(Updated) It was a productive and rewarding three days of competition for state athletes at the 2015 New Balance Nationals Outdoor Championship Meet at the NC A&T Irwin Belk Track at North Carolina A&T University in Greensboro, NC. Athletes from Danbury, Darien, New Haven, Norwalk, Ridgefield, Tolland, Weston and Windsor earned All-American honors with a finish in one of the top six places in the Championship events.
The national meet hosted by the National Scholastic Athletics Foundation offered both Championship events and a full slate of Emerging Elite and Freshman events. The Championship races are for those who have made the qualifying standards for those events. The first six places were named NSSF All Americans in the Championship events. The Emerging Elite were for those who had not quite made those standards. The Emerging Elite Division was open to any high school athlete who had made the Emerging Elite standards, whether they are Freshman, Sophomores, Juniors or Seniors. The idea is that, eventually, an Emerging Elite athlete will join the elite ranks, but has not yet attained that status.
All American honors earned by state athletes for their finish in one of the top six places at the 2015 New Balance Nationals Outdoor Championship Meet included:
On Friday afternoon prior to the severe weather that delayed the meet, the Danbury Boys team of Mathew Andrew, Devonte Clarke, Jonathan Bartley and Terrell Cunningham placed fifth in the Boys 1000m Sprint Medley Swedish Relay Championship in 1:58.30 behind the winning time of 1:52.64 by Western Branch VA.
Very late on Friday night, Eric van-der Els of Brien McMahon-Nowalk placed third in the Boys 5k Run Championship in a time of14:41.05 behind the winning time of 14:35.71 by Will Lauer of Sioux Falls SD and 14:40.62 by runner-up Conor Lundy of Forham Prep NY.
During Saturday morning competition in the Boys 4x200m Relay Championship, the Windsor Boys team consisting of Courtney Rush, Nathaniel Williams Tyler Coyle and Kyshawn Bonner placed sixth in a time of 1:27.41 behind the winning time of 1:25.89 by the Flowers MD team.
On Saturday, Armstrong Noonan of Darien finished sixth in 9:05.82 in the Boys 2-Mile Run Championship as Carter Blunt of McKinney TX won in a time of 8:58.03.
Also on Saturday, the Ridgefield Boys team of Clint Corso, Johnathan Keating, Austin Gilbert and Kristian Sogaard placed third in 7:44.27 in the Boys 4x800m Relay Championship as Old Bridge NJ took first place in a time of 7:39.36 and Spirit of Pre TC, MI were runner-up in 7:39.67.
In early competition on Sunday in the Girls 4x1-Mile Relay Championship, the Tolland HS quartet of Caitlin Swanson (4:59.78), Katherine DeLoreto (5:03.19), Courtney Akerley (5:09.54) and Kelsey Swanson (5:05.38) combined for a final time of 20:17.87 for a second place finish behind La Salle Academy RI in a time of 20:14.01. The time by Tolland betters the existing State Record time of 20:41.13 set by Tolland at the meet last year.
Tolland HS Girls 4x1Mile Relay Team (submitted photo)
Also in Sunday morning competition, the Windsor Girls squad of Torrie Epps, Erika Hightower, Jiana Baker, Sashana Hinds finished third in a time of 1:45.74 in the Girls 800m Sprint Medley Relay Championship behind the Imp Nation NC team in a time of 1:44.52 and runner-up the Withrow OH team in 1:45.73.
In the Boys 800m Sprint Medley Relay Championship, the Windsor Boys team of Shy Brooks, Tyler Coyle, Kyshawn Bonner and Courtney Rush placed third in 1:31.74 and the Weston Boys quartet of Micah Zirn, Nikolas Parker, Chris Petty and Simeon Okoro placed fifth in 1:32.61 behind the winning time of 1:30.90 by the Western Brach VA team.
In early Sunday afternoon competition in the Girls 800m Run Championship, Danae Rivers of Wilbur Cross New Haven placed third in a time of 2:08.31 as Sammy Watson of Rush-Henrietta, NY finished first in 2:07.02 and Sarah Walker of Germantown PA placed second in 2:07.72.
Also on Sunday afternoon in the Boys 4x400m Relay Championship, the Weston Boys team of Micah Zirn, Chris Petty, Nikolas Parker, Simeon Okoro placed fifth in the race in a time of 3:17.27 as the Union Catholic NJ team won in 3:12.14.
In the next to last track event of the meet late Sunday afternoon, the Tolland Girls team of Katherine DeLoreto, Julia Sprout, Kelsey Swanson and Caitlin Swanson placed fourth in the Girls Distance Medley Relay Championship in a time of 11:55.66 as the Needham MA team won in a time of 11:51.09.
Top finishes by state athletes in the Emerging Elite events included:
In early completion on Friday, Jessica Drop of Coginchaug-Durham placed first in the Girls 1-Mile Run Emerging Elite with a time of 4:57.05.
In the Boys Discus Throw Emerging Elite on Friday, Daniel Hardiman of Farmington placed second with a toss of 171-0 behind winner Cameron Yon of St Mary Striders with a throw of 171-1.
On Sunday morning in the Girls Distance Medley Relay Emerging Elite, the Coginchaug-Durham Girls quartet of Samantha Drop, Bailey Thayer, Allie Alsup and Jessica Drop placed first in a time of 11:57.06.
Complete meet results are now available from MySportsResuts.com on the Results page sponsored by Fleet Feet Sports of West Hartford.
Visit New Balance Nationals Outdoor website for more information.