Brooks PR Invitational 2011: It's a hit ! by Larry Eder

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In December 2010, many of the top prep sprinters and middle distance runners received a gold ticket from the Brooks Running Company.  The letter invited them to come out to a new event, the Brooks PR invitational, to be held February 27, 2011, at the fabled Dempsey Fieldhouse in Seattle, Washington, and just see how fast they could run, when it was their feet, a fast track and an enthusiastic group of fans.

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Be careful what you wish for, as the response started right away...now, the tough stuff, putting on a meet from scratch. Noble intentions are a good thing, but Brooks wanted this event to showcase their support of high school running, and like previous projects that Brooks had taken on, this was a event with great possibilities, and fraught with challenges....

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Putting on a track meet is no easy task. It's the details that kill you. Jesse Williams, the Brooks Sports Marketing Manager loves the sport, like
his parallels at other footwear companies. Without men and women like Jesse, our sport would cease to exist. Footwear companies sponsor athletes, sponsor events on the roads, in cross country and track and field.

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The key to making a successful event and branding it is to finding or developing an event that keeps with your brand's philosophy and message. For footwear companies, sponsoring high school events should be a no brainer, with 1.6 million 14-19 year olds in high school cross country, indoor track and outdoor track & field in 2010.

The challenges are dealing with the various state federations, and their rules, which are to protect young athletes, but, in some cases, hinder them from competitions that might make sense for them.

That Brooks put on this meet with two months is a fact. That they succeeded beyond their wildest dreams is this observers' opinion. It is, along with NB Indoor & Outdoor and NXN, the type of events that our sport needs and that nurture some of our brightest future stars. Brooks PR Invitaitonal has found its place is in the high school sports pantheon. And they did it in their first year!

Consider these facts: In year one, the event had seven number one marks in the nation for 2011, and seven number twos! In the girls 60 meters, won by Deserea Bryant in 7.26, the event had the number 1 and number five performances for 2011. In the Girls 60m hurdles, won by Kendell William in 8.51, we had the number 2, 5, 8 and 10th best performances of 2011! In the 400 meters, a gutty Courtney Okoio lead the nation in 54.26, with the number 2, 5 and 9 performances for 2011!

And it just got better! In the 800 meters, Shelby Houlihan won by three seconds in 2:08.59, the number two time of 2011 and second place was the number six time for 2011!

The girls mile was fantastic, as junior Ajee Wilson, in a tight pack, lead ten girls under 5:00! Ajee ran 4:49.48, for the fastest mile of 2011. But behind her, there were the number 3,5,7,9 and tenth best miles for 2011!

For me, the most exciting race of the day was the girls' two mile. Erin Finn took the field through the mile in 5:08, and the race was on, with the field all together until the penultimate lap. As Erin Finn started to drop back, just a bit, Kayla Beattie took the lead, and looked poised for a win. Unknown to her, Welsey Frazier was making this HUGE move with five hundred to go, and as they came off the final turn, was within striking distance. Frazier did not stop and literally, caught Beattie five meters, no three meters before the finish, cementing her win at the finishing line! The crowd was loud and boisterous as the young women lead a parade of the first ten best times for 2011! That's right, you are not hallucinating, numbers 1-10 in one race!
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Look at that smile on Wesley Frazier's face? Doesn't that show a job well
done and the fastest indoor two mile of 2011? 10:17.47 should say loads
to curious onlookers. And tenth place in 10:30? Wow!

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It was fascinating watching the Brooks team running around. They had their chaperons, they had the marketing staff and their goal was to make this one of those key memories for the young athletes. On the third floor of the Hyatt, they had a game room, a movie room, a dinner room, a hang out area and the athletes got to see new product and talk shoes with the Brooks shoe developers. The experience was well considered. Look at the the photo below and notice the Brooks wall paper, with the names of the athletes and their events. Note that, after the meet, the athletes literally tore down the wall paper out of the Dempsey hall, to take home as souvenirs!

