Weather forecast: A little before noon in Greensboro, with Saturday's events due to begin at 1:00 p.m., the temperature was 64 degrees under cloudy skies. Winds were out of the southeast at eight mph, while the humidity was 75 percent.
The cool, gray weather had sprinters looking ruefully toward the heavens, while distance runners appeared to be ecstatic.
Providing event-by-event coverage from the Nike Outdoor Nationals at North Carolina A&T University will be Elliott Denman (girls) and Pete Cava (boys).
Mile walk: As Evan Crowdus strode toward the finish, the lyrics from Oleander's I Walk Alone wafted over the public address system: I'm almost pretty sure I've been here before.
The words were appropriate. Crowdus, practically unchallenged throughout the race, won his second consecutive NON title in 7:12.76. The junior from Union County High School in Morganfield, Ky., had an impressive lead by the halfway mark, and the only question was whether or not he could better his winning time from a year ago (7:13.79).
Freshman Matthew Forgues (Boothbay, ME) staged a late charge to take over second place heading into the gun lap. Forgues finished in 7:16.71, with Grant Bacon (Skowhegan, ME) third in 7:26.71. Taylor Burns (Scarborough, ME), the 2006 runnerup, dropped to fourth this time around in 7:30.28.
Forgues's older sister, currently a freshman at the University of Maine, was runnerup in last year's girls mile walk.
I was right on pace, said Crowdus, who doubled up and had to visit the medical tent before picking up his medal. I went 1:43.for my first two laps. After that, I just did the best I could. I heard the call that Forgues was closing, so I just fought my way in to the finish.
Crowdus, a former miler, believes he's discovered a niche in track and field. I'm not a great runner just 5:20 for the mile, he told NSSF's Elliott Denman. But I've found my place as a race walker.
100 meters heats: With winners and next four fastest advancing to tonight's final, the prelims figured to be very fast and they were. All races were run into slight headwinds.
1st heat: Marcus Rowland (Moore, SC) came in first in 10.73, just ahead of T.J. Graham (Raleigh, NC) in 10.75. Both made it through.
2nd heat: Kelvin Hardesty (New Bern, NC) advanced automatically with a first-place finish in 10.79. Antonio Sales (Chapel Hill, NC) came up fast at the finish, but wound up a non-qualifying second in 10.82. Mychal Dungey (Austin, TX) scratched out the race.
3rd heat: Ryan Bailey (Salem, OR) ran an impressive 10.65 to negate a terrific start by Trenton Guy (Charlotte, NC), who wound up second in 10.68.
4th heat: In the afternoon's fastest race, Whitney Prevost (Texas City, TX) won in 10.63, followed by Justin Murdock (Pasadena, MD) in 10.78 and Lamaar Thomas (Fort Washington, MD) in 10.81. All three made it to the final.
Javelin: Iain Trimble saved his best throw for last en route to a first-place finish. The strong-armed University of Kansas recruit from Shawnee Heights High School (Tecumseh, KS) lead from the start with a first-round throw of 213-4.
In the second round, junior David Musson (Colville, WA) challenged with a toss of 212-7, while Brian Moore (Wyndmoor, PA) threw 209-8 on his third attempt. Sophomore Justin Shirk (Harrisburg, PA) took over fourth place in the third round with a 207-3 effort.
On his final throw, Trimble stretched it out to 222-2 the second-longest throw in NON history to put an exclamation point on his victory.
Musson, Moore and Shirk finished in that order. The two underclassmen, Musson and Shirk, headed home comforted by the old Brooklyn Dodgers slogan: Wait'll Next Year.
Hard work got me this win today, Trimble told North Carolina A&T sports information director Brian Holloway. I dont know about these other guys, but I know for myself I stay in the weight room constantly.
Trimble has also developed into a student of the event. Im learning how to study other javelin throwers. I spend about five hours a week studying video. It has definitely helped me get where I am right now. I love looking at tape from guys like Jan Zelezny [Czech Republic], Tero Pitkmki [Finland] and Breaux Greer [USA]. They win gold medals, so I try to do what they do.
