New Balance Nationals In Review

by Jim Spier

The twenty-second running of this event saw record numbers, as over 3400 athletes came to Greensboro to compete.  Twenty-four meet records were set and 18 US leading marks were achieved.

The hurdle relays highlighted the meet record assault, with Long Beach Poly (CA)  the girls' event in 58.88, and Western Branch (Chesapeake, VA) taking the boy's in 57.81.

The girls' 5000m winner, Ashley Erba, highlighted Thursday night action with an outstanding win at 16:18.21.  Kris Horn scored 6720 points in the Decathlon to get the meet record in that event.

The addition of the Swedish Relay (100m-200m-300m-400m) was a hit!  Columbia (Maplewood, NJ) established a meet record with a 2:10.28 win, and Smiths Station, AL took the boys' version in 1:54.56.  Other new events for 2012 with the Octathlon (boys), Emerging Elite 400m Hurdles, Emerging Elite Hammer Throw, Freshman 2 Mile and Freshman Long Jump.

As mentioned, US leaders with numerous, with the Boys 4x800m leading the way.  CBA (Lincroft, NJ) won in 7:34.67, as six teams ran under 7:40.  Tatnall (Wilmington, DE) just missed the national record in the 4xmile, running 20:02.90

Brandon Smith (CBA, Syracuse, NY) won the 2000m Steeplechase in a nation-leading 5:55.79.  Kadecia Baird (Medgar Evers, Brooklyn, NY) was dominant in winning the 400m, running 52.18, the best in the U.S. this season and not far off Jessica Beard's meet record.

It should be noted that the conflict with the USATF Junior Championships and the possibility of the making the team to the IAAF World Junior Championships to be held in Barcelona, Spain in June, presented some challenges for this year's meet.  Nonetheless, the competition and performance of this year's New Balance Nationals Outdoors were outstanding.










Photos by Victah Sailer for PhotoRun

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