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"We got nearly all of the athletes we wanted to get, " noted a relieved Jesse Williams after the meet. " We have a great team at Brooks, but these athletes, their parents and the chaperons made it a lot of fun!"

The boys' races were fantastic as well! Damiere Byrd won the 60 meters in 6.70, the fastest time in the country. He was followed by the second, fourth and eighth fastest times of 2011!  In the 60 meter hurdles, Torrey Campbell won in 7.82, with Demetrius Lindo in 7.83. What the times don't tell you is that Demetrius had already run 6.87 for fourth in the 60m final! Hats off to Torrey Campbell, who gave us the third fastest time of 2011, with numbers five, six and nine best times of 2011 following him over those hurdles!

The 400 meters was fast as well! Armin Hall won in 47.45-the fastest time in the nation! Second place was Michael Newton, in 48.52, with the 8th best time of 2011.

The 800 meters was  a barn burner, as the 400 meters was hit in 51.87 and the pack was a bit behind. Keffri Neal, running a very smart race, held off to move until about 300 meters to go, and just accelerated to a national leading 1:50.92! Behind him were the 3,5,7,8,9,and tenth best times of 2011! Tenth place was 1:56.6!

The two mile was the Ammar Moussa show. Ammar is the reigning CIF cross country champ, (division 4), as well as CIF California two mile champ. He lead his team to the NXN cross country champs in December as well as defended his USA JO title in cross country. What Ammar may not remember is an interview he did with RBR in June 2010 at the adidas Grand Prix. When I asked him what his goal was for 2011, he told me that he wanted to see how fast he could run as a senior!  Well said, Ammar!

Moussa_SSS2403.jpgAmmar Moussa lead from early on, trading the front spot with Matthew Jablonski, and in the end, it came down to Moussa holding off Jablonski by two seconds, with Ammar winning in 9:00.62, the second fastest time of the new year. Following Moussa was the number 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 performances of 2011! A tremendous race over two miles!

The final race of the afternoon was the boys mile, and it did not disappoint. The field hit 63 for the 400 meters, 2:09 for the 800 meters and 3:09 for the 1,200 meters. The tightly wound field did not slow down and the battle of the kicks ensued! Jantzen Oshier and Elias Gideon were battling it out down the straightaway, with Miles Schroeder, the winner of the NB Indoor GP high school mile in hot pursuit.

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In the final meters, it was Jantzen Oshier and Elias Geydon battling, battling and Oshier getting the nod, in 4:07.52 to 4:07:58. Oshier and Geydon ran the number two and three times for 2011, and were followed by fourth, ninth and tenth best times of 2011!


In four hours, Brooks put on its own event, the 2011 Brooks PR invitational, gave the sport an timely, orchestrated event (covered well by Flotrack.org), and created 150 plus high school ambassadors of our sport.

In the evening, at the awards ceremony at Paul Allen's Experience Music Project (where I saw several Jim Hendrix guitars and some of his lyric sheets, among other memorabilia), the athletes, parents and chaparones were feted with dinner, awards, music and some credible Kareoke (some well done Vanilla Ice, Neal Diamond, and the highlight, a cover of a Kiki Dee and Elton John song, by some Brooks shoe gurus!).

Jim Weber, the President of Brooks, spoke a short time, but congratulated everyone involved on the success of the event, noted that the young athletes were the first participants in an event that Brooks will do " for many years to come!"

Coming from so esteemed a person as the president of Brooks, one will not consider the fact that, in all of the meet excitement, Jim was photographed with a Brooks enthusiast in a gorilla suit! As the tagline goes, Run Happy!

prez weber and gorilla.jpgBesides the smile on the Brooks Gorilla's face, there should be an exhausted smile on the team at Brooks for taking a chance and bringing something innovative to our sport!






