Staples sophomore standout Hannah DeBalsi took the New Balance Outdoor National Championships in Greensboro by storm for the second straight year on Saturday. DeBalsi cruised to a win in the 2-mile run with a time of 10:09.08, which set a personal best. DeBalsi won by 13 seconds over second-place finisher Makena Morley, of Bigfork, Mt. (10:22.17). Penfield's (N.Y.) Katie Lembo, finished third (10:24.22). Fairfield Warde's Cate Allen placed eighth (10:39.02).
"Her main goal was to place, run faster and place higher than she did last year," Staples assistant Amanda Morgan said. "The online calculator (to the 3,200 meter run) would convert to 10:04. She's eyeing the 10 minute mark."
The event, held at North Carolina AT&T's Aggie Stadium, featured 14 of the best distance runners in the country.
"There were a couple girls Hannah hadn't beaten before, so it was nice to see that," Morgan said.
After immediately jumping out to the lead, DeBalsi held a narrow lead for the first mile. At about the mile mark, DeBalsi began to pull away from her competition.
DeBalsi ran a 10:16 in last year's race -- which set a national freshman record -- to place third.
DeBalsi placed second at cross country nationals in December and fourth at indoor nationals in March.