Taking Down Trautmann
The New Balance Outdoor Nationals kicked off Thursday in Greensboro, N.C., with mainly the unseeded sections of events that are called 'Emerging Elite' and selected freshman championships.
The championship 5,000-meter run was held though and both boys' and girls' races provided some quick times.
The boys' race was won by Jake Leingang of Bismarck, N.D., who had to take three separate flights just to make it to Greensboro. Leingang ran 14:27.16 to just miss Edward Cheserek's meet record of 14:25.74 set last year.
"(The record) was motivation, but I couldn't go any faster," Leingang said.
Cheserek opted to skip the 5,000 this year and run the two-mileas well as the sprint and distance medley relays.
Dan Lennon of Peru, N.Y., who won the New Balance Indoor title in the 5k, placed third in 14:37.32. Peru dominated New York competition this spring, won a N.Y. State title last week and capped that off with All-American honors again.
Paddy Grandinali of Warwick Valley, N.Y., broke a 26-year-old Section 9 record — formerly held by Monroe-Woodbury legend John Trautmann at 15:01.1 — by placing seventh in 14:48.16. He was a mere four seconds back on fourth place. Grandinali was second in the N.Y. State steeplechase last week and will compete in that event on Saturday morning.
Ashley Erba from Winona Lake, Ind., broke the old meet record by a few tenths of a second when she ran 16:18.21 to win by more than 25 seconds in the girls' 5k. The top local runner was Rachel Belmont from Old Bridge, N.J., in 24th place.
The Swedish Relay is a new version of the sprint medley that is not contested very often. It consists of team members running 100, 200, 300, and 400 meet legs in order — adding up to 1,000 collective meters.
Columbia, N.J., won the girls' race in 2:10.28 over Withrow of Cincinnati, Ohio. The team was anchored by sophomore Olivia Baker, who was on the All-Armory team at 400m this past winter. Smith Station (Ala.) won the boys' race in 1:54.56.
The meet really kicks into gear Friday night with the two-mile runs, 4x800-meter relays and high hurdle finals all contested starting at 7 pm. Field event finals and multi events highlight the action during the day.