Sander Invitational — Fine Putting By Jessica Ramsey

A 62-½ heave left Jessica Ramsey just an inch and three-quarters off her new indoor PR. (KIRBY LEE/IMAGE OF SPORT)

NEW YORK CITY, January 25—As the domestic professional circuit finally got underway, several athletes looked to be in mid-season form at the Sander Invitational.

Hidden in a far corner of New York City’s Armory, the women’s shot produced one of the afternoon’s most notable performances. Jessica Ramsey was just off her recent indoor PR to top a field that included the top three American throwers from ’19. After taking the lead in the third round with a 60-8 (18.49) heave, the Western Kentucky grad hit 62-½ (18.91) in the fourth round to seal the win. That’s just off the 62-2¼ (18.95) she launched at Vanderbilt last week. Maggie Ewen nearly stole the victory with her 61-8¼ (18.80) in the final round, while defending indoor and outdoor USATF champ Chase Ealey managed only 58-3 (17.75) for 3rd on a day where she fouled half her throws.

On the track, Wadeline Jonathan ran aggressively to win the women’s 400 in 51.71, an indoor PR by more than a second. Prep phenom Athing Mu was a distant 2nd in 53.14, but easily beat the rest of the pros in the race.

Jordan Gusman and Nicole Hutchinson came to town eyeing the World Indoor standard in the 3000, and both came away successful—barely. Gusman, an Australian native who trains part-time in Boulder, Colorado, and represents Malta internationally, broke away from the field with 5 laps to go to win the men’s race in 7:49.11, just inside the 7:50 needed for a Nanjing entry. Not bad for his first-ever time running on an indoor track. “I walked out in lane 3 or 4 and I just thought, ‘This is pretty steep,’” said Gusman. “Once you get into lane 1 and pick up speed it’s not as bad as you think, but it was really interesting.”

Hutchinson hit the WC standard by an even slimmer margin, crossing the line in 8:48.92 to slip under the required 8:49. The Villanova grad (by way of Canada) had to battle clubmate Heidi See (8:52.94) most of the way before sealing the win.

Hutchinson and See were paced to the 1600 by another training partner, Nikki Hiltz, who was doubling back after winning the mile just over an hour earlier. Hiltz, a WC 1500 finalist, held off BYU’s Whittni Orton, 4:29.39–4:29.76, as both set PRs. “The goal coming in was just to win this race,” Hiltz said. “It’s just an opener, a rust-buster, [I wanted] to shake out the cobwebs. It actually took me a while to warm up into it, kind of remember how to race again.” Comebacking Mary Cain was 13th at 9:24.38.

Ajee’ Wilson (2:02.33) and Isaiah Harris (1:48.05) won the 800s comfortably, while Canadian 5000 specialist Justyn Knight showed his speed by winning the men’s mile in 3:59.32, covering the final 200 in 27.39. “Everybody wants to run the mile,” the Syracuse grad said of his choice to drop down in distance. “Knowing that I have Olympic standard [in the 5000] already I just wanted to get some speed under my legs and make sure that I have those wheels come time for Canadian trials and outdoor track.”


SANDER CHALLENGE MEN’S RESULTS

New York City, January 24-25 (200 banked)—

400: 1. Wil London (Nik) 46.60; 2. Tyrell Richard (adi) 47.12; 3. Nathan Strother (adi) 47.15.

800: 1. Isaiah Harris (Nik) 1:48.05; 2. Abraham Alvarado (AtlTC) 1:48.34; 3. Eric Sowinski (unat) 1:48.79; 4. Harun Abda (unat) 1:48.80; 5. Robert Downs (unat) 1:50.28.

Mile: 1. Justyn Knight’ (Can) 3:59.32; 2. Rob Napolitano (HokaNJNY) 3:59.68; 3. Chris Hatler (PhilR) 4:00.88; 4. Patrick Joseph (adi) 4:01.08.

3000: 1. Jordan Gusman’ (Aus) 7:49.11; 2. Ryan Adams (Furm) 7:49.45; 3. Jacob Thomson (BAA) 7:50.00; 4. Willy Fink (unat) 7:50.21; 5. Travis Mahoney (HokaNJNY) 7:50.29; 6. Robert Domanic (RbkB) 7:52.08; 7. Sam Prakel (adi) 7:53.82; 8. David Ribich (BrkB) 7:54.16; 9. Alex Masai’ (Hof) 7:54.34; 10. Obsa Ali (Asics) 7:57.64.

TJ: 1. Chris Benard (Nik) 55-5¾ (16.91); 2. Donald Scott (adi) 55-2¼ (16.82); 3. KeAndre Bates (unat) 53-10½ (16.42); 4. Armani Wallace (unat) 53-5½ (16.29); 5. ***Clarence Foote-Talley (OhSt) 51-2¾ (15.61).

Collegiate Men

400: 1. *Tyler Johnson (OhSt) 46.84; 2. Arinze Chance’ (SC) 47.14.