Licensed to HY-TEK MEET MANAGER Demo HY-TEK's Meet Manager 2/27/2011 03:45 PM
Brooks PR Invite 2011 - 2/27/2011
Universaty Of Washington Dempsey Center
Results

Girls 60 Meter Dash
================================================================
Name Year School Finals
================================================================
Finals
1 8 Bryant, Deserea SR Unattached 7.26
2 17 Ekpone, Olivia SR Unattached 7.46
3 14 Cunliffe, Hannah FR Unattached 7.55
4 33 Lyday, Carisma SR Unattached 7.68
5 29 Houston, Taylor SR Unattached 7.72

Girls 400 Meter Dash
===================================================================
Name Year School Finals H#
===================================================================
1 45 Okoio, Courtney JR Unattached 54.26 1
2 3 Baisden, Kendall SO Unattached 54.31 1
3 58 Watson, Sage SR Unattached 54.58 2
4 42 Ndipagbor, Akawkaw SR Unattached 55.44 2
5 18 Ezumah, Chimere SO Unattached 56.63 1
6 57 Walker, Azia JR Unattached 58.55 2
7 50 Rogers, Raevyn FR Unattached 58.96 1



Girls 800 Meter Run
================================================================
Name Year School Finals
================================================================
1 28 Houlihan, Shelby SR Unattached 2:08.59
2 59 Westaway, Jenna JR Unattached 2:11.04
3 39 Mires, Beylee SR Unattached 2:12.95
4 34 Mackay, Kimberly SR Unattached 2:14.75
5 53 Stevenson, Arielle SR Unattached 2:15.19
6 13 Crodell, Taneisha JR Unattached 2:15.33
7 24 Gammage, Dynasty SR Unattached 2:15.83
8 27 Hatfield, Taylor JR Unattached 2:26.18

girls mile_SSS2963.jpg

Girls 1 Mile Run
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Name Year School Finals
================================================================
1 61 Wilson, Ajee JR Unattached 4:49.48
2 43 Neale, Amy-Eloise SO Unattached 4:49.58
3 1 Amaral, Joelle SR Unattached 4:52.32
4 35 Margey, Kelsey JR Unattached 4:52.46
5 46 Osika, Shannon SR Unattached 4:53.64
6 23 Fulton, Eleanor SR Unattached 4:53.65
7 10 Coogan, Katrina SR Unattached 4:54.55
8 38 Meyers, Maddie JR Unattached 4:54.64
9 12 Crevoiserat, Linds SR Unattached 4:54.66
10 44 Neczypor, Hannah SR Unattached 4:58.04
11 32 Lawson, Kelly SO Unattached 5:07.09
12 51 Schappert, Stephan SR Unattached 5:07.74
13 54 Sveinsson, Chelsey SR Unattached 5:12.11

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Girls 2 Mile Run
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Name Year School Finals
================================================================
1 22 Frazier, Wesley SO Unattached 10:17.47
2 5 Beattie, Kayla SR Unattached 10:17.93
3 19 Finn, Erin SO Unattached 10:19.28
4 62 Woodward, Allison SR Unattached 10:20.18
5 47 Pierce, Haley JR Unattached 10:20.34
6 25 Grabill, Molly SR Unattached 10:23.38
7 55 Thompson, Joanna SR Unattached 10:24.14
8 21 Foster, Julia SR Unattached 10:25.31
9 31 Knight, Katie SO Unattached 10:29.72
10 136 Fluehr, Erika SR Unattached 10:30.92
11 16 De La Bruyere, Emi SR Unattached 10:34.90
12 52 Schmidt, Colleen SR Unattached 10:47.95
13 20 Fluehr, Kathryn SR Unattached 10:48.25
14 36 McAlister, Catrina SR Unattached 11:01.47

