FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Track & Field News announced its 2005 High School All-America Team and Arkansas’ class of true freshmen could be found in all categories, including sprinter J-Mee Samuels who was named the Boys Athlete of the Year. Nkosinza Balumbu (triple jump), Chris Barnicle (two-mile) and Kenny Cormier (two-mile) were also recognized for their outstanding high school campaigns.
Samuels ended 2005 ranked No. 1 in both the 100 and 200-meter dashes, helping him rack up 240 votes and making him the clear winner with almost 40 more than the second-place nominee. The Winston-Salem, N.C., native broke the 19-year old American junior national record in the 100 with a clocking of 10.08. He is the first 100/200 performer to win the award since the former record holder, Derrick Florence, in 1986. Samuels also claimed three major meet titles and earned a pair of runner-up honors in the 100-meter dash, while recording 10 sub-10.50s.
His top time in the 200 was a 20.32 that stands at No. 5 on the all-time list. He also finished first at three major competitions, including Arcadia, Great Southwest and Nike Outdoor Nationals.
Balumbu also earned a No. 1 ranking in his signature event with a triple jump mark of 51-5.75. The Union City, Calif., native turned in jumps of over 50 feet in seven meets and came away with victories at Arcadia, the Golden West Invitational and the United States Junior Olympics for his second All-America honor.
Barnicle gained the No. 2 spot in the two-mile, earning his second-consecutive All-America accolade. He posted an 8:52.19, while turning in first-place finishes at Arcadia and the Massachusetts state championships. The Newton North High School distance medley relay team that Barnicle served as anchor earned a No. 2 ranking with their best time of 10:04.15 from winning at the Penn Relays.
Cormier, a native of Douglas, Ariz., was placed at No. 5 on the two-mile list after he concluded 2005 with a best time of 9:02.79. His first-place performances came at the Midwest Meet of Champions and the Golden West Invitational.