New Balance Nationals Outdoor Preview: Florida Edition

As always Florida will bring a strong contingent of athletes to Greensboro, North Carolina and this year's 2013 New Balance Nationals Outdoor will be no different. The event kicks off Friday with the marquee event being the girls and boys 5000m championship and will conclude Sunday. Our MileSplit team will be on hand throughout the weekend with thousands of photos, dozens of video interviews, and up to the minute action and results. Best of luck to all those competing this weekend!


American Heritage sophomore Diamond Spaulding has asserted herself as one of the top sprinters in the state. Spaulding placed seconds in the 100 behind Deanna Hill at the 2A state finals and took home the gold in the 200 with a personal best time of 23.59. She is entered in both the 100 and 200 this weekend. The 100 will be the tougher of the two races with a loaded field headlined by Adidas Dream 100 champion Ky Westbrook of Arizona. Westbrook returns in the 200 (she is the defending champion in both events) as well as Shekara Martin, the 100 and 200 meter state champion from Georgia. Spaulding should have a good showing in both races and return with All-American honors.

Florida has five representatives in the championship quarter-mile. Kendal Ellis (pictured below) is the only one of the group to have dipped under 54 seconds in 2013. Deja Parrish has a personal best of 53.20 which she ran at regionals in 2012. Both won state titles in 2013. Ordway ran 54.19 to win the Golden South Classic. Most of these girls have experience running against each other in South Florida and know each others tendencies. Karrington Winters, Olivia Baker, and Kadecia Baird (the defending champion) have three of the top seven times in the nation. Baird Baker, Ellis, Parrish and Ford are all in heat three. If they can advance out of there they will likely be on the podium after finals. Also entered are Kendall Baisden of Michigan and Sydnee Over of Connecticut two of the top quarter milers in the country that should be threats to watch for.

LSU signee Danielle Avery and Fort Myers senior Emily Edwards look to shine in the distance events. Avery is entered in the 800 while Edwards is entered in the mile. 

In the hurdles, University of Kentucky signee Johna' Whitaker will see how she fares against the rest of the country.  She will be joined by UCF signee Lia King of Hallandale. Whitaker has a chance to reach the podium but a championship will be hard to come by with the likes of Kendell Williams out of Georgia and Dior Hall out of Colorado also entered. Whitaker is signed up for the 400 meter hurdles as well. She will be joined by fellow Floridian Kimani Austin-Reese.

King will also triple jump where she is joined by Darrielle McQueen of North Florida Christian. McQueen, one of the top jumpers in Florida is also entered in the long jump. She recently hit a new personal best of 40-9.25 at the Caribbean Scholastic Invitational in Puerto Rico and is looking to improve on that mark.

The throwing events feature a trio of Floridians led by Miami Northwestern's Lloydricia Cameron. Much like McQueen, Cameron is coming off a trip to Puerto Rico where she swept the throws at the Caribbean Scholastic Invitational. She will be joined by Bulls' teammate Jontavia Dykes in both events, Akassja White in the discus, and Pine Forest senior Lamia Miller in the shot put.

4A state champion Erica Sergeant will compete in the pole vault where she looks to get back to form. She finished second at the Golden South Classic behind Emily Savage of Connecticut.

Three Florida athletes will be competing in the heptathlon. It is an event that is not contested in Florida, but that doesn't phase Jordan Fields, Brittany McGee, and Gillian Morrison.  McGee and Fields have the most experience in this event and are nationally ranked in the multi's.

Championship Division

100m -Daryth Gayles, Gaby Gayles,  Diamond Spaulding
200m - Diamond Spaulding
400m -  Kendall Ellis, Erin Ford, Jorian Ordway, Deja Parrish, Shannon Rolle
800m - Danielle Avery
Mile - Emily Edwards
100H - Lia King, Johna Whitaker
400H - Kimani Austin-Reese, Johna Whitaker
Pole Vault - Erica Sergeant
Long Jump - Darrielle McQueen
Triple Jump - Darrielle McQueen, Lia King
High Jump - Nicole Greene
Shot Put - Lloydricia Cameron, Jontavia Dykes, Lamia Miller
Discus - Lloydricia Cameron, Jontavia Dykes, Rebecca Evans, Akassja White
Hammer - Rebecca Evans
Hep - Jordan Fields, Brittany McGee, Gillian Morrison

