The 2019 New Balance Nationals Indoors held at The Armory in Washington Heights from March 8 to March 10 provided track and field fans with a glimpse of the sports’ future stars. Names such as Sam Affolder, Micah Williams, Roisin Willis and Athing Mu will ring loudly.
Running three legs, Affolder led the Jungle Track Club of Loudoun Valley, Virginia to three distance relay championships and two national records. On Friday, the high school senior anchored the distance medley relay, helping to register a time of 9:54.41 and a new national mark.
A day later, Affolder, who has committed to the University of Washington, ran a 4:06.19 mile on the third leg of the 4xMile relay, as his team won in 17:01.81 and shattering their second record of the meet. Later in the day, Affolder, running the third leg of the 4×800, fueled the Jungle Track Club to a winning time of 7:40.49.
Williams, a junior from Portland, Oregon, ran 6.60 in the boys’ 60-meters, recording the third fastest high school time ever and just 0.03 seconds off the national and meet record. Maybe the most shocking result of the Nationals Indoors was the freshman Willis overtaking Mu in the closing meters of the girls’ 800 and claiming the title in 2:05.70.
Coming into the race, many considered Mu unbeatable as the 16-year-old from Trenton, New Jersey and the Nationals Indoors 800-meters defending champion was fresh off setting an American record in the 600-meters with a time of 1:23.57 at the USATF Indoor Championships on Staten Island late last month.
However, Willis, from Stevens Point, Wisconsin, showed she was not intimidated and at 2:06.48. clocked the fastest freshman time in U.S. history.