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New Balance Indoor Nationals Notes
By: Kevin Milsted

Day 3 Notes

On the third and final day of competition at New Balance Indoor Nationals in New York, Bullis finished fourth in the strongest and deepest high school girls 4x400-meter relay ever contested on a US indoor track. By chasing after three teams that recorded top four all-time US high school indoor performances, the Bullis girls lowered the all-time Montgomery County 4x400-meter relay record to 3:43.92.

What's just as impressive is that the Bullis 'B' team placed sixth overall in the 4x400 relay by winning an earlier "slow heat" in 3:51.55.

Eric Allen, Alexus Pyles, Darnell Pratt, and Donovan Beckett-Simms finished out their indoor seasons with performances listed below.

Girls 4x400m Relay
4 Bullis School Tc-Md                                   3:43.92
6 Bullis School Tc-Md  'B'                              3:51.55

Boys Triple Jump
 24 Donovan Beckett-Simms     16 germantown, MD        44-02.75

Girls Triple Jump
16 Alexus Pyles               16 Clarksburg, MD        38-00.00

Boys 60m Semi-Finals
6 Eric Allen                  18 Potomac, MD               6.98

Girls 60m Hurdles Semi-Finals
7 Alexus Pyles                16 Clarksburg, MD            8.79

Boys 400m Finals
8 Darnell Pratt               17 Olney, MD                49.02

Day 2 Notes

There was much more action on Saturday as more MoCo schools competed at New Balance Nationals in New York City. The highlight for MoCo schools on Saturday was Lauryn Harris of Bullis winning the freshman 400m in 56.23. It was the fourth fastest indoor 400-meter by a MoCo athlete in the last decade and second fastest by a MoCo freshman.

Darnell Pratt of Good Counsel qualified for the 400m finals with the seventh fastest time of the day, 48.68, which puts him in good position to earn All-American honors on Sunday (top-6 earn All-American according to NSF). 48.68 is the second fastest known indoor 400m performance by a MoCo boy behind only Sean Sutton of Good Counsel who ran 47.63 at the Kentucky Invitational and won the indoor 400m national title in 2011. Pratt also clocked 22.20 in the 200-meter dash, which is the fourth fastest indoor by a Moco boy in the last decade.

Eric Allen of Bullis qualified for the 60-meter dash semi-finals with a time of 7.00 and Alexus Pyles of Clarksburg qualified for the 60-meter hurdles semi-finals with a time of 8.78.

The Bullis boys clock 1:30.91 in the 4x200 meter relay, which is second fastest indoors by a MoCo team in the last decade behind only this year's Northwest team.

The Bullis girls clocked 1:40.60 in the 4x200 preliminaries, missing the incredibly deep finals cut-off of 1:39.40. Bullis will aim to win the high school national title in the girls 4x400m relay on Sunday.

Girls 60-Meter Hurdles
 17   Alexus Pyles        16 Clarksburg, MD            8.78q

Girls 4x200
 12   Bullis School Tc-Md                            1:40.60

Girls Freshman 400m
  1   Lauryn Harris       19 Potomac, MD              56.23
 16   Sierra Leonard      19 Potomac, MD              59.63
 27   Melissa Kameka      19 Damascus, MD           1:00.15
 39   Samantha Kameka     19 Damascus, MD           1:01.10

Boys 60m Dash
 15   Eric Allen          18 Potomac, MD               7.00q 

Boys 200m
 16  Darnell Pratt       17 Olney, MD                 22.20

Boys 400m
  7  Darnell Pratt       17 Olney, MD                 48.68q

Boys 4x200m
 22  Bullis School Tc-Md                            1:30.91

Boys Freshman 400m
 18  Austin Allen        19 Potomac, MD               53.33

Day 1 Notes

Bethelehem Taye of Paint Branch, Rohann Asfaw of Richard Montgomery, and Ty Mason of Blake High School each won events and set records for the emerging elite classification on the first day of New Balance Indoor Nationals Friday in New York City.

Taye recorded a two mile time of 10:35.04, out-running her competition by twelve seconds and topping the previous record by four seconds. It was the #2 two mile (or 3200-meter) performance ever recorded by a Montgomery County athlete indoors or outdoors and I believe the fastest ever recorded indoors. The comparisons to Sally Glynn (WJ Class of 1996) continue. While Glynn was a four-year high school star on the national level, Taye seems to be catching up with every performance. First, Taye broke Glynn's indoor county championship meet record in the 3200, but of course Taye had a much better facility in the PGSLC. Then Taye clocked 11:03.56 in the Baltimore Armory, by all accounts faster than Glynn ever ran in the same facility. Taye topped the mighty Maria Coffin, who was obviously the best cross country runner in Maryland last fall, to win the indoor 3200m state title. And now Taye threw down a 12 second PR to win the Emerging Elite division of New Balance Nationals, precisely 1.23 second faster than Sally Glynn ran to win the National Scholastic Indoor Championship 2-Mile in 1995. For the record, Taye's 10:35.04 two mile converts to 10:31.36 for 3200 meters, and Glynn's best outdoor 3200 meter time was 10:24.77.

