Salis invited to Junior Mile

BOSTON – Bedford’s Leya Salis will lead some of the nation’s top middle-distance runners in the Junior Mile at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix, organizers announced Tuesday.

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Salis was the winner of the 2017 East Coast Invitational’s mile run, and she was the 2016 state indoor champion at 1,000 meters.

The New Balance Indoor Grand Prix kicks off at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 28 at the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center at Roxbury Community College, and is the only U.S. stop on the IAAF World Indoor Tour. The series of five international events will begin in Boston and award overall winners $20,000 and a guaranteed spot at next year’s IAAF World Indoor Championships. Now in its 22nd year, the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix has played host to eight World Records and 13 American Records.

Principe (LaSalle Academy, R.I.), the 2016 New Balance Nationals Outdoor champion at 5000 meters who finished fourth here last year, hopes to bring LaSalle back-to-back wins in the event, after Jack Salisbury’s victory in 2016.

In the Girls’ Junior Mile, Mareno (Leesville Road HS, Raleigh, N.C.) brings a glowing resume to Boston, including a win at the 2015 New Balance Nationals Indoor mile, a runner-up finish in the 2016 Foot Locker Cross Country National Championships, and more than a half dozen individual Division 4A state titles. Her bronze-medal performance in Edinburgh on Jan. 10 led Team USA to the Junior Women’s title. Considered by many to be the top distance recruit in the country, Mareno will toe the line alongside: Salis, Abbe Goldstein (Germantown Academy, Fort Washington, Pa.), Kelsey Chmiel (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.), Anna Juul (Unionville HS, Kennott Square, Pa.), Grace Connolly (Natick, Mass.), Bridget Mitchell (Milton, Mass.), Jacqueline Gaughan (Exeter), Mia Nahom (New Milford, Conn.), Tiara Tardy (Mount Desert Island HS, Bar Harbor, Maine) and Lily Flynn (Ursuline, New Rochelle, N.Y.).

Among athletes who have competed in the Junior Mile over the years are two who went on to win Olympic medals at 1500 meters in Rio: gold medalist Matthew Centrowitz, who was Junior Mile runner-up in 2007, and Jenny Simpson, who finished sixth in 2005.