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Girls 60 Meter Hurdles
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Name Year School Prelims H#
===================================================================
Preliminaries
1 60 William, Kendell SO Unattached 8.51q 2
2 48 Pledger, Letristan SR Unattached 8.54q 1
2 26 Hall, Dior FR Unattached 8.54q 1
4 15 Davis, Chalese SR Unattached 8.62q 1
5 11 Cox, Melia SR Unattached 8.63q 1
6 49 Richards, Kayann SR Unattached 8.71q 2
7 9 Buchanan, Brea SR Unattached 8.85q 2
8 2 Anthony, Michele SR Unattached 9.07q 2

Girls 60 Meter Hurdles
===================================================================
Name Year School Finals H#
===================================================================
Finals
1 60 William, Kendell SO Unattached 8.44 1
2 11 Cox, Melia SR Unattached 8.49 1
3 26 Hall, Dior FR Unattached 8.55 1
4 15 Davis, Chalese SR Unattached 8.59 1
5 48 Pledger, Letristan SR Unattached 8.73 1
6 49 Richards, Kayann SR Unattached 8.97 2
7 2 Anthony, Michele SR Unattached 8.98 2
-- 9 Buchanan, Brea SR Unattached DNF 2

60m final boys.jpg

Boys 60 Meter Dash
===================================================================
Name Year School Prelims H#
===================================================================
Preliminaries
1 75 Byrd, Damiere SR Unattached 6.78q 2
2 70 Bracy, Marvin JR Unattached 6.81q 1
3 125 Snoddy, Broderick SR Unattached 6.88q 2
4 95 Hicks, Jaylon SR Unattached 6.89q 2
5 126 Strainge, Jerimy SO Unattached 6.90q 2
6 105 McClain, Remontay SR Unattached 6.95q 1
6 73 Brooks, Darian SR Unattached 6.95q 2
8 102 Lindo, Demetriius SR Unattached 6.96q 1
8 101 Lady-Shreibe, Jaco SR Unattached 6.96q 2
10 122 Short, Jadon SR Unattached 6.99q 1
11 67 Authorlee, Jermain JR Unattached 7.04q 1
12 83 Fisher, Joe SR Unattached 7.07q 1

 

Boys 60 Meter Dash
===================================================================
Name Year School Finals H#
===================================================================
Finals
1 75 Byrd, Damiere SR Unattached 6.70 1
2 70 Bracy, Marvin JR Unattached 6.75 1
3 126 Strainge, Jerimy SO Unattached 6.80 1
4 102 Lindo, Demetriius SR Unattached 6.87 2
4 125 Snoddy, Broderick SR Unattached 6.87 1
6 105 McClain, Remontay SR Unattached 6.89 2
7 122 Short, Jadon SR Unattached 6.90 2
8 73 Brooks, Darian SR Unattached 6.91 1
8 101 Lady-Shreibe, Jaco SR Unattached 6.91 2
10 95 Hicks, Jaylon SR Unattached 6.94 1
11 83 Fisher, Joe SR Unattached 6.97 2
12 67 Authorlee, Jermain JR Unattached 7.06 2

 

Boys 400 Meter Dash
===================================================================
Name Year School Finals H#
===================================================================
1 92 Hall, Arman JR Unattached 47.45 1
2 112 Newton, Michael JR Unattached 48.52 1
3 104 Mayhen, Nolan SR Unattached 48.55 2
4 127 Sutton, Sean SR Unattached 48.89 2
5 133 Wanliss, Oneal SR Unattached 49.07 1
6 88 Gilreath, Alexande SR Unattached 49.63 2

Boys 800 Meter Run
================================================================
Name Year School Finals
================================================================
1 111 Neal, Keffri SR Unattached 1:50.92
2 99 Kaiser, Nick SR Unattached 1:52.25
3 128 Thompson, Kyle SR Unattached 1:52.69
4 91 Grumney, Sean SR Unattached 1:53.52
4 110 Mudd, Austin SR Unattached 1:53.52
6 65 Andrews, Myles SR Unattached 1:53.73
7 76 Byrne, Kevin JR Unattached 1:54.27
8 93 Hall, Chris SR Unattached 1:55.68
9 79 Daigre, Derrick SR Unattached 1:56.76
10 130 Waddell, Alex JR Unattached 1:56.84
11 118 Prince, Quamel JR Unattached 1:59.14

