Photo by: Dave Watt American Running Association

        The Armory in New York City hosted its third New Balance meet and the meet offered numerous fine times and exciting action.   The meet took place over a three day period, which began on Friday, although the bulk of the major races took place on Sunday.   That said, that first day produced a national record in the 5,000 Meter Run, when Wesley Frazier came from behind to just nip Erin Finn at the finish.   Finn, who will represent the US at the upcoming World Cross Country in Poland, has had less than stellar fortunes recently & supposedly suffered from sinus issues here, set a torrid pace and established a formidable lead before fading just a bit at the end, still got under her national record of 16:19, which she set last year but it was not quite enough down the stretch.  North Carolina’s Frazier just got up at the tape to record a time of 16:18.01 to win by one-hundredth of a second.  Julie McConville of Massachusetts was a distance third with her time of 16:40, while Tessa Barrett of Pennsylvania (16:42) & Maria Hauger of Minnesota (16:44) claimed fourth & fifth respectively.

      While Frazier established a new record for all classes Elijah Armstrong of Pocatello recorded a new national best for sophomores with 14:54.27.  Impressive in its own right was the fact that young Elijah won the race by defeating a solid field, that included seniors like Max Norris.  Norris, a senior, ran 14:55.41, while Estevan De La Rosa of Arcadia (California) placed third with 14:56.   The junior runner had a five second margin over Trevor Sleight, who ran 15:01.   Conner Sheryak of Xavier in Louisville garnered third with 15:05.

       The Friday evening session also included an Emerging Elite Mile for both girls and guys.   Emily Kaplan of D.C. won the young ladies event in 4:55 and Katherine Receveur of Assumption in Louisville earned second with 4:57.22.  Marin Warner of Holmdel (4:58) & Megan Wilson (4:59) also broke the five minute barrier.  Alex Hess topped the boys with 4:16.77 and Curtis Jewett (4:17) & Luke Gavigan (4:18) were close behind in second & third respectively.  Zachary Albright & Lucas Arrivo also ran versions of 4:18 and change.

     Wesley Frazier came back on Sunday to score in the Two Mile Run, as she sped home in 10:12.23.   Julie McConville also made a return engagement placing second with 10:17.  Audrey Belf edged Caroline Alcorta of Virginia by a second for third with her clocking of 10:22, while Katie Lembo of NY took fifth in 10:28.  Marissa Saenger nipped Maggie Drazba of W.V. for sixth with both earning marks of 10:29.   Any time two-time Foot Locker champion Edward Cheserek toes the line there is great anticipation and the national record-holder in the event (8:39.15) won with a 8:59 clocking.   Sean McGorty of Virginia garnered second with 9:02, while Tennessee’s Aaron Templeton was barely behind McGorty in third.   Bakri Abushouk of N.C. claimed fourth in 9:03 and Thomas O’Neill of N. J. placed fifth.   Eric Holt of NY came in sixth and Oregonian (Lakeridge H S) Julian Heninger ran 9:35.

     The girls’ Mile came down to the wire with Elise Cranny getting the nod over Hannah Meier, as both were credited with 4:40 by three-tenths of a second.    Jamie Phalon (4:48) was the only other runner to break 4:50, while Sara Sargent of Pennsylvania & Sarah Gillespie took fourth & fifth with 4:52.   Kennedy Weisner placed sixth while Haley Meier of Michigan had an off day finishing 14th.    Haley later noted:   I actually fell in my race, which put myself in last place…about 10 seconds away from the pack.   But I got back up and tried to finish strong!   Henry Wynne got the measure of Trevor Gilley, who won the earlier Brooks PR Invitational Mile.  Both were credited with 5:08 with Wynne notching a.15 at the end for the victory.  Brock Baker of Tennessee took third with 4:09, while Connor Mora of Michigan ran 4:10 for fourth & was followed a second later by James Randon, who edged Vincent Ciattei.

        The guys poured across the finish line at the end of the 800 Meter Run with five runners crossing in 1:51 something.   The laurels were claimed by Nathan Kiley, who clocked 1:51.37.   Chris Ibarra of Texas finished a tenth of a second before Tre ‘tez Kinnard of Louisville.   Jacob Clark and Ben Malone secured fourth & fifth with little between themselves& the other three runners.   Jordon Wallin of Idaho ran 1:54 to take 14th.   Sabrina Southerland eliminated any late suspense by speeding to victory in 2:03, which broke the Armory, NBN & NSIC records, yet was over Mary Decker’s American mark.  Her time gave her a two second margin over Kailee Sawyer.  Maddy Berkson (2:06) and Utah’s Shea Martinez (2:08)  finished third & fourth respectively.

      Precious Holmes edged Olivia Baker 53.49 to 53.99 and Layla White secured third in the 400M with 54.66.    Michael Cherry may not have come away with a record but he certainly gave a number of marks a scare by zipping to a 46.87.  Zyaire Clemes & Laray Smith both ran fine 47 & change & Jimmy Brooks was fourth with 48.16. 

      Relay races can be an integral part of track including the indoor variety and there was much to choose from at New Balance.   The longer versions for the girls saw some very impressive efforts with three of them resulting in marks, which were of near record times.   The Distance medley was a case in point with Benjamin Cardoza racing to a splendid 11:35.43.   Buoyed by the anchor leg of Sabrina Southerland Cardoza gave Mountain View ‘s (Utah) record a real scar e with a mark of 11:39.10.  West Springfield of Virginia was second with 11:59.     

      The four by Mile relay came tantalizingly even closer to a record as the Grosse Point (Michigan) of Kelsie Schwartz, Ersula Farrow, Haley Meier & Hannah Meier registered a time of 20:02.80.   The record for the event was 19:59.24.  Hannah Meier finished with a split of 4:46.  Oakton, Virginia came in second with 20:45, while Kinetic (Saratoga Springs, NY) placed sixth with 21:05.  Assumption HS Louisville with Bailey Davis, Kenzley Defler, Emily Bean & Katherine Receveur handling the chores was eighth in 21:21.

      The record in the four by 800 Meters was a solid 8:53.67 by Brooklyn but Davis (Utah) but Shea Martinez anchored with an impressive 2:06 to bring Davis home in 8:56.57.   Garden City, NY earned second with 9:01.   The guys from Kellenberg annexed the 4 by 800M Relay with 7:45.24 & the Staples (Ct.) boys scored in the DMR with 10:07.   Brothers of N Y had Jack Boyle (4:24), Billy Bragg (4:21), Aaron Liberatore (4:18) & Tommy Rooney (4:17) combine for a winning 17:22.  The national Record of 17:20.20 was not that far removed.   Warrior took second with 17:23, while Arcadia garnered tenth with 17:42.   Notably Arcadia had no seniors on the team, so Phillip Rocha, Mahmoud Moussa, Jarrick Winslow & Estevan De La Rosa should all be able to return and make more noise next year.