Even though it only has two designated high school events, the Raleigh Relays has a major effect on both the state and national rankings every year. That is because the meet offers a Friday-night 3200 meter run, which allows the participants to compete after the sun has gone down, and the cooler temperatures combined with the exciting atmosphere make for big races. Host NC State University has helped things along by gathering deep and talented fields each year, mixing North Carolina's best with a sprinkling of out-of-state talent to make sure that the races are competitive and the paces fast. This year's 3200's were no exception, you can see from the summaries below.
High School Girls 3200
Wesley Frazier (Ravenscroft) stayed with the main group for the first 800 meters and then decided to run her own race, pulling away easily and crossing the 1600 mark in roughly 5:02. She then proceeded to run a negative-split 4:55 for the second 1600, pushing herself as she opened up a 200 meter lead over leaders of the chase pack. Frazier ended up with a new PR of 9:57.70, smashing her old meet record by 23 seconds and taking over the top spot in the national rankings this season. The performance ranks her #1 in North Carolina history, overtaking the mark of 10:00 run by Mary Shea in 1979 (now Frazier only needs to drop 6 seconds off her 5K time to own the state records at 1600/mile, 3200/2-mile, and 5000). The time also makes Frazier the 8th-fastest two-miler in US history!
It would be easy for a performance like that to overshadow everything else that happened in the race, but that would be a huge mistake. Several NC girls ran new PR's Friday night, and the state rankings (not to mention the all-time list) were completely rewritten. The girls' race produced 13 sub-11 times, and also the top 15 times in the state so far this season! Katie Fortner (Cave Spring VA) ended up in second place, holding off Eliza Dekker (Durham Academy) as they emerged from the pack down the final stretch. Dekker's 10:38.67 puts her at NC #11 all-time, and also ranks her 10th in the nation this season. Mary Grace Doggett (Cardinal Gibbons) led 6 North Carolina girls that ran in the 10:40's, her time of 10:43.24 putting her at US #15 and NC #13 all-ime.
Event 122 Girls 3200 M High School ================================================================ Raleigh Rel.: R 10:21.84 3/30/2012 Wesley Frazier, Ravenscrof Name Year School Finals ================================================================ Finals 1 Frazier, Wesley Ravenscroft 9:57.70R 2 Fortner, Katie Cave Spring 10:36.82 3 Dekker, Eliza Durham Academy 10:38.67 4 Doggett, Mary Grace Cardinal Gibbons 10:43.24 5 Kamrani, Pegah East Chapel 10:45.56 6 Ellington, Malia Comm. Davidson 10:46.77 7 Montegomery, Kayla Mt Tabor Hig 10:47.31 8 Ebihara, Sophie Cardinal Gibbons 10:48.92 9 Gordon, Brooke TC Roberson 10:49.59 10 Greengrass, Rebekah Panther Cree 10:50.23 11 Ramsey, Blair Grimsley Hig 10:54.06 12 Miller, Laura JL Mann High School 10:54.18 13 Churchill, Tori Grimsley Hig 10:54.62 14 Anderson, Lily TC Roberson 11:01.31 15 Beatty, Emily Blacksburg H 11:04.93 16 Castro, Allie North Lincol 11:14.90 17 Ewing-Nelson, Claire Blacksburg H 11:17.52 18 Lospinoso, Kristen Green Hope H 11:19.47 19 Teague, Sydney adidas Raleigh 11:20.22 20 Wynn, Callie West Davidso 11:25.00 21 Hutchens, Victoria Patrick Coun 11:26.19 22 Van Ord, Tristan Chapel Hill 11:26.48 23 Meshaw, Becky West Johnsto 11:39.86 24 Teague, Samantha adidas Raleigh 11:53.83 25 Pande, Nina East Chapel 11:56.77
High School Boys 3200
This race was very full and turned out to be pretty physical, with the close quarters and tight competition leading to some bumping along the way (cue "Days of Thunder" references). That didn't seem to inhibit the pace, though, as Kurtis Steck (Lafayette VA) emerged from the scrum to win in 9:08.49, US #7 this season. Nik Kreiling (Jordan), who NCRunners failed to mention during the preview (please see my tweet about traveling for my excuse), led all North Carolina runners with a second-place finish. Kreiling's time of 9:11.05 puts him at US #13 this season, and AJ Tucker (Cedar Ridge) is right behind at US #15 with his time of 9:11.48. Both of those runners just missed breaking into the all-time North Carolina top 25, which goes down to 9:10.29.
As with the girls' race, the depth of great performances was amazing. 11 boys broke 9:20, including 6 from North Carolina, and the race produced the 18 fastest 3200 times in the state. William Roberson (Broughton) ran a US #18 9:12.50 to finish 4th, and that means he is only 4 seconds behind his older brother Sam's best time. Ian Milder (Mount Tabor) continued his improvement by running 9:16.35, good for US #23.
Event 123 Boys 3200 M High School =============================================================== Raleigh Rel.: R 9:00.87 2010 Isaac Presson, Asheville Name Year School Finals =============================================================== Finals 1 Steck, Kurtis Lafayette Hi 9:08.49 2 Kreiling, Nikolaus Jordan High School 9:11.05 3 Tucker, AJ Cedar Ridge 9:11.48 4 Roberson, William Broughton Hi 9:12.50 5 Demarest, Brent Porter-Gaud School 9:12.64 6 Ivankovic, Andre DW Daniel Hi 9:13.55 7 Milder, Ian Mt Tabor Hig 9:13.65 8 Link, Nick Blacksburg H 9:13.68 9 Hall, Philip Terry Sanfor 9:13.72 10 Menzies, Jason Lafayette Hi 9:16.21 11 Smith-Rose, Asher Broughton Hi 9:19.70 12 Fiedler, Ben Asheville School 9:22.56 13 Betancourt, Jake West Johnsto 9:22.93 14 Haughey, Gabe DW Daniel Hi 9:26.15 15 Reeder, Chris Chapel Hill 9:27.06 16 Nickel, Dalton Mt Tabor Hig 9:27.85 17 Lawrence, Allen Broughton Hi 9:27.95 18 Tyrey, Nick Cardinal Gibbons 9:28.10 19 Sheehan, Patrick Lake Norman 9:28.62 20 Tecle, Abel Cary,NC 9:29.14 21 Collichio, Dominic Carrboro Hig 9:29.89 22 Miner, Sam East Chapel 9:30.62 23 Loy, Collin Southern Ala 9:31.40 24 Herron, Alex Ronald Reaga 9:31.89 25 Combs, Noah Blacksburg H 9:38.83 26 Smith, Caleb Patrick Coun 9:44.01 27 Abushouk, Dean Cary,NC 9:45.51 28 Kargiov, Tima Chapel Hill 9:46.13
Collegiate 5000 Meters
Every year, at least one of North Carolina's best distance runners elects to run the 5000 meters against collegiate competition at this meet, and the result is usually very fast. This year, it was Bakri Abushouk taking on the challenge, and he ran 14:34.44, the fastest time in the nation so far this season in the rarely-run event. Abushouk's time is second-fastest in state history, trailing only the performance of Thomas Graham (who recently ran at World Juniors for cross country).