Dominant Performances at the 2012 New Balance Nationals Indoor
Edward Cheserek of St. Benedicts Prep in the Boys Championship Sprint Relay
The New Balance Track and Field Center at the Armory in New York City was brimming with energy this past weekend as more than 4,000 of the nation's top high school track and field athletes filled the arena for the 2012 New Balance Nationals Indoor. As audience members packed the stands to watch the events, many more from around the world viewed the excitement from our live stream on Facebook. The three-day event concluded with numerous broken records and spectacular performances.
One athlete in particular separated himself from the rest of the field. Edward Cheserek of St. Benedicts Prep in New Jersey won his third National Championship of the weekend in the Boy's Two Mile. Cheserek hit halfway in 4:25.1 — a seven-second lead on his closest competitors, to then finish in 8:50.53. On Friday, he helped the St. Benedicts Prep team win the Distance Medley Relay, then came back on Saturday to anchor the school's Sprint Medley Relay. He came within one-half of a second from earning his fourth Championship in the Boy's Mile, but Brad Nye came off the final turn to pass Cheserek with a winning time of 4:08.65.
Brad Nye after winning the Boy's Championship Mile
Dominant performances continued to highlight the event as Chariho TC of Rhode Island surprised everyone in the Boy's 4 x Mile Relay, running 17:20.02 to break the three-year-old National Record of 17:21.58, previously held by West Windsor-Plainsboro. Coming into the race, many had focused their attention on reigning National Champion Brothers TC (Christian Brothers Academy, NJ), as well as Shaker TC of New York. But Chariho knew they had a chance to take the Championship, and possibly the National Record.
Chariho TC of Rhode Island after breaking the National Record in the Boy's 4xMile Relay
"We knew we had the talent all along," said Mike Marsella, a senior and the team's anchor. "We knew adding up our [personal best] splits, we had a chance to not only win the race, but set a National Record. It was definitely on our radar, since the beginning of the season."
Earlier in the weekend, Michigan junior Erin Finn clocked a blistering 16:19.69 in the Girl's 5000m, setting a new National High School Record by over fifteen seconds. From the start of the event, Finn set a fast pace and charged to the front early. By 400m, the West Bloomfield, Michigan native was in the lead, where she would stay for the remainder of the race.
Erin Finn of Michigan in the Girl's 5000m
In the Boy's 800m, Ben Malone broke the tape in 1:49.94 to set a new Meet Record — becoming only the second high school boy in history to dip under the 1:50 barrier. "I just knew I couldn't let up until the finish line. It still hasn't hit me that I'm a National Champion," he said.
Ben Malone breaking the tape in the Boy's 800m
Athletes gathered not only to compete, but to share laughs off the track in our photo booth, dance to a live DJ, and customize the New Balance Nationals backpacks given out to each athlete. Poignant moments from the first day of the event are featured in the highlight video below from our friends at RunnerSpace.
To learn more about the New Balance Nationals Indoors, you can visit the New Balance Nationals Facebook page for results, full video archives, and photo galleries spanning all three days of the event.