Trimble said he wasn't affected by Friday's gloomy weather. Id rather throw when the weather is nice and sunny because sometimes it can be depressing when the weather is not good, he said. But I just focused on throwing and kept in mind all the hard work I put in and that helped me get through it.
110m hurdles heats: Four heats, with winners and next four fastest advancing to Sunday's final.
1st heat (-1.2 mps): Junior William Wynne (Kennesaw, GA) took first in 13.77, while Booker Nunley (Garner, NC) went home after a non-qualifying second-place finish 14.19.
2nd heat (-0.4): Wayne Davis (Raleigh, NC) took over the lead by the third hurdle and finished first in 13.88. Oscar Spurlock (Dallas, TX), second in 14.26, failed to advance.
3rd heat (-0.2): Junior Spencer Adams (Matthews, NC) advanced with a first-place finish in 13.83. Charlton Rolle (Winston-Salem, NC) also advanced with a time of 13.96, along with Jarius Cooper (Palm Coast, FL), third in 14.04.
4th heat (0.0): Johnny Dutch (Clayton, NC) pulled ahead by the third hurdle and won easily in 13.64. Also advancing were Clyde Young (Cahokia, IL) in 13.93 and Artavius Kizer (East St. Louis, IL) in 14.08.
Four of the qualifiers Dutch, Adams, Davis and Rolle are North Carolinians and, with Wynne (Georgia) and Cooper (Florida) in the final, the only non-Southerners in the final are the two Illini, Young and Kizer.
1600m medley relay (200-200-400-800): Track Eastern (New Bern, NC), the defending champs and U.S. prep leaders at 3:24.5, fielded a squad of Fuquawn Green, Kelvin Hardesty, Miles Sparks and Andrew Hendrix. The North Carolinians led comfortably until the final fifty meters, when Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, NJ) and Union Catholic High School (Scotch Plains, NJ) both surged.
Hendrix barely staved off Sharif Webb of Don Bosco and Union Catholic's Mike Suarez at the finish, bringing home the baton in 3:27.26. Second in 3:27.30 was Don Bosco with Union Catholic third in 3:27.36.
But the North Carolinians wound up disqualified for passing outside the exchange zone not once, but twice and Don Bosco wound up in first place. The New Jersey squads both improved their season best performances. Don Bosco's quartet shaved three-hundredths of a second off their former best, 3:27.39, while Union Catholic's previous PR was 3:28.19
Arrowhead High School (Hartland, WI), winner of the second section in 3:27.61, wound up in fourth place in the composite standings.
The Don Bosco squad and their splits were Matthew Cato (22.4), Marvin Whilby (22.0), Jason Kelsey (50.5) and Webb (1:52.4).
100 meters: Trenton Guy (Charlotte, NC) rode a great start to victory. The Clemson recruit, running in Lane 2, pulled in front early and was never headed, finishing in 10.41.
The race got underway after a false start and at the gun Guy burst out of the blocks like a man on fire. Ryan Bailey (Salem. OR) finished second in 10.48, with T.J. Graham (Raleigh, NC) third in 10.53. Bailey was in Lane 5 with Graham in Lane 7.
It was important for me to bring the 100 meter title back to North Carolina, said Guy. I think someone from North Carolina has won it for years in a row, so I doidn't want to stop that streak.
Actually, Guy's win was the third in a row for Tarheel State sprinters. Brandon Banks (Garner, ) won in 2006 and J-Mee Samuels (Winston-Salem) was first the previous year. The 2004 champ, Ivory Williams, was a Texan.
I don't want to say I didn't think I was going to win, but I came in here seeded fifth, Guy continued. They didn't seed me by my fastest time, but even my fastest time wasn't ass fast as some of these guys. But for some reason, when guys ruin against me they don't run those times.
Guy's time was the fifth-fastest prep performance. It touched off a joyous celebration by his father and coach, Trenton Guy Sr. The win could have been a costly one for the elder Guy. I wanted to run a 10.3 because my dad said he would get me a car, said Trenton Jr. I didn't get the car, but this will do.
