record.
Junior Kevin Schipper (Dwenger, Fort Wayne, IN) was runnerup to Shank a the Indiana state meet with a 16-9 vault. Also over the bar at 16-9 this season are Baylor recruit Joseph Farley (Aledo, TX) and junior Mitchell Erickson (Marion Catholic, Steger, IL).
Long jump: Texas 5A champ Marquise Goodwin (Rowlett, TX) is only a sophomore, but his 25-0 jump leads the nation this season and he owns four of the five top marks on the pep list.
The year's longest mark is a windy 25-1.5 by Louisiana 5A winner Zedric Thomas (New Iberia, LA).
Five others have jumped 24-feet or better, including Hanif Kendrick (Franklin, Somerset, NJ), Richard Knotts (Nimitz, Houston, TX), Bradley Starks (Orange County, Orange, VA), Anthony Wright (Dominguez, Compton, CA) and Chrys Jones (Mercer County, Harrodsburg, KY).
Kendric was seventh at this meet last year. Starks will enroll this fall at West Virginia while Jones is headed for Centre College.
Triple jump: Zedric Thomas (New Iberia, LA) is the lone returning finalist from 2006. Thomas checks in with the longest qualifying mark, a windy 50-9.75 at the Louisiana 5A meet.
The current national prep leader is Texas 5A winner Tyron Stewart (Cedar Hill, TX), who appears fully recovered from 2005 knee surgery. The Texas A&M signee has a best of 50-9.5.
Others over 49-5 include Chrys Jones (Mercer County, Harrodsburg, KY), Omar Craddock (Killeen, TX), sophomore Marquise Goodwin (Rowlett, TX) and Austin Davis (Northern Durham, Durham, NC).
Craddock's 49-9 is this year's third-best prep mark. Goodwin was runnerup to Tyron Stewart at the Texas 5A championships. Davis won the NIN title last March.
Shot put: Two finalists from the 2006 NON return - defending champ Ben Stephen (Union County, Liberty, IN) and Trey Davis (Farmington, MN), the seventh-place finisher. Both are headed to Big Ten schools this fall; Stephen will attend Indiana while Davis is going to Minnesota.
But the event's kingpin this season has been Jimmie Pacifico (Butler, Vandalia, OH), the current high school leader with a heave of 71-4.75. Pacifico, who signed with Moorpark College, owns the top five prep performances. He won the shot put crown last March at NIN.
This year's cast also includes Colin Boevers (Judge Memorial Catholic, Salt lake City, UT), Joe Kovacs (Bethlehem Catholic, Bethlehem, PA), junior Geoffrey Tabor (Ardmore, OK) and Michael Putman (Columbus, Miami, FL).
Boevers, a Kentucky signee, has the second-best qualifying mark (66-0.5). Kovacs is another future Big Ten performer - he's bound for Penn State. Putman, a Florida State recruit, is this year's Golden South winner. Putman's father came to the U.S. from Peru.
Discus throw: Geoffrey Tabor (Ardmore, OK), the son of former New York Giants lineman Phil Tabor, took sixth in this event last year as a sophomore. This time around, he comes in with the nation's top high school mark (209-5).
The next-best performer at 205-5 is Arizona recruit Luke Bryant (Clearwater, KS), this year's Golden West winner. Others over 190-feet include Nick Brayton (West, Iowa City, IA), Emory Parsons (Columbia, East Greenbush, NY), Tyler Fleet (Lee, Tyler, TX), Colin Boevers (Judge Memorial Catholic, Salt Lake City, UT) and Josh Greenwald (Decatur Central, Indianapolis, IN).
Brayton's headed for Iowa, while Parsons has signed with North Carolina and Fleet - the Texas 5A champ - will attend Abilene Christian. Greenwald, a Louisville recruit, is a two-time Indiana state champ.
Hammer throw: Defending champion Walter Henning (St. Anthony's, South Huntington, NY) is to the hammer what the Yankees are to baseball or what A.J. Foyt was to auto racing. Henning, whose 255-11 toss on May 5 broke the national record, has competed at this meet every summer since his freshman year. He took third in 2004 and moved up to second in 2005. Henning, who owns four of the nation's top four prep marks this year, is fresh from a win at the Golden West Invitational. He'll enter North Carolina this fall.
Two other 2006 finalists return - junior Wesley Wright (Villa Rica, GA), sixth last year, and Connecticut recruit Patrick Sampson (Bishop Hendricken, Middletown, RI), eighth a year ago. Wright's 218-11 is the second-best mark after Henning's.
Others over 200-feet include Ashland College-bound Ryan Loughney (Tri-Valley, Grahamsville, NY), William Krokey (Woodstock, GA), Notre Dame signee Greg Davis (Stars Mill, Atlanta, GA) and junior James Schwendtner (Shenendehowa, Ballston Lake, NY).
Presenting awards to this year's top finishers will be Olympic legend Harold Connolly, the hammer throw gold medalist at the 1956 Games in Melbourne, Australia.
Javelin throw: Iain Trimble (Shawnee Heights, Tecumseh, KS) went out for baseball his freshman year but didn't make the team. He turned to track, with fortuitous results - Trimble is the nation's leading prep javelin thrower with a season best of 224-3. The University of Kansas signee has dominated the event this year, producing the five best throws.
Sophomore Justin Shirk (Central Dauphin, Harrisburg, PA) is back; he took third in this event as a freshman. Junior David Musson (Colville, WA) is second on the current high school list at 211-10.
Others over 200-feet this year are Chase Dalton (Tigard, OR), Brian Moore (LaSalle, Wyndmoor, PA), junior Brian Florek (Old Bridge, Matawan, NJ), and Virginia recruit Andrew Fahringer (Whitehall, PA).