Athletics News

New Balance Girls — Cuthbertson Smashes Relay Records

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 Invitational 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 about 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.


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