Wednesday, June 7, 2023 5:58 PM
Pictured are the Warsaw Distance Group Plus training partners. Photo provided by Tony Rastrelli
Warsaw will be well represented at the two premier national track and field events between June 15-18. Jordan Randall (high jump), Sam Allebach (hurdles), and Jackson Gackenheimer (mile & 2-mile) will be heading east to partake in the New Balance Outdoor Nationals meet at historic Franklin Field in Philadelphia.
Jordan Randall makes his return to the national stage after winning in the middle school division last year, resulting in all-American status. Another crew will be making the trip out to Eugene Oregon and state of the art Hayward Field to compete in the Nike Outdoor Nationals the same weekend.
Warsaw will be represented by the 4×800 relay team of Mikayla Mimnaugh, Sammi Rastrelli, Ella LaPut, and Joey Rastrelli. Joey Rastrelli will also be competing for individual All-American honors in the 800, Mile, & 2-mile. Tyler Mimnaugh will be representing the Warsaw Boys Distance crew in the 2-mile race.
Rounding out the Warsaw representatives will be Dani Rastrelli, competing in the middle school 200, 400, and 1-mile events.
While not the first time Warsaw has sent a group to a nationals competition, this will be the largest group of athletes (9), as well as a record number of events (12 in total). Both meets require very aggressive qualifying standards in order to be accepted. The continued training and focus put forth by these athletes, their training partners, and coaches has been key to meeting these standards.
Tony Rastrelli, who has helped organize the Nike meet commented, “It’s always great to see any local athlete compete at a national meet. The stage was set 2 years ago when the girls ran an unprecedented 4×800 relay at the 2021 IHSAA state meet. That was the excitement leading to the foundation that has continued to be carried forward. From there, a group participated in the New Balance Indoors meet in 2022 and continued to two additional national meets for Joey as well as Jordan. I am very excited to see the mindsets continue to progress from ‘top in the region’ to a ‘we can compete nationally’. I have no doubt that with the training Coaches Pete (Bieghler), Matt (Campbell), and James (Randall) continually design each season based on the individual, coupled with a true next level winning culture, these types of meets will become common for our Warsaw T&F and XC athletes. It is awesome to see Warsaw sending this many athletes, and in all divisions (middle school, freshman, emerging elite, and championship) as well as distance, hurdles, relays, and jumps. With the pipeline of talent in our community, and the training plans available to them, it’s exciting to see what future groups are able to accomplish.”
Several of the athletes will be running under the club name Warsaw Running Respect, a community based running organization designed to build the love and competitiveness for the sport. The group is working on a program to provide out of season training for elementary through high school aged athletes as well as a means to participate in several regional and national level meets. Rastrelli mentioned additional plans are underway to establish the organization as a non-profit to allow for contributions to be received to help offset the costs of these events and to allow for a greater number of athletes to compete. Thus far there has been a great amount of interest in the club and they are looking at additional meets to add later this fall.
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