Track impresses at New Balance Nationals

From left, Le’Daisha Williams, Devin Whalen, Claire Davis, and Cate Trautman are all smiles at New Balance Nationals this past weekend. Photo by Cat Piper

BOSTON — Six members of the Marblehead track club competed in New Balance Nationals this past weekend in Boston. Fast forward three days of competition, and what a success it was.

400m and 800m

Ryan Thompson qualified for two events in the Rising Stars category of New Balance Indoor Nationals. His 600-meter time of 1:24.12 qualified him for the 400-meter and his 1,000-meter time of 2:36.61 qualified him for the 800-meter. Not only impressive, but they were the feather in the cap of Thompson’s tremendous indoor season.

In the 400, Thompson finished 62nd overall in a time of 52.58 ,and in the 800, Ryan finished 49th with a time of 2:04.82. Neither of these were personal bests, but he still ran hard. His last meet was two weeks prior, and he has been training since November. He will take some very well-deserved rest this week before beginning his spring training on March 20.


Cate Trautman, Claire Davis, Devin Whalen, and Le’Daisha Williams finished 25th out of 80+ teams in the Rising Stars section with a new best time of 1:46.70. It was an exciting race with a collision on the third leg when two teams immediately behind Devin tangled legs and fell very hard.

At the beginning of the season, Marblehead head coach Nolan Raimo hoped they could break the school record of 1:48.50, and in the end, they smashed the record by almost two seconds on top of competing on the biggest stage. For Trautman, Davis, and Whalen, it puts a ribbon on a fantastic indoor track career. For Williams, Raimo is confident she will be back at
Nationals next year in the event.

High Jump

Keira Sweetnam competed in the Championship Nationals, in which only 50 jumpers were entered. The opening height of 5’3 1⁄4” was very close to her personal record of 5’4. She, along with about half the field, did not clear the opening height. It was a difficult environment to jump in with the theatrics going on (mini-fireworks before every
championship race, lights dimming, etc.).

There is a relatively short window for peak performance, often two or three weeks depending on the athlete, and they were are about five weeks from the Northeastern Conference Championship. That said, conditions were not ideal, but Nationals was a great milestone to cap an incredible season for Sweetnam.