With the Nike, New Balance, Adidas & USATF Youth meets completed, here is our wrapup for the Indoor season in the Race Walk.
2022 returned us to the old status quo of dueling National Championships on the same weekend. The last time this happened was in 2010 when the NSAF meet went up against the NSIC, which was the original championship, but run by a separate organization. The history is complicated, but the meet management of the NSAF meet, currently sponsored by Nike, has a direct line to the first incarnation, thus holding the historical relationship as “the National HS Championship”.
The fun part of having multiple nationals on the same weekend is whether anyone is able to pull off “the double” by winning both events. 6 boys and 1 girl managed to pull off this feat from 1999-2010. Twelve seasons later, it looked like 3 boys and 1 girl had the ability to do it. Only Madison Morgan (Episcopal, TX) 7:34.20/7:23.77 was able to pull off the sweep of Mile victories, besting Desi Dubois (Brockport, NY) 7:51.63/7:40.97 in both races. Ashlyn Poulin (Gardiner, ME) took 3rd both times in 7:55.86/7:51.48.
For the boys, Clayton Stoil (Langley, VA) and Ryan Allen (Kingsway, NJ) swapped 1st and 3rd positions, while Isaac Gray (Brighton, NY) took 2nd in both. The NSAF meet had some drama with the first across the line (Lucien Beardsley of Gorham, ME) being DQ’d for loss of contact violations. Stoil came across the line in 2nd, but got the win in 7:14.47. His 3rd place at NB was in 7:17.11. Allen went 7:29.94/7:12.00 and Gray was 7:25.44/7:15.29.
A week later, two more meets were on the calendar, but geography and scheduling made attempts at another double much harder. Also, the Adidas meet in Virginia Beach was at a Mile, while the USATF Youth meet at Ocean Breeze had a 3000m for HS aged athletes.
Allen and Stoil went at it a 3rd time in 2 weekends, kind of like Ali & Frazier in the 1970s. Allen would prove to be the part of Ali by taking 2 of 3 from Stoil at Adidas, winning on a surge with 2 laps to go, 7:14.67 to 7:15.13. No girls competed in the Adidas meet, which was regrettable.
At USATF, there were 5 races divided by the age groups where champions were crowned. The Men’s 15-16 was won by Rowan McDonald (Bonny Eagle, ME) in 15:37.05. Isaac Gray won the 17-18 division in 15:25.48. The Women’s races were as follows: Diya Jain (Westfield, NJ) 19:38.54 (13-14), Desi Dubois 16:11.71 (15-16), and Ashlyn Poulin 16:35.93 (17-18).
The impressive performances in all 4 of these meets significantly changed the Indoor Performance Lists for the season. Also, a number of State Records were set. In the 1500m, 3 new standard bearers replaced existing performances in Oregon, Texas and Virginia for the Girls.
Depth is slowly returning for both Boys and Girls across all distances, which bodes well for the HS program nationally and also the every growing number of NAIA college teams that are looking to add Walkers to their rosters.