New Balance Girls — Cuthbertson Smashes Relay Records

Charlotte Bell anchored Cuthbertson relay squads to 4 x Mile & distance medley HSRs and also raced the mile. (KEVIN MORRIS)

ROXBURY CROSSING, MASSACHUSETTS, March 07-09 & Brighton, Massachusetts, March 10 — Girls competition at the New Balance Indoor Nationals brought a flurry of rewrites to the all-time high school lists. No performer was busier at the top end than the distance relay teams of Cuthbertson High (Waxhaw, North Carolina) and the school’s star miler Charlotte Bell. The group came away with two High School Records.

The record assault started on Thursday, with the 4 x Mile. All three of the schools atop the ATL, event history’s only sub-20:00 teams, had squads in the race with the HSR of 19:37.78 by Flower Mound (Texas) from ’22 obviously on the chopping block. Power of long standing Saratoga Springs (New York) figured to be in the mix along with Cuthbertson, and Flower Mound had 3 of its record quartet on board.

Saratoga Springs fell out of contention on the first leg as frosh Adeline Bennett took Flower Mound through some 3m ahead of Cuthbertson soph Josie Schihl. Flower Mound’s Nicole Humphries followed by Cuthbertson senior Stella Kermes carried the tempo up to even with and then past the record pace lights on leg 2. Kermes took the lead ahead of the lamps with 400 left to run on the leg and brought Cuthbertson through 3200 in about 9:49 some 15m in front.

With the pace lights now behind, Flower Mound’s Alexandra Fox got back into Justine Preistano’s slipstream 400m into leg 3 until Preistano broke clear 1000m into the leg. Preistano powered her last lap (leg split about 4:52) to leave anchor Bell, a 4:41.33 miler outdoors last, a clear shot at the record.

A 4:55 split would do it assuredly. Bell, with company from a lapped runner much of the way, flew home in 4:41 for a 19:22.70 finish and 15.08 improvement of the HSR. Flower Mound, ably anchored by Samantha Humphries, also went far under the old mark with 19:28.07.

On Friday in the distance medley, Cuthbertson again pulled away from Flower Mound to a record. Though challenged by Humphries early in the closing 1600, Bell drilled to the win over the last lap and a 4:37.49 split. Her team’s 11:17.50 demolished the 11:32.68 indoor HSR by Pioneer (Ann Arbor, Michigan) from ’22, as well as the absolute record of 11:21.95 that Pioneer ran that year on an oversized track. Flower Mound (11:20.65) and Niwot of Colorado (11:37.67) also got under the old indoor record.

On Sunday, Bell was back for the mile — running against junior Sadie Engelhardt (Ventura, California) with her 4:34.45 from winning at the New Balance GP. This time the West Coast athlete would prevail. Taking charge in the first lap, Engelhardt passed through 880 in 2:16 and ran alone to a 4:36.36 clocking, the No. 5 all-time performance. Bell’s 4:43.87 for 2nd was an 0.52 improvement of her indoor best from the New Balance GP.

Said Engelhardt, “You always think that you could have done better, but I don’t think that shows where I’m at right now. My training plan since December has tried to peak us for March, just because I wanted to hit a couple fast races like this and then Sound.” Engelhardt’s still-to-come race will be an outdoor 1500 against pros at California’s The TEN meet on March 16.

ATL damage was inflicted in a plethora of events, all on the track. Notable among these was a 60 win by Brianna Selby (Indian River, Chesapeake, Virginia) over 200 HSR-holder Adaejah Hodge (Academy, Montverde, Florida), 7.19–7.22. The times brought the pair to =2 and =7 on the all-time list. A day earlier Hodge had motored 22.96 in the 200.

Hodge finished up her meet with a 55.42 carry in the 4×4 that lifted Academy to No. 2 all-time.


60: 1. Brianna Selby (Indian River, Chesapeake, Va) 7.19 (=2, =3 HS); 2. Adaejah Hodge’ (Academy, Montverde, Fl) 7.22 (=7, =8 HS);

3. *Keira Beaumont (North Cobb, Kennesaw, Ga) 7.42.

200: 1. Hodge’ 22.96 (x, =6 HS);

2. ***Dasia Reed (Academy) 23.67; 3. Sade Gray (Scotlandville, Baton Rouge) 23.82.

400: 1. Faith Franklin (Harlingen, Tx) 53.02; 2. Alivia Williams (Academy) 53.03; 3. *Sydney Sutton (Bullis, Potomac) 53.08; 4. Michelle Smith’ (Academy) 53.55.

800: 1. Allison Ince (Community, Normal, Il) 2:03.85 (x, 7 HS);

2. *Olivia Cieslak (Haverford, Havertown, Pa) 2:06.22; 3. Ella Woehlcke (Mt St Joseph, Flourtown, Pa) 2:06.65; 4. *Allison DeLisi (Penn Charter, Philadelphia) 2:07.90.

Mile: 1. *Sadie Engelhardt (Ventura, Ca) 4:36.36 (x, 5 HS);

2. Charlotte Bell (Cuthbertson, Waxhaw, NC) 4:43.87; 3. Logan St. John Kletter (Mt Lebanon, Pittsburgh) 4:45.17; 4. Katherine Bohlke (Newington, Ct) 4:45.60.

