Rise Up & Release Your Inner Strength
The WNBA's biggest stars talk shop about their on-court shoe choice
Did you know that more records have been set on The Armory’s track than any other track in the world?
A historic venue, a beautiful city, the most talented high school runners in the world — what more could you ask for? The stage is set for another historic weekend here in New York as The 2018 New Balance Nationals Indoor gets underway.
With athletes like Arria Minor, a top overall sprinter who will be competing in the 200m and 400m, Lanae-Tava Thomas, the number one female long jump athlete, and Brendon Stewart, the top ranked male in the 60m — the battle to be named an All-American will be intense and plenty of new records will be set.
And if you’re at The Armory competing or cheering racers on this weekend, stop by our Eastbay Experience near the awards area to learn more about us, check out some great New Balance gear, and pick up some Eastbay swag. Best of luck to all competing this weekend!
As our team arrived at The Armory this morning and made our way to the Eastbay Experience to set up for the day ahead, you could feel the excitement in the air.
NSAF and New Balance staff members made the final touches to the track and the set-up surrounding it as the early arrivers for the morning events began to check in on the first floor. By 9 AM, all systems were a go in the historic Armory building, signified by the firing of the starting pistol and the thunderous noise of runners on the track.
Although the day was filled with emerging elite events (for younger up and coming competitors) there was no shortage of competition and excitement for both athletes and fans.
The most compelling event of the day was the boys’ 60m Emerging Elite final that was won by Daniel Robinson, a sprinter out of Lawrenceville, Georgia. Seconds after the gun sounded, Robinson found himself a couple of steps behind the top three competitors. But he didn’t panic or shake after a tough push off the blocks. Instead, he kicked it into gear in the final 10m and passed up the leader by half a step for the win.
After hearing that he indeed had won after an announcement over the PA system, Robinson fist pumped and ran across the track to greet teammates, coaches, and friends — hugging them while holding back tears of joy.
It’s these sort of moments that make this event special. From post-race athlete celebrations and pre-race handshakes, to the roars of the crowd after a close race — excitement is all over The Armory, and it’s only day one.
From tight competitions, to heartbreak, and even a visit from New Balance runner and former cover athlete Trayvon Bromell — it was a busy Saturday at the Armory Track & Field Center.
Early in the day during the 60m dash, event favorite Tyrece Cooper was penalized for a false start off of the blocks, drawing sighs and plenty of disbelief from the crowd. This opened the door for senior Brendon Stewart to take the prelim and advance to the finals.
Despite the tough day for Cooper, plenty of excitement still remained in The Armory, especially with the presence of Bromell.
Bromell who competes in the 100m dash for Team USA stopped by the Eastbay Experience to hang out with Kellie Brinkley and chat about what he has been up to of late, his advice for up-and-coming runners, and his aspirations to drop a rap album (I’m serious).
But by the far the best part of the day involved pole vaulters KC Lightfoot and Zach Bradford. The two went back and forth for around two hours in the pole vault final as Lightfoot would set the new distance while Bradford continued to match. However, as the two got to 18’ ½” they both hit a snag, opening up the door for Bradford to complete his third and final attempt for the championship.
And of course he nailed it. The crowd roared as Bradford popped up in celebration, capping off another eventful day in The Armory.
After two days jam packed with exciting finishes, wipe-outs, excitement over victory, and even some crying after losses — Sunday finally rolled around.
Now as many of you track followers already know, Sunday at New Balance Nationals is the biggest day of them all. This means finals of the fastest races and biggest field events.
From the excitement of the 60m hurdles, all the way to the back and forth pole vault events — competition was tight all day. With the events being as tight as they were, it really made me notice how much emotion there is for these athletes competing to become All Americans.
Fans, friends, and family packed the third floor around the track and the fourth floor seats overlooking the track, clapping along with athletes before they began their event, or screaming in support of their team or athlete during their event. Emotion also poured out of athletes as they won or lost their respective competition.
From athletes fist pumping as they crossed the finish line or falling to the ground in despair after a close loss, it all showed me how much time they have put into their craft.
Along with the emotion, another noticeable thing was the friendliness between competitors. After close events, athletes could be seen hugging one another or high-fiving — generally happy for one another.
My favorite moment of the weekend came on Saturday night during the boys’ pole vault. As the competition came down to two final boys’, KC Lightfoot and Zach Bradford, before each attempt the two would converse with one another and discuss what they did right or wrong.
No doubt the two wanted nothing more than to win, but they also showed a great deal of respect for each other’s talents — something you don’t see too often in competition.
Another New Balance Indoor Nationals has come and gone, leaving a lasting impression with thousands. Now it’s time to get pumped for outdoors in June!
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