Blaise Rewaka made his name by making jaws drop with his relay exploits. Yesterday at the Nike Outdoor Nationals was no different.
Iona Prep's Nick Costa, Ryan Jenkins, Edouard Boulat and Rewaka earned all-America honors, finishing fourth in the 1,600-meter sprint medley relay in 3 minutes, 28.41 seconds at Aggie Stadium at North Carolina A&T in Greensboro. The event is run as two 200-meter legs, a 400 leg and an 800 leg.
Rewaka took the baton in sixth place with a tight crowd ahead. He passed four in the first 200 meters of his 800-meter anchor leg, which he completed in 1 minute, 51.8 seconds.
I wanted to get out in 51 (second for the first 400) because I really wanted to run 1:50, the Ardsley resident said.
The senior was in second and closing hard on the leader, New Bern (N.C.), on the final straightaway. But the anchors from New Jersey's Union Catholic and Don Bosco Prep reeled him in before the finish.
I was furious, Rewaka said.
New Bern later was disqualified because of a lane violation, and Don Bosco was declared national champion, finishing in 3:27.30.
Costa (22.9) and Jenkins (22.6) ran the 200 legs for the Gaels, and Boulat ran the 400 leg in 50.9. The top six finishers earn all-America status.
We're happy we got all-American, Rewaka said. We were talking about it last night. We're all seniors and we're all leaving. We wanted to make a statement this outdoor season and it's Nike Outdoor Nationals, our last chance.
Rewaka will compete in the open 800 today, scheduled for 5:50 p.m.
Carmel's Catherine DeSarle, Caity Tully, Ashley Maurer and Kristin Reese finished fifth in the 3,200 relay in 9:04.28, earning all-America status. The same relay had won a national indoor title at the National Scholastic Indoor Championships in March.
The Rams' foursome owned the fastest time in the nation indoors.
We wanted to run faster, break 9 minutes, like we did indoors, Reese said. But we're happy. We're just mad that we didn't get free shoes.
The Blazin' Raiders Track Club, which is made up of runners from Eleanor Roosevelt High in Greenbelt, Md., won the race in 8:55.50, the nation's fastest time this season.
They got the shoes.
The Blazin' Raiders also set a national record in the girls 1,600 sprint medley earlier, in 3:51.90.
Also in the boys sprint medley, North Salem's Alex Fleishner (23.0), Charlie Popp, (23.0), Jon Knowlton (49.8) and Alex Malikian (1:53.9) finished 10th overall and second in the first heat in 3:30.65. They were seeded last of the 38 teams entered but finished 1.06 seconds from all-America contention.
That was a little demoralizing, Malikian said of the low seed. We're happy, though. We think we could have easily broken 3:30. We didn't even think we would place this week. We're happy, but a little disappointed because we came so close to being all-American.
Julian Sheinbaum of Scarsdale finished fifth in the Emerging Elite section of the boys mile in 4:18.07. The Nike Outdoor Nationals added Emerging Elite events this year for athletes who just missed the meet's qualifying standards.