Gazelle Sports Elite Series: Developing World Class Talent

Gazelle Sports Elite Series: Developing World Class Talent

For certain high school track athletes, competing in the Gazelle Sports Elite