Asfaw of Richard Montgomery and Jack Wavering of Good Counsel have now raced each other enough times that I think we could call it a bonafide MoCo rivalry. It feels like the debate over the best distance runner in MoCo during the 2015-2016 school year may never be settled. The two have collided five times this school year dating back to cross country season which is more head-to-head match ups than we would usually expect between a public and private school runner. For those keeping score, Wavering has won three of those five matchups, but this last one was a whopper. Asfaw dropped from a 9:27.55 two mile at the Bishop Loughlin Games in December all the way down to a record-breaking 9:11.08 two mile to win the emerging elite division of the two mile at New Balance Indoor Nationals. Only bested by 1.5 seconds, Wavering took fourth on the back end of a tight four man pack in 9:13.52. Both performances, when converted to 3200-meters, will rank among the top ten all-time performances by Montgomery County athletes. For the rankings, Asfaw's two mile will be converted to 9:07.88 for 3200 meters and Wavering's will be converted to 9:10.31. Solmon Haile's 8:59.53c 3200m and Steven Duplinsky's 9:08.23 3200m are the only other 3200's ever recorded by Montgomery County athletes indoors under Wavering's converted time of 9:10.31.

But wait! There's more. Ty Mason of Blake High School also broke a New Balance Indoor Nationals record. Mason jump 23-05.50 in the long jump to win the emerging elite division and top the previous meet record by 3.25 inches. According to Mocorunning's all-time top performances list, it was a top 5 all-time long jump performance by a Montgomery County athlete (indoors or outdoors) and the best ever indoors by a Montgomery County athlete.

More outstanding performances:

Alexis Postell of Bullis qualified for the emerging elite finals in the 60 meter hurdles and placed 4th with a time of 8.78. When converted to a 55-meter hurdle time (8.16c 55mHH), it will rank as the #7 all-time indoor performance by a Montgomery County athlete.

Jabari Bennett, Blake High School's recent transfer student from Gonzaga, placed fifth in the emerging elite shot put with a mark of 55-03.75, the best by a Montgomery County athlete indoors since 2009.

Abigail Green of Walter Johnson set a personal best in the two mile with a time of 10:52.78, the third best performance by a Montgomery County athlete indoors in the last decade. She also helped her 4x800m relay team to an indoor school record time of 9:33.21, the best by a Montgomery County team indoors since 2010.

Girls Two Mile
  1  Bethlehem Taye      16 Silver spring, MD     10:35.04M
  9  Abbey Green         18 Bethesda, MD          10:52.78

Girls 60M Hurdles
  4  Alexis Postell      17 Potomac, MD               8.85Q
  4  Alexis Postell      17 Potomac, MD               8.78
 22  Lindsay Lewis       17 Potomac, MD               9.13
 35  Brionne Pyles       17 Clarksburg, MD            9.40
 36  Helnsarah Penda     16 germantown, MD            9.45

Girls 4x200 Relay
 11  Bullis School Tc-Md                           1:44.43
 13  Clarksburg Tc-Md                              1:44.50

Girls 4x800 Relay
 12  Walter Johnson Tc-Md                          9:33.21

Girls Long Jump
 12  Cierra Pyles        18 Clarksburg, MD           5.30m   17-04.75
 19  Keila Robertson     16 Gaithersburg, MD         5.13m   16-10.00

Girls Triple Jump
 39  Keila Robertson     16 Gaithersburg, MD        11.38m   37-04.00
 12  Denise Woode        16 Damascus, MD            11.32m   37-01.7
 16  Cierra Pyles        18 Clarksburg, MD          11.12m   36-05.75

Boys 60M Dash
 12  Xavier Williams     17 Forestville, MD           7.05
 34  DerageTy Mason      17 Silver Springs, MD        7.18

Boys 200M Dash
 16  Nathan Phillips     18 Silver Springs, MD       22.49

Boys Two Mile
  1  Rohann Asfaw        17 Rockville, MD          9:11.08M
  4  Jack (John) Waveri  16 Olney, MD              9:13.52

Boys Long Jump
  1  DerageTy Mason      17 Silver Springs, MD       7.15m   23-05.50

Boys Triple Jump
 18  Langston Stephens   17 Potomac, MD             13.18m   43-03.00

Boys Shot Put
  5  Jabari Bennett      18 Silver Spring, MD       16.86m   55-03.75


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