4 x 400: 1. South Carolina 3:10.27.

HJ: 1. Keenon Laine (unat) 7-2½ (2.20).

PV: 1. ***Zach McWhorter (BYU) 18-4¾ (5.61).

Wt: 1. **Tyler Merkley (PennSt) 68-1½ (20.76).

Hept: 1. Brian Matthews (BYU) 5320.

SANDER WOMEN

400: 1. Wadeline Jonathas (adi) 51.71; 2. Athing Mu (NJHS) 53.14; 3. Jaide Stepter (Pom) 53.25; 4. Courtney Okolo (Nik) 53.71; 5. Grace Claxton’ (PR) 54.30.

800: 1. Ajee’ Wilson (adi) 2:02.33; 2. Olivia Baker (GSTC) 2:02.98; 3. Carley Thomas’ (Wa) 2:03.06; 4. Allie Wilson (AtlTC) 2:04.28; 5. Nia Akins (Penn) 2:04.31;

6. Sammy Watson (adi) 2:04.68; 7. Danae Rivers (PennSt) 2:05.20; 8. Chrishuna Williams (Nik) 2:05.52.

Mile: 1. Nikki Hiltz (adiMis) 4:29.39 (4:12.06);

2. Whittni Orton (BYU) 4:29.76 (4:12.34 (9, 9 C; 7, 7 AmC);

3. Lucia Stafford’ (Can) 4:31.42 (4:13.50); 4. Sarah MacPherson’ (Can) 4:33.36 (4:14.91); 5. Hanna Hermansson’ (Swe) 4:37.56.

3000: 1. Nicole Hutchinson’ (Can) 8:48.92; 2. Heidi See’ (Aus) 8:52.94; 3. Emily Lipari (adi) 8:54.43; 4. Amy-Eloise Neale’ (GB) 8:56.54; 5. Erika Kemp (BAA) 8:58.44; 6. Shannon Osika (Nik) 9:00.42; 7. Amanda Eccleston (Brk) 9:00.76; 8. Paige Stoner (RbkB) 9:01.36; 9. Abbie McNulty (RbkB) 9:04.50; 10. Sarah Pagano (adi) 9:09.63; 11. Yolanda Ngarambe’ (Swe) 9:14.88; 12. Josette Norris (RbkB) 9:18.03; 13. Mary Cain (US) 9:24.38; 14. Katelyn Tuohy (NYHS) 9:32.88.

Field Events

LJ: 1. Quanesha Burks (adi) 22-1 (6.73) (22-1, 21-8¼, 21-4¼, 21-8¼, 21-9½, 21-8¾) (6.73, 6.61, 6.51, 6.61, 6.64, 6.62); 2. Kate Hall (Asics) 21-10 (6.65); 3. Akela Jones’ (Bar) 21-¾ (6.42); 4. Jasmine Todd (unat) 20-5¼ (6.23); 5. Sha’Keela Saunders (adi) 20-3½ (6.18).

SP: 1. Jessica Ramsey (unat) 62-½ (18.91) (f, 58-11½, 60-8, 62-½, 59-11¼, f) (f, 17.97, 18.49, 18.91, 18.27, f); 2. Maggie Ewen (unat) 61-8¼ (18.80); 3. Chase Ealey (unat) 58-3 (17.75); 4. Raven Saunders (unat) 57-8¼ (17.58);

5. *Adelaide Aquilla (OhSt) 56-11¼ (17.35); 6. Monique Riddick (Vel) 55-3¾ (16.86); 7. Lloydricia Cameron’ (Jam) 53-9 (16.38).

Collegiate Women

(1/24—60, 60H, DM, Pent)

60: 1. *Anavia Battle (OhSt) 7.33.

200: 1. *Stephanie Davis (SC) 23.94.

400: 1. **Shae Anderson (UCLA) 53.46.

800: IV–1. Michaela Meyer (De) 2:07.26. V–1. Cynthia Anais’ (Fra) 2:03.48; 2. Megan Malasarte (AtlTC) 2:04.93; 3. Anna Camp (BYU) 2:06.71; 4. Olga Kosichenko (CPTC) 2:07.63.

60H: 1. *Morgan Lewis (OhSt) 8.27; 2. *Destinee Rocker (SC) 8.27.

4 x 400: 1. Ohio State 3:39.52; 2. UCLA 3:40.11; 3. Penn 3:40.60.

DisMed: 1. Duke 11:15.47; 2. Columbia 11:18.20.

PV: 1. **Hailey Sweatman (SC) 13-9¼ (4.20).

TJ: 1. **Kali Hatcher (Col) 42-6¾ (12.97); 2. Zion Lewis (Brown) 42-0 (12.80).

SP: 1. *Alyssa Wilson (UCLA) 57-¾ (17.39).

Pent: 1. Madeline Holmberg (PennSt) 4171. ◻︎

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