Track & Field and Cross-Country Bulletin for Feb 01, 2020

by Steve Underwood

Team NSAF ready to roll in Iceland

#TeamNSAF is in Iceland this weekend, ready to compete for the 2nd time Sunday, Feb. 2 in the Reykjavik International Games. A dozen outstanding prep sprinters and middle distance runners were selected last month for the event, following a squad of eight brought over in 2019. The Games are a unique European two-week winter multi-sports festival ( which concludes with the athletics completion Sunday.

Team NSAF, a mix of a dozen accomplished seniors and fast-rising underclassmen from eight states, is coached and chaperoned by several NSAF staff that lead the trip.

Full Press Release with Bios

LIVE STREAM (we think this link will cover the meet, 11am ET, Sun. Feb. 2)

RIG Event Site | RIG Facebook Page | Iceland Athletics Facebook (several Team NSAF photos) | RIG Instagram | RIG Youtube

NSAF Home Page | Upcoming coverage on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube

As for the TeamNSAF boys’ sprint corps, Malcolm Johnson Jr. (St. Stephens & St. Agnes, VA jr), Gavin Sawchuk (Valor Christian, CO soph) and Laurenz Colbert (Eleanor Roosevelt, MD jr) are running the 60m, while Calob Larson (Legacy, ND jr) will contest the 400m. All four will run the Team NSAF 4x200. Johnson ran a US#2 6.26 55m recently to win the VA Showcase, while Sawchuk (6.78) and Colbert (6.91) both have fresh 60m PRs. Larson has a 48.21 PR for the 2-lapper from ’19.

Team NSAF boys: Malcolm Johnson Jr, Gavin Sawchuk, Laurenz Colbert, Calob Larson, Tyler Shue and Cole Sprout.

In the middle distances, TeamNSAF’s Cole Sprout (Valor Christian, CO sr) is running the men’s 1,500m, Tyler Shue (PA, sr) the men’s 800m, and Marlee Starliper (Northern, PA sr) and Taylor James (Niwot, CO jr) both the women’s 800m.

James has a 2:05.83 PR from ’19 while Starliper – the ’19 NBNO mile champ – has clocked 2:09.44 at the lower end of her range. Shue is also a defending NBNO titlist in his specialty, with his 1:50.39 best, while Sprout has 4:04.19 mile (and 8:40.73 3,200) credentials.


Team NSAF girls: Aaliyah Pyatt, Charlee Crawford, Victoria Bossong, Gianna Paul, Taylor James and Marlee Starliper.

In the girls’ sprints, TeamNSAF’s Aaliyah Pyatt (Massaponax, VA jr) will race the 200m, while Victoria Bossong (Bishop Cheverus, ME jr), Charlee Crawford (St. Georges Acad., DE jr) and Gianna Paul (Whitman HS, NY soph) compete in the 400m. Again, all four will share the baton in the 4x200m.

Pyatt has clocked US top 10 PRs at five distances between 7.07 55m to 1:12.97 500m and looks to duel with Guðbjörg Jóna Bjarnadóttir from Iceland. Bossong (53.95), Crawford (54.55) and Paul (54.85) all have fast 400s to their credit from ’19 and have started strongly this indoor season at that distance as well as 300m.

Six weeks until #NBNI!

We’re less than six weeks away from the first starting gun for the 2020 New Balance Nationals Indoor, taking place at The Armory in NYC, March 13-15. We expect more than 3,500 athletes from 40+ states to converge in the Big Apple for the best indoor meet of the year. It’s our 22nd undercover nationals since we started our own meet in ’99 and our 10th with our great partners from New Balance.

We’re looking forward to numerous meet and national records, as well as the type of thrills delivered in final stretch victories by Roisin Willis, Taryn Parks and Jacob Hunter (Loudoun Valley relays) last winter. Can athletes like Morgan Smalls, Justin Robinson and Micah Williams defend their titles and top what they did in ’19? Also, the meet will include the 4x100m relay for the first time in 2020.

We are again offering advance-sale, reserved seats on both sides and the front of the finish line (see links below)

For full admission details for NBNI, please go HERE.

Tickets also available for 2020 Hall of Fame Induction

We are also eagerly anticipating the induction of our Class of 2020 into our National High School Track & Field Hall of Fame on March 12 (the night before NBNI)! Ten athletes, coaches and contributors will be joining the 47 already inducted, ranging from New Utrecht (Brooklyn) coaching legend Barney Hyman (1920s-30s) to modern era superstars like Houston McTear, Candy Young and Craig Virgin to the recently passed Dr. Norber Sander – The Armory’s own visionary.

You can view the full list of inductees HERE and purchase tickets to the March 12 ceremony at the New York Athletic Club HERE. The ceremony plus NBNI makes for an incredible weekend of track & field in NYC – honoring and watching great preps of the past, present and future!

Project Javelin Gold bound for Baton Rouge

The final Project Javelin Gold clinic of the 2019-20 season will be taking place Feb. 13-16, 2020 on the campus of LSU in Baton Rouge, La. We’re excited that the Tiger family and our on-the-ground coach there, Rob Woosley, are welcoming us back to a great venue where we’ve trained numerous times before. Full DETAILS HERE.

Project Head Coach Tom Pukstys and elite coaches Barry Krammes and Kim Hamilton will be on hand to work with our year-round Project athletes, as well as any and all interested throwers and coaches who would like to register for the event HERE. It’s been a super campaign so far, with our clinics in Sioux Falls with Sanford Sports Science Institute, then our Birmingham, AL-area sessions at Hoover HS, where Coach Pukstys is training the American Javelin Project of several aspiring post-collegiate Olympians

Our 2019-20 Project athletes include seniors Sam Hankins, Zech Blake and Joe Nizich; plus juniors Katelyn Fairchild, Collin Burkhart, Alianna Eucker, Sydney Juszczyk and Taylor Ciccolini. Spring is around the corner and we can’t wait to see what they’ll do in 2020!

Project Triple Jump breaks out in Cuba

Meanwhile, the 2019-20 clinic season for Project Triple Jump came to an exhilarating conclusion last month as our Project athletes made their second trip to Havana to train with the stellar Cuban national team coaches and athletes. Outstanding weather and the newly installed track and jump runways at the national stadium greeted our crew – led by Head Coach Peter Pratt, 1996 Olympic Gold Medalist Kenny Harrison and Project Coordinator Macka Jones – during the January MLK Weekend.

Cuban National team Coach Juan Gualberto Napoles Cardenas and his staff – including Yoelbi Quesada, who competed with Harrison back in the 1990s – were there to lead both groups of athletes in training for the first two days. The final day, it was Project Triple Jump’s turn to lead the clinic. Thanks to outstanding Spanish-English translation, everyone was able to benefit from the instruction of Coaches Harrison, Jones and Pratt – as well as the Sports Psychology session led by the NSAF’s Dr. Margaret Ottley.

And as if that wasn’t enough, Project TJ “discovered” a great beach near the stadium in Havana that will serve as future training grounds when we return in 2021 – an ideal venue for Coach Pratt’s legendary beach sessions that were introduced to the Project during Nassau, Bahamas clinics in the past. We can’t wait to see how our Class of 2019-20 athletes – seniors Jadan Hanson and Christian Lewis; juniors Floyd Whitaker, Johnny Brackins, Jayla Brown, Kendall Jordan and Jade McDonald; and sophomore Cameran Gist – perform as the indoor championship season and the new outdoor season heat up!


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