The wind reading for the final was 0.1 meters per second.
Discus: Luke Bryant completed a rare hat trick Friday. Bryant, a senior from Clearwater, Kans., High School, popped a 201-7 mark on his fourth attempt to annex the Nike Outdoor crown.
It was the third major win in the last 13 days for the Arizona recruit. On June 2 Bryant won at the Great Southwest meet in Albuquerque, N.M., and on June 10 he finished first at the Golden West Invitational in Folsom, Calif.
It felt really great to win because my goal this year was to sweep all three biggies, said Bryant. Last year, I was so mentally immature it was ridiculous. I'd throw 190-feet one week and 170 the next. I realized this year that at any moment a guy could throw his PR and beat you.
Second place went to Colin Boevers (Murray, UT), who threw 182-2 in the second round. Third was Nick Brayton (Coralville, IA) with a best of 181-2, with Geoff Tabor (Ardmore, OK) fourth at 180-11.
Bryant, whose PR of 205-5 came at Golden West, added a tip of the hat for his fellow competitors. These meets are not like the ones in high school, where you win by 60 feet, he said.
4x100 heats: Winners and next four fastest advance to Saturday's final.
1st heat: For teams made it through in the initial heat, lead by Team Texas with a time of 41.46. Also advancing were McKay High School (Salem, OR) in 41.51, Knightdale (NC) High School () in 41.97 and Western Branch High School (Chesapeake, VA) in 42.20.
Ryan Bailey, who was second in the 100m earlier Friday, anchored the McKay squad.
2nd heat: Cahokia (Ill.), the 2006 runnerup in this event, with Clyde Young running third, won in 41.17. Clyde Young, the third man on the Cahokia quartet, qualified for Sunday's 110m hurdles final earlier in the day.
3rd heat: South Shore High School (Brooklyn, NY) won in 41.01, with East St. Louis (Ill.) High School second in 41.54. Artavius Kizer, one of the finalists in Saturday's 110H final, ran the third leg for the East St. Louis crew.
4th heat: DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, MD) advanced, winning in 42.01.
Triple jump: Tyron Stewart (Cedar Hill, TX) passed Chrys Jones (Harrodsburg, PA) and Zedric Thomas (New Iberia, LA) on his final attempt for a dramatic come-from-behind win.
Jones had the lead going into the final round courtesy of a 50-1.25 on his second try. Thomas was right behind him, thanks to a fifth-round 48-10.75.
But Stewart, who wons the year's best prep mark (50-9.5), reached back for something extra and popped a 50-7.25 to take over the lead.
Stewart, who'll enroll at Texas A&M this fall, sat out the 2005 season with knee surgery. It was a weird competition, because I've never had to come from behind before, he said. Plus, this was a different atmosphere for me. I'm used to it being much hotter when I'm warming up. I'm from Texas, and I'm not used to the cold.
It's different when you have to come from behind, Stewart continued. You're a little more relaxed when you have the lead. You have to find things to get you going, like getting the crowd involved. I knew I still had my best jump in me, so I didn't panic. I was almost in the same situation at states, except I was trying to break a record and I was running out of time. You just got to stay calm, relaxed and poised, because the last thing you want to do on your last jump is scratch. I had one jump left to win tonight, so I knew my phases had to be perfect.
4x800m relay: On a cool North Carolina night, this race positively sizzled.
Cleveland Heights High School led most of the way, but at the bell lap six teams remained in contention. Briefly on the backstretch, Nicholas Kuczwara briefly put Kroy (York, IL) in front. Chris Bilbrew, meanwhile, brought Smiths Station, AL, into contention, all the way back from seventh place.
Jared Hall put Cleveland Heights back in the lead, with Bilbrew right on his heels. In the final meters, Benjamin Matthies zipped into the lead for Glenbard South. Matthies crossed the line first in 7:40.57, followed by Hall in 7:40.72 and Bilbrew who ran a heroic 1:49.7 split in third place.
