NBNO Previews, Part 1: Boys and Girls Multis

by Steve Underwood
GIRLS HEPTATHLON - NBNI champ Burns to battle Neal

National Record: 5,578, Kendell Williams, GA, 2012
Meet Record: 5,169, Kendell Williams, GA, 2011

Top 6 Entrants
(based on career PR)
1. Shaina Burns, 14, MN, 4,908
2. Maya Neal, 15, IL, 4,904
3. Allison Frantz, 15, QC (CAN), 4,752
4. Brittany McGee, 15, FL, 4,627
5. Brittany Kelly, 14, TN, 4,608
6. Gillian Morrison, 16, FL, 4,527

2013 NBNO Top 6
(entered returnees in bold)
1. Brittany McGee, 15, FL, 4,627
2. Aminah Ghaffar, 13, NC, 4,582
3. De’Nisha Smith, 13, VA, 4,507
4. Gillian Morrison, 16, FL, 4,505
5. Emily Astaria, 13, NY, 4,452
6. Jordan Fields, 16, FL, 4,406

Other recent champs
2012: Aaron Howell, 13, MI, 5,071 pts
2011: Kendell Williams, 13, GA, 5,169 pts

Analysis:  A good battle and assault on 5,000 points should be at hand as Shaina Burns and Maya Neal each seem primed for the victory.  Burns (Lakeville South, MN senior) and Neal (Neuqua Valley, IL junior) should be plenty familiar with each other after they took 3rd and 4th in the Arcadia hept with their PRs of 4,908 and 4,904.  We haven’t seen a multi from Burns since then, but Neal was 3rd last weekend at Great Southwest with 4,861 points.  Of course, Burns was our New Balance Nationals Indoor pentathlon champ with 3.706 points, while Neal was 5th there at 3,373.  Burns was also 3rd here in 2012.

Not to be ignored, though, is Brittany Kelly (Clarksville, TN senior) and defending champ Brittany McGee (Farragut Acad., FL junior).  The latter triumphed last year with 4,627 and is doing her first multi of the year.  She had a huge long jump PR at Golden South a few weeks back, winning with 19-5.  Kelly’s PR ranks just 5th, but her individual performances suggest she can score a few hundred points higher.  Then from Montreal, Quebec, Canada will come Allison Frantz, who scored 4,636 last year, was 3rd in the NBNI pent at 3,583, then came to Charlottesville, VA last month and improved her hept to 4,752.  Jordan Gray (Kennesaw, GA senior), coached by former champ and HSR-holder Kendell Williams’ father, was 4th at NBNI and although her hept best (2013) is in the 4,100s, she should be competitive here.

BOYS DECATHLON - Schanstra's time

National Record: 8,035, Gunnar Nixon, OK, 2011
Meet Record: 6,846, Travis Tolliver, TX, 2013

Top 5 Entrants
(based on career PR)
1. Tim Schanstra, 14, NJ, 6,442
2. Ryan Lipe, 14, TN, 6,129*
3. Christian Friis, 16, FL, 6,086
4. Nick Fofana, 14, MA, 5,984
5. Matt Ludwig, 15, OH, 5,867
* decathlon with triple jump instead of javelin

2013 NBNO Top 6
(entered returnees in bold)
1. Travis Tolliver, 15, TX, 6,846
2. Ben Colello, 14, MA, 6,352
3. Tim Schanstra, 14, NJ, 6,249
4. Steven D’Ascanio, 13, CT, 6,237
5. Andrew Ghizzone, 14, NJ, 6,207
6. Tyler Chazotte, 13, NC, 5,791

Other recent champs
2012: Kris Horn, MA, 6,720 pts
2011: Lane Austell, TN, 6,222 pts

Analysis: After Tim Schanstra (Pope John XXIII, NJ senior) took 3rd in the NBNO decathlon last year, he sought to continue to build his multis resume in the 2014 NBNI pentathlon and a month later at the Arcadia decathlon., Even though the fields were much tougher, placing 9th and 10th, respectively, were probably not what he had in mind – though he did improve his 10-event PR to 6,442 at Arcadia., Now Schanstra returns to Greensboro and will find himself the prohibitive favorite, as no one else has broken into the 6,200s., It will be fun to see if embracing this role helps him improve and move up the national ladder.

Two other contenders have scored more than 6,000 points: Ryan Lipe (Lipscomb Acad., TN senior) hit 6,129 in a sectional meet (Tennessee does a deca with a triple jump instead of a javelin) and Christian Friis (South Walton, FL soph) hit a PR 6,086 in taking 5th in the recent Texas Greatest Athlete competition (yes, out-of-staters compete)., A few others to watch are Nick Fofana (Newton North, MA senior), who hit 5,984 at the New York Relays; Matt Ludwig (Lake Catholic, OH junior), who scored 5,869 in JOs last summer; Isaac Agyemang (Woodbridge, VA junior), who could be in the 6k range with recent individual event bests; William Ackerman (Arlington, NY senior), who won the New York state pentathlon last weekend.

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