Moore is a super sophomore at Plainfield North. He has spent the past two seasons terrorizing his opponents on the track. New York would be no different. On the final day of competition he contested two races. The first was the 60m championship in which he competed in last year. Against a stellar field he placed 7th in 6.81. It is a new personal best as well as state top mark that happens to sit 15th overall in the country. The experience of competing against the likes of Anthony Schwartz of Florida was invaluable. Schwartz ran a stove hot 6.59 which is the second fastest performance in history. The 200m final was also a barnburner with Austin Kratz of Pennsylvania upsetting the favorite Eric Allen Jr. of Bullis, MD with a top 10 all-time time of 21.01. Moore, who was in the first section of two was edged at the line by Okheme Moore of Alabama 21.31-21.32. Unlike last year when "Baby Holyfield" was disqualified for a lane violation, this time's sizzling performance was good enough to place 4th overall.
Miles is better known as "Cinnamon" among her peers finally competed her debut in New York. She was supposed to compete in the 2017 version but had to bow out because of injury. Entered in two events: 200/400 but chose to concentrate on the two-lapper and won her Saturday prelim in 54.92. It was hard to believe that with her running experience, Cinnamon had never competed on a banked track. Sunday's final was broken into two sections with Miles in the first one. Miles appeared to underestimate the complexity of high stakes banked track sprinting and tactics when she fell to the back off the backstraight turn. Miles failed to seize the pole and held the caboose position. Someone in the track community called Miles the "Human Bowling Ball" because she moved from track side to track side and everywhere in between. Several kicks, elbows, and pushes mixed was not what the recipe to success called for. The inexperience may have caused Miles a national title or at worst a new personal best. But a 5th place 54.58 consolation prize will have to do for now.
Every distance stat geek knew who Hart was as soon as they saw her in the MILE start list. Hart decided to concentrate on just one race instead of two or three. After an extended cross country season that lasted until January, it was a wise decision. The opening start of the race went out in an honest pace for the first quarter-mile. Marlee Starliper of Pennsylvania took control and opened up a 5+ second lead during the second half of the race. At the 1320y mark it appeared as though the Penn state indoor champion was having her way. On the bell it was Hart who began to move and give everything that she had. Starliper began to rig up with less than 100m from the finish line. She was a like a wounded animal on the frontier as Hart seized the moment. The Illinois icon in the making zipped past Starliper on the home straight and won her first national title in 4:45.47.
Key performing elements-
Clayton Mendez: The Chicago Whitney Young star senior may have gotten snubbed by meet management when his appeal to be entered into the "championship" section was denied. The best way to prove those wrong is to go out and show them their misdeeds. Mendez did just that in the first section two-mile in which he won in a season best/state best/US#3 9:06.11. At the very least Mendez set himself up to earn All-American honors. The fact that distance ace Brodey Hasty of Brentwood, TN was going to control things could favor into Mendez's hands. Hasty's mindset had been on breaking 4:00 all indoor season, and he anchored his team to a tough DMR win on Friday night. The possibility of him going out at break neck pace probably was not going to happen. And the notion that anyone would try and take over a fast pace other than Hasty would be minimal. Indeed it would be Hasty playing possum for most of the race- looking sharp as well as bored at other times before finally putting the hammer down to win in 9:00.38. Mendez got the last laugh with another All-American medal placing fourth overall.
It was a learning experience for several new participants on the indoor national scene. Imani Carothers (Chicago Brooks) had advanced to the Girls 60HH semi-final. In one of the deepest fields on the docket, Carothers would need to improve on her personal best to advance to the final. Unfortunately, Carothers decent race of 8.51 just missed by two places. The triple jump exploits did not come through either as 20th place only netted 38-3.5. Amira Young (Whitney Young) is sure to take the experience she gained back home. The University of Minnesota bound Young made it the 60m semis with a time of 7.63. The 200 was 25.11. Chandler Hayden of Pittsfield earned All-American honors in the rarely thrown Girls Weight taking 6th place (52-4.5).