PRINCETON, N.J. -- Three prep distance stars – each already among the all-time prep greats in their specialties – worked on extending their range Friday night (all with some degree of success) against college and open competition at the Sam Howell Invitational.
North Shore (Glen Head, N.Y.) senior Brianna Nerud is already #2 all-time in the 2,000-meter steeplechase off her performance last summer in the World Youth Champs. Friday, she placed fourth of 16 runners in the 3,000 steeple with a US#1 10:24.95 – also elevating her to #2 all-time in that event. Only Marie Lawrence (10:15.26 in 2006) has run faster. Part of Nerud’s motivation for competing in the event was to get the Olympic Trials ‘B’ standard of 10:15.00, but she was nearly 10 seconds short of that.
St. Benedict’s (Newark, N.J) junior Ed Cheserek, the Foot Locker and New Balance Indoor Nationals champ who has already had great success at the track 5,000 meters (and many other events), both indoors and out, decided to take a run at double the distance. He placed seventh of 22 runners in the elite 10,000 with a 29:42.31. That effort makes him #8 all-time among preps.
Cheserek’s effort comes almost a week after another big 10,000 mark on the girls’ side: Cayla Hatton’s 33:17.28 that was second best ever.
Ajee' Wilson, the Neptune (Neptune, N.J.) senior, has made her mark primarily at 800 meters – where she was the 2011 World Youth Champ and where she ran 2:04.13 this past winter, #2 all-time. But she has also dabbled at 1,500, 1,600 and the mile. Here, she was in the second section of the 1,500 and clocked a US#1 4:28.59 in beating a field of 13. It’s perhaps unfortunate she wasn’t in the fastest section, where 4:18.84 was the winning mark.