GREENSBORO, N.C., June 19 -- Sherwood junior Solomon Haile tied a meet record in the boys' 5,000 meters on Thursday in his Nike Outdoor Nationals debut.

Haile matched Connecticut's Adam Vess's 2007 time of 14 minutes 38.23 seconds.

It was good, really, Haile said, smiling widely. I'm happy for that.

Haile, an Ethiopian who arrived in the United States about eight months ago, also set the 5,000 indoor record with his 14:53.93 run at the Nike Indoor Nationals in March. His time was more than 10 seconds faster than Jason Witt (Midlothian), who set the mark last year.

Shortly after crossing the finish line, at North Carolina A&T University's Irwin Belk Track & Field Complex, Haile was surrounded by people asking for interviews and taking his picture -- including his sisters Sehine and Naomi.

We're used to [the crowds] now, Naomi said.
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Haile said running against the renowned distance competition in Ethiopia has prepared him well for racing in the United States.

It's high competition there, said Haile, a first-team All-Met this spring. It's a higher honor there.

Haile is scheduled to compete in the two-mile race Friday.

Sherwood Coach Dan Reeks said Haile enters every race with the highest expectations.

He ran a good race, Reeks said. He's disappointed. We were looking for the record.

After this, Haile said he'll take a break before gearing up for cross-country season in the fall.

Eleanor Roosevelt junior Brian Faherty finished 26th and Potomac Falls junior Joshua Harden finished 21st among the 34 boys who ran the 5,000-meter race.

The boys' and girls' 5,000-meter runs were the only high school events Thursday night.

The first of the three-day competition opened with Ashley Brasoven's record-setting win in the girls' 5,000 meters. The junior from Wellington, Fla., set the mark with a time of 16:18.91.

Brentsville junior Margaret Gentry finished 13th in the 5,000.