Boston, MA – The New Balance Nationals Indoor track and field championships concluded this past weekend, with Florida high school athletes making their mark on the national stage. Several impressive performances and national records were set by these young talents, showcasing their hard work and dedication.
Sixteen-year-old Adaejah Hodge from Montverde Academy had a sensational run, smashing the high school national record in the 200 meters with a time of 22.33 seconds. Hodge’s performance also broke the World U18 and World U20 records, an incredible feat for an athlete her age.
The boys from IMG Academy continued their winning streak, taking home the 4×200 meter relay title with a time of 1:26.06 – the second fastest ever in U.S. high school history. The team comprised Davonte Howell, Caine Stanley, Avian Edwards-Pla, and Dylan Woodruffe, who stayed ahead of a competitive field that included Archbishop Carroll, who finished second with a time of 1:26.77.
Sophomore Aleesa Samuel from Somerset Academy Pembroke Pines became the 2023 New Balance Nationals Indoor champion in the girls 60-meter hurdles. Despite a slow start, Samuel made a strong comeback to finish first with a US #1 8.27 state record personal best. Chelsi Williams, a freshman from George Jenkins, finished sixth in the same race, earning All-American honors.
In the 5K event, Leon High School junior Patrick Koon set a new Florida high school record, clocking in at 14:11.92, the fastest 5K time ever recorded in the state across cross country, outdoor track, or indoor track. Koon’s remarkable performance at the New Balance Indoor Nationals was his first-ever indoor race.
Issam Asinga of Montverde Academy also made headlines with his outstanding performance, setting a new national record in the 200m with a winning mark of 20.48. Asinga also tied the national record in the 60m prelims with a time of 6.57 before securing another NBNI title with a 6.59 final.
Montverde Academy displayed its dominance by winning the title in the final event, the 4x400m relay, with a US No. 2 all-time 3:45.69. Michelle Smith contributed a remarkable 53-second split on the second leg, highlighting the team’s exceptional performance.
In summary, the New Balance Nationals Indoor championships showcased the incredible talents of Florida’s young athletes. Their remarkable achievements are a testament to their dedication, hard work, and the bright future of track and field in the Sunshine State.