Millville native Bryanna Craig, who now lives in Louisiana, won her second national multi-event title Friday, and she did it closing with a monster 800 PR at Ocean Breeze Nationals.
Craig, who now attends Ruston High School in Louisiana, scored 3,780 points, the 6th-highest pentathlon total in U.S. scholastic track history.
Craig had 2,930 points and a 164-point lead going into the 800, the final event. Her PR going in was 2:21.24 outoors and 2:21.32 indoors.
As it turned out, she could have run 2:40 and still won. But she ran 2:18.06 – more than a three-second PR – for 850 big points to increase her total close to 3,800.
Nobody else in the field was under 2:29 in the 800 on the banked 200-meter track at Ocean Breeze. U.S. No. 2 Elise Dobson of Nolensville, Tenn., finished second with 3448 points.
Because she didn’t compete in indoor nationals as a freshman and COVID cancelled the indoor and outdoor national meets her sophomore year at Millville and the indoor meet her junior year at Lubbock Coronado, Craig had only competed in two national championship meets before Friday.
She won outdoor nationals her freshman year with a national freshman-record 4,958 points (which she broke at USATF Under 20s with a 5,094) and was 2nd at outdoor nationals as a junior with a PR 5,138 points.
Here’s a look at all the 3,700-point performers in U.S. indoor track history:
4,302 … Anna Hall [Valor Christian, Highlands Ranch, Colo.], 2019
4,068 … Kendell Williams [Kell, Marietta, Ga.], 2013
3,976 … Sterling Lester [Marietta, Ga.], 2018
3,924 … Shana Woods [Poly, Long Beach, Calif.], 2006
3,823 … Ryann Krais [Methacton, Norristown, Pa.,], 2008
3,780 … Bryanna Craig [Ruston, La.], 2022
3,765 … Annika Williams [College Station, Tex.], 2018
3,740 … Chloe Royce [Collège Durocher Saint-Lambert, Montreal], 2019
3,738 … Alex Harmon-Thomas [Free State, Lawrence, Kans.], 2013
3,717 … Katherine Sherman [Dennis-Yarmouth, Yarmouth, Mass.], 2004
3,711 … Loren Leaverton [Naaman Forest, Garland, Tex.], 1998
3,709 … Gayle Hunter [North, Riverside, Calif.], 2004
3,706 … Shaina Burns [South, Lakeville, Minn.], 2014
3,700 … Felecia Majors [South County, Lorton, Va.], 2013
✔ Craig started off Friday morning by running 9.08 over the 60-meter hurdles, earning 891 points and giving her a 37-point lead over Dobson after one event.
✔ In the second event of the morning, Craig cleared 5-8 in the high jump, earning 854 points, giving her 1,782 points and building her lead over Dobson to 145 points. Craig passed up through 5-2 and got a clearance there on her first attempt before passing again at 5-3 ¼. She got over the bar at 5-5 ¾ on her second attempt and 5-6 ¾ on her third before the 5-8 clearance on her second try. She took three jumps at 5-9 ¼, which gave her 12 attempts at the bar overall.
✔ Then it was off to the shot put, where she had three 30-foot throws, including a best of 30-10 ½ – an indoor PR and only 15 inches shy of her outdoor best of 32-1 ½. That was good for 491 points. Dobson threw 32-7 ¾ and closed to within 110 points of Craig.
✔ It wasn’t her best day in the long jump, but Craig did get off a 17-6 ½ on her final attempt to earn another 657 points and give her 2,930 through four events. With only the 800 left, her lead over Dobson was now 164 points. Craig has an pentathlon PR of 3,678 from earlier this year in a meet in in Birmingham, which meant she needed 748 points in the 800 to set a PR. A 2:25.71 equals 748 points.
✔ In the closing 800, Craig went out hard in 32.30 and came through 400 meters in 66.84, then closed in 71.22 for 850 points and a final score of 3,780.