BOSTON, Mass. (Feb. 8, 2016) - Three of the fastest high school runners in the nation for 2016, led by 2015 World Youth Champion Sammy Watson, head the list of top prep athletes invited to compete in the 2016 Junior Mile at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix, organizers have announced. Together, the three own five U.S. leading times.
Tickets are on sale at NBIndoorGRandPrix.com or by calling 1-877-849-8722.
The New Balance Indoor Grand Prix, traditionally held on a Saturday, moves this year to a Sunday. Beginning at 3:15 p.m. on Feb. 14 at the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center at Roxbury Community College, it is the only U.S. event on the new IAAF World Indoor Tour. The four international events lead up to the IAAF World Indoor Championships March 17-20 in Portland, OR, the first time the world meet has been held in this country since 1987.
Headlining the Junior Miles are Thomas Ratcliffe (Concord-Carlisle, MA), who has the #1 times in the U.S. so far this season at both 1000 meters (2:27:30) and 2 miles (8:57:47); Aiden Tooker (Saratoga Springs, NY), the U.S. leader at 3200 meters (8:54:32); and Watson (Rush-Henrietta, NY), the fastest high school girl in the U.S. this season at 400 meters (54:66) and 1000 meters (2:45.32)
In addition to her world title, Watson is also the 2016 Dartmouth Relays girls’ mile champion and the 2015 New Balance Nationals Indoor champion at 800 meters. She will be making her New Balance Indoor Grand Prix Junior Mile debut.
Also among the top athletes in the Girls’ Junior Mile are Stephanie Jenks (Linn-Mar, IA) and Margie Cullen (Needham, MA). Jenks, a nine-time Iowa State Champion, was the 5000-meter runner-up at the 2014 New Balance Nationals Indoor and a silver medalist in triathlon at the 2014 World Youth Olympic Games; Cullen anchored her Distance Medley Relay team to the 2015 New Balance National Outdoor championship.
On the boys’ side, Ratcliffe moved up to #4 all-time in Massachusetts on Jan. 30 when he ran his U.S.-leading 8:57:47, the fastest 2-mile time indoors in the state in 17 years, while Tooker is ranked #2 in the U.S. in the mile (4:09.38)
Also set for the Boys’ Junior Mile is Jack Salisbury (LaSalle Academy, RI), whose time of 4:00.49 is #2 in the nation at 1500 meters. Salisbury was fourth in the 2-mile at the 2015 New Balance Nationals Outdoor.
All three are returning to the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix—last year, Salisbury finished second in a photo finish, with Ratcliffe fourth and Tooker sixth.
Also in the field for the Boys' Junior Mile are:
Viraj Doeker (Middlesex School, MA), Gatorade State Boys' Cross Country Runner of the Year and state prep record-holder at 3000 meters indoors;
Matthew Bouthillette (LaSalle Academy, RI), 2015 New England Champion, indoor mile;
Andrew Ernst (Marblehead, MA), 2015 Division II All-State Cross Country Champion;
David (DJ) Principe (LaSalle Academy, RI), runner-up in indoor mile at 2015 New England Championships;
Liam Kimball (Timberlane Regional, NH), 2015 State Division I Cross Country Champion;
Mike Kolor (Seneca Valley, PA), 2015 PIAA State Champion outdoors, 1600 meters;
Randy Neish (Glastonbury, CT), 2015 CIAC State Open Champion outdoors, 1600 meters;
Eric Van Der Els (Brien McMahon, CT), 3rd, 2015 New Balance Nationals Outdoor, 5000 meters; and
Matt D'Anieri (Wellesley, MA), winner, 2016 MSTCA Elite Meet/Coaches Invitational 1000m.
Also in the field for the Girls' Junior Mile are:
Maegan Doody (Oyster River, NH), 2015 NH Meet of Champions Cross Country Champion; 2014 New England Champion 800m;
Eliza Rego (LaSalle Academy, RI), 2015 State Indoor Champion, 1000m and 1500m;
Aislinn Devlin (Downington West, PA), 10th, 2015 New Balance Nationals Outdoor 2-mile;
Anna Flynn (Ursuline Academy, NY), four-time winner of Disney Cross Country Classic presented by New Balance;
Sarah Edwards (Needham, MA), 2015 State Division II Cross Country Champion; 8th, 2015 New Balance Nationals Outdoor 800m;
Sarah Armstrong (Needham, MA), 2014 State Champion outdoors in the mile;
Abbe Goldstein (Germantown Academy, PA), 1st, New Balance Nationals Outdoor Emerging Elite 2-mile;
Leyla Salis (Bedford, NH), 9th, 2015 New Balance Nationals Outdoor 800m; 2016 Dartmouth Relays Champion 1000m; and
Kelsey Chmiel (Saratoga Springs, NY), 4th at 2015 Nike Cross Nationals as a freshman
The athletes in the Junior Mile will be joined at the event by, among others, Olympic gold medalists Jenn Suhr, Ashton Eaton, Dawn Harper-Nelson, Tianna Bartoletta, Tomasz Majewski, and Meseret Defar; Olympic silver medalist Nick Willis, IAAF World Championships silver medalist Brianne Theisen-Eaton and bronze medalist Trayvon Bromell, and seven-time NCAA Champion Abbey D'Agostino, who competed for Masconomet Regional High near Boston and now runs for the New Balance Boston team.
Now in its 21st year, the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix has played host to eight World Records and 13 American Records and will be held on Sunday, Feb. 14, beginning at 3:15 p.m.
About New Balance:
New Balance, headquartered in Boston, MA has the following mission: Demonstrating responsible leadership, we build global brands that athletes are proud to wear, associates are proud to create and communities are proud to host. New Balance is the only major company to make or assemble more than 4 million pairs of athletic footwear per year in the USA, which represents a limited portion of our US sales. Where the domestic value is at least 70%, we label our shoes Made in the USA. New Balance owns five factories in New England and one in Flimby, U.K. New Balance employs more than 5,000 associates around the globe, and in 2014 reported worldwide sales of $3.3 billion. To learn more about New Balance, please visit NewBalance.com.