Emerging Elite Division
EE 400m - Asja Baker
EE 800m - Charlotte Stephens
EE Mile - Scarlett Fox, Stefanie Kurgatt
EE 100H - Megan Tse
EE Shot Put - Akassja White

Freshman Division
Frosh 100m - Maijah Mathis, Renna Richards
Frosh 400m - Madeline Beaubien
Frosh Mile - Denae Chapman, Katherine Kuhn
Frosh 2Mile - Denae Chapman


If there is a Florida race I am looking forward to the most it is the 100 meter dash. Trayvon Bromell and Kendal Williams (pictured above) have been Florida's most consistent sprinters throughout the 2013 season. The two went at it at the end of May at the Dream 100 and will have warmer drier conditions when they hit the track this weekend. Bromell recently ran a wind aided 9.99 in New Mexico and is riding a wave of momentum. Bromell and Williams will be joined by fellow Dream 100 competitors Trentavis Friday, the hometown boy out of North Carolina, as well as champion Cameron Burrell out of Texas. This field is LOADED. You also can't count out Mustaq'eem Williams of Virginia and Tony Brown of Texas. Bromell wants revenge from New York City and Burrell has already started the war of words via social networking so let the battle begin! Williams was disappointed in his last race and his ready for conditions he is more familiar with. A fast start for Kendal and he will be right there with those two.

Bromell will come back later for the 200 meters and will be joined by Reggie Glover of Dr. Phillips and Ceolamar Ways. Ways has a very good shot in this race after opting out of the 100. He is the National Champion indoors at this distance and is coming off a second place showing at the Dream 100 in which he surprised many people. He has the seventh fastest time in the nation in the 200 and is the fastest seed coming in.

Ways may be best known for his quarter mile battles over the past four years with Nick Uruburu of Bartram Trail. We've seen the future Florida Gators closing speed, evident in the past two state finals. Coming down to the last event Uruburu clinched gold for his squad splitting in the low 46's for his anchor leg. He hasn't dipped below 47 seconds in 2013 and will face a tough task at nationals with the likes of Michael Cherry who is in his heat and is currently the defending champion in this event and ranked number one in the country. If there is one thing about Uruburu though, it is that he is a competitor and you can never count him out.

In the hurdles, Florida is represented with three state champions Marques Burgman (1A), Christopher Grinley (4A), and Timothy Holmes (2A). Burgman and Grinley will compete in the 110's. Grinley and Holmes will compete in the college distance 400 meter  hurdles. All three are seniors and will look to finish their high school careers with one last high note.

Hillsbourough High School senior Jeremiah Green wowed the crowed at New Balance Nationals Outdoor last year when he hit three consecutive leaps of 50 feet or more in the triple jump. He won the event and is looking to defend his crown. Lakewood twins Shaquem and Shaqulil Griffin will look to spoil the party along with fellow Floridian Gabe McClary. Green has jumped 52-01.75 this year which is US#1. He is also entered in the long jump where he should crack the top eight for All-American honors.

The Griffin twins along with Holmes will compete in both the 4x100 and 4x400 meter relays. Flagler Palm Coast is also entered in the 4x4.

Championship Division
100m - Trayvon Bromell, Kendal Williams
200m - Trayvon Bromell, Reggie Glover, Ceolamar Ways
400m - Jeffrey Green - Nick Uruburu
110H - Marques Burgman , Christopher Grinley
400H - Christopher Grinley, Timothy Holmes
Long Jump  - Jeremiah Green
Triple Jump - Jeremiah Green, Shaquem Griffin, Shaquil Griffin, Gabe McClary
Hammer - Martin Murillo 
4x1 - Lakewood 
4x4 - Flagler Palm Coast, Lakewood
Emerging Elite Division
EE 200m - Ibrahim Dodo
EE 400m - Ibrahim Dodo
EE Pole Vault - Nick Catchur
EE Long Jump - Caleb Collins, Chedlin Sagesse, Jeffrey Spence
EE Triple Jump - Caleb Collins
Freshman Division
Frosh 400m - Dominic Smith - Nationally ranked freshman - 2012 USATF 400m Champion

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