2M: 1. Allie Zealand (Home, Lynchburg, Va) 9:47.57 (4, 4 HS); 2. Isabel Allori (Liberty Common, Ft Collins, Co) 9:48.20 (6, 6 HS); 3. **Addison Ritzenhein (Niwot, Co) 9:52.64 (10, x HS);

4. Samantha Humphries (Flower Mound, Tx) 9:54.86 (11, x HS); 5. *Abby Faith Cheeseman (Webb, Bell Buckle, Tn) 10:09.62.

5000: 1. Cheeseman 16:19.82 (13, x HS); 2. Addison Dorenkamp (Valley, West Des Moines) 16:52.77; 3. Sarah Lawson (Corning-Painted Post, Corning, NY) 16:55.83.

60H: 1. *Taylor Cox (Union Catholic, Scotch Plains, NJ) 8.11 (=5, =6 HS);

2. Thalia Waters (Atlantic, Delray Beach, Fl) 8.25; 3. Makeriah Harris (Scotlandville) 8.41; 4. *Sydney Harris (IMG, Bradenton, Fl) 8.43; 5. *Kyndall Spain (Ritter, St Louis) 8.45.

MileW: 1. Taylor Ferrell (Corning-Painted Post) 7:05.14 (9, x HS);

2. *Madison Morgan (Episcopal, Bellaire, Tx) 7:15.88.

Relay Events

4 x 200: 1.Bullis, Potomac, Md 1:35.85 (6 HS);

2. Southridge, Miami 1:39.89; 3. Serra, Gardena, Ca 1:40.25;… dnc—Academy.

Heats: IX-1. Academy 1:36.21 (7 HS).

4 x 400: 1. Academy 3:38.16 (2 HS);

2. Bullis 3:41.58; 3. Union Catholic 3:47.59; 4. Oak Park, Mi 3:47.81.

4 x 800: 1. Padua, Wilmington, De 8:53.46 (5 HS);

2. Cuthbertson 9:01.72; 3. Glastonbury, Ct 9:01.89.

4 x Mile: 1. Cuthbertson, Waxhaw, NC 19:22.70 HSR, absolute HSR (old records 19:37.78 Flower Mound [Tx] ’22) (**Josie Schihl, Stella Kermes, Justine Preisano11, Charlotte Bell c4:41);

2. Flower Mound, Tx 19:28.07 (2 HS; in/out: 2 HS); 3. Saratoga Springs, NY 20:01.61 (10 HS);

4. Air Academy, Air Force Academy, Co 20:17.00; 5. Union Catholic, Scotch Plains, NJ 20:19.02.

SpMed: 1. Union Catholic 3:54.62 (5 HS);

2. Oak Park 3:57.66; 3. Union Catholic B 3:59.99; 4. Bullis 4:00.11; 5. IMG 4:01.58; 6. McNamara, Forestville, Md 4:01.72; 7. Union Catholic C 4:02.80.

DisMed: 1. Cuthbertson 11:17.50 HSR, absolute HSR (old records 11:32.68, Pioneer [Ann Arbor, Mi] ’22) (Justine Preisano 3:29.34, *Tatiana Blake 58.57, Stella Kermes, Charlotte Bell 4:37.49];

2. Flower Mound 11:20.65 (2 HS; in/out: 2 HS);

3. Niwot, Co 11:37.67 (11 HS); 4. Padua 11:40.86; 5. Saratoga Springs, NY 11:44.17.

4 x 55H: 1. Bullis 32.95; 2. DF3 Stars, NY 33.36; 3. Franklin, Ma 33.38.

Field Events

HJ: 1. *E.J. Brown (South, Elkhorn, Nb) 5-8¾; 2. *Cali Bryant (Memorial, Houston, ) 5-8¾; 3. *Bradie Menegatti (West, Pueblo, Co) 5-8¾.

PV: 1. *Veronica Vacca (Mt St Joseph) 13-11¼; 2. Kourtney Rathke (Peak to Peak, Lafayette, Co) 14-7¼; 3. Ella McRitchie (Bainbridge, Bainbridge Island, Wa) 13-7¼; 4. *Mya Strahm (Elmwood, Il) 13-7¼.

LJ: 1. *Lilly Ver Beek (James , Midlothian, Va) 20-¼; 2. Jaci Wright (Buford, Ga) 19-11¾; 3. Grace Smith (Westminster, Atlanta) 19-8¾.

TJ: 1. Asia Phillips’ (Can) 42-10¾; 2. Danah Nembhard (Dacula, Ga) 40-5; 2. Corintia Griffith (Webster-Schroeder, Webster, NY) 40-3½.

SP: 1. Camryn Massey (Ashbrook, Gastonia, NC) 49-1¾; 2. Lauren St Peters (Aledo, Tx) 48-1¾; 3. Anna Siciliano (Hall, West Hartford) 43-11¾.

Wt: 1. Mary Ella Brooks (Ralston Valley, Arvada, Co) 54-4; 2. *Meagan Ewers (Evers, Brooklyn) 53-1¾; 3. **Emma Negri’ (Can) 53-0.

Pent: 1. *Yuliya Maslouskaya’ (IMG) 3627; 2. ***Cate Bryant (Christian, Houston, Tx) 3518; 3. Sarah Dumas (Franklin) 3449. ◻︎

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