New Balance Meet Wrap Up by Sam Epstein
Two teams from Montgomery County, Whitman and Walter Johnson, made the trip to the New Balance Games in New York City to test their speed against top competition from around the Northeast. Walter Johnson junior Chris Moen proved he is one of the nation's top milers by winning the high school boys invitational mile in 4:16.76, currently the 3rd fastest time in the nation, while the Walt Whitman girls 4x800m relay squad recorded the 4th best time in the nation, 9:29.94, en route to a second place finish. Moen worked his way through the pack of 13 elite runners, moving up to take the lead with 500m to go and blazing the last 200m to hold off Chaminade's Ryan McDermott for a victory and an automatic invitation to the Millrose Games. By my watch, Moen split 32.85, (209m), 32.44, 32.34, 33.53, 33.07, 32.41, 31.28, and 28.62 to finish in 4:16. The last 200m were blistering, as Moen ran only 6 tenths of a second slower than Alan Webb did in closing out his 3:56 mile. For the Whitman 4x800 relay, composed of all juniors, Debbie Isen split a hard-fought 2:26.81, running much of the race in lane two, Gabe McKenzie split 2:31.92, Morgane Gay split 2:16.52, and Leslie Morrison ran another fast anchor leg, bringing the team into second with a 2:14.46 final leg. Morrison ran most of her final leg with the anchor of St. Basil, making a move with 250m to go to almost run down the anchor leg of Hunterdon Central, which finished in 9:28.29. In other events during the meet, senior Danielle Tauro of Southern Regional set a meet record by winning the high school girls invitational mile in 4:46.13, while Alan Webb ran 3:56.70 to defeat Kenyan Eliud Njubi. However, one of the most memorable events of the weekend might have been the beatdown administered to Will Palmer by Sockem-Boppers wielding Whitman runners. The video of the pwnage should be up online shortly. Overall, a fun weekend and results that shows that Montgomery County fares well against the rest of the nation.
Q&A With WJ's Chris Moen by Kevin Milsted
MoCoRunning: How was the trip? Did you do anything fun while in NYC?
Chris Moen: The trip was pretty cool. We roamed NYC for like 6 hours and walked around a lot, not too much though.
MoCoRunning: How did you feel after you won the elite mile race? What was it like running the victory lap in the Armory?
Chris Moen: When I ran through the tape it was more of a relieved feeling than a tired feeling. Traveling so far to put it all on the line for roughly 4 minutes and 15 seconds makes it all the more stressful. Ha ha ha, and yes, they did MAKE me do a victory lap. It was fun. Mr. Rogers gave me a high five and it made the moment all the more enjoyable.
MoCoRunning: Now you are going to turn around and run at the county championship just two days later. Are you going to take it easy or go for some county meet records (2:00.6, 4:27.89)?
Chris Moen: Yea I'll be going for the county records and going for the wins. But it's not going to be very differrent from most other races. MoCo is very good and Tousley is a tough guy to say the least.
MoCoRunning: You have a very busy schedule ahead: county championship, Virginia Tech, Millrose Games, Regionals and States. What are you looking forward to the most? Have you considered competing at Nike Indoor Nationals?
Chris Moen: I'm taking it one step at a time. For now I'm most exited for counties and especially V-tech. I'm extremely exited for Millrose but I'm not thinking about that for another week. States should be good as well hopefully going for Andrew Jesien's mile. As for Nike Indoor Nationals I'm not so sure. If I feel I still have something to prove to myself when all is done, it's possible. But so far my season couldn't be any better.
MoCoRunning: That's the truth. Thanks for remembering the little guy and enjoy the ride.
Chris Moen: Thanks, KP.