Kevin Pullman, Dan O'Brien and Tim Honig preceded Matthies for Glenbard South. We just wanted everybody to run their first lap nice and conservative, said the Purdue-bound Matthies. If you noticed, we were in eighth place after our first lap and then, by the time we handed it off we were in third. That was out game plan to take small steps. Every time we handed off we were in third. So when I got it and we were still in third, I knew we were in good shape because I was faster than everyone else. I knew the guy that was running with me was a second or two behind my time.
Meet announcer David Mitchell called it the hottest race of the evening.
But still to come was the 2-mile run.
2-mile: Led by Matt Centrowitz, 11 runners in the fast section turned in sub-9-minute times in one of the greatest prep distance races in history.
Centrowitz, son of the 1976 Olympian of the same name, finished first in 8:44.53 to obliterate the six-year-old meet record of 8:44.43. The Oregon recruit from Arnold, Md., tied legendary Steve Prefontaine for third place all-time on the high school list.
Luke Puskedra (Ogden, UT) set the early pace, taking the 17-man field through a 63-second first lap. Right behind him were Craig Forys (Howell, NJ) and Evan Jager (Algonquin, WI). Puskedra still led at the halfway mark, passing the mile in 4:25.7 still tailed by Forys and Jager, with Centrowitz lurking in the background.
Jager took over the lead after five laps, leading a pack of seven with Centrowitz in fourth place. With two to go, Jager, Centrowitz and Forys began pulling away. It was down to Forys and Centrowitz at the bell. Forys turned on the jets on the backstretch, which didn't seem to faze Centrowitz.
Coming around the final turn, it was Centrowitz's turn to go into high gear. Forys couldn't keep pace and Centrowitz flew home unchallenged. I knew the pace was going to be fast, said Centrowitz, which is good because it helps me prepare for next season when I'm a freshman in college. When you have a pace that fast, your time will take care of itself.
Centrowitz wasn't sure the race was his until the final seconds. I didn't think I had it until the last 50 meters or so, he said. When I went past him [Forys] and didn't hear his footsteps, I felt pretty good about the race. I really wasn't truly comfortable until about the last 25 meters.
Forys settled for second in 8:44.53, with Elliott Heath (Winona, MN) moving up for third in 8:46.12. Jager wound up fourth in 8:47.59, with Hassan Mead (Minneapolis, MN) fifth in 8:51.23. Sixth place went to Paul Springer (Kennett Square, PA) in 8:52.77, with Sean Keveren (Brentwood, TN) seventh in 8:55.16. Eighth was Dan Jackson ( Ann Arbor, MI) in 8:55.60, followed by Girma Mecheso (Lawrenceville, GA) in 8:56.58, Mark Amirault (Walpole, MA) in 8:56.84, Mike Fout (LaPorte, IN) in 8:58.79, Thomas Gruenewald (Manlius, NY) in 8:58.98, Robert Finnerty (Burnsville, MN) in 8:59.15 and Maxwell O'Donoghue-McDonald (Seattle, WA) in 8:59.19.
Keveren, Mecheso and Finnerty ran in the first section, for a total of 14 sub-9-minute performances on the night.
4x200m relay: Team Texas grabbed an early lead, cruising to victory in 1:25.59. Racer-X (Charlotte, NC), anchored by 100m champ Trenton Guy, appeared ready to challenge the Texans. But a botched handoff on the third exchange doomed North Carolinians.
Second place went to Section 3 winner South Shore High School (Brooklyn, NY) in 1:26.19 East St. Louis (IL) High School, runnerup to Team Texas in the final section, wound up third in 1:26.46.
The Texans' order was Isaiah Sweeney, Cleon Davis, Robert Simmons and Clyde Lee.
We knew coming in that there were going to be some tough teams, said Lee. If we would have made better exchanges, and if our technique was better, it would have been a lot easier.
We knew coming in it was cool, and that we'd have to run against the wind, Lee continued, so I think we did a good job of adjusting. I just think out handoffs could have been smoother. We like where we are as a team, though.