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Boys 1 Mile Run
================================================================
Name Year School Finals
================================================================
1 113 Oshier, Jantzen SR Unattached 4:07.52
2 86 Gedyon, Elias SR Unattached 4:07.58
3 121 Schoedler, Miles SR Unattached 4:11.42
4 135 Williams, Blake SR Unattached 4:13.96
5 69 Bierig, Kenji JR Unattached 4:14.33
6 103 Luthin, Tim SR Unattached 4:14.59
7 98 Kaddurah, Omar SR Unattached 4:16.00
8 115 Pickering, Ryan SR Unattached 4:16.06
9 63 Adams, Casey SR Unattached 4:16.85
10 64 Albertston, C J JR Unattached 4:17.00
11 131 Walden, Chris SR Unattached 4:17.16
12 71 Brewer, Chris SR Unattached 4:17.22
13 89 Gohlke, Brian JR Unattached 4:17.37
14 132 Walling, Rayn SR Unattached 4:17.91
15 129 Turner, Jake SR Unattached 4:19.22
16 72 Brinkley, Justin JR Unattached 4:23.68

Ammar Moussa.jpg

Boys 2 Mile Run
================================================================
Name Year School Finals
================================================================
1 109 Moussa, Ammar SR Unattached 9:00.62
2 96 Jablonski, Matthew SR Unattached 9:02.51
3 90 Graham, Thomas JR Unattached 9:04.14
4 108 Morgan, Scott SR Unattached 9:04.99
5 123 Smith, Jacob JR Unattached 9:05.20
6 114 Owens, Eddie SR Unattached 9:08.08
7 94 Hamilton, Vince JR Unattached 9:08.59
8 84 Gardner, Andrew SO Unattached 9:09.47
9 124 Smoragiewicz, Tony SR Unattached 9:13.92
10 82 Fahy, Darren JR Unattached 9:20.14

60m start behind.jpg

Boys 60 Meter Hurdles
===================================================================
Name Year School Prelims H#
===================================================================
Preliminaries
1 77 Cabral, Jonathan SR Unattached 7.85q 1
2 117 Powell, Glenn SR Unattached 7.99q 1
3 102 Lindo, Demetriius SR Unattached 8.00q 2
4 78 Campell, Torrey SR Unattached 8.07q 2
5 97 Jones, Jonathan JR Unattached 8.09q 1
6 107 Mikesky, Shane SR Unattached 8.10q 1
7 68 Barger, Daishon JR Unattached 8.10q 1
8 119 Reed, Jeylin SR Unattached 8.16q 2
9 120 Safer, Marcus SR Unattached 8.48q 2

Boys 60 Meter Hurdles
===================================================================
Name Year School Finals H#
===================================================================
Finals
1 78 Campell, Torrey SR Unattached 7.82 1
2 102 Lindo, Demetriius SR Unattached 7.83 1
3 77 Cabral, Jonathan SR Unattached 7.85 1
4 97 Jones, Jonathan JR Unattached 7.94 1
5 107 Mikesky, Shane SR Unattached 8.05 2
6 119 Reed, Jeylin SR Unattached 8.07 2
7 117 Powell, Glenn SR Unattached 8.21 1
8 120 Safer, Marcus SR Unattached 8.24 2
9 68 Barger, Daishon JR Unattached 8.25 2

official Brooks meet.jpg
All photographs courtesy of Brooks Communications Dept.

Special thanks to Tiffany Herman, Ashley Wallace, Jesse Williams, Tamara Hills,  Dave Larson, Jim Weber, and the Marketing team at Brooks, plus the officials & timers of USATF Northwest, and most of all, the athletes whose performances give me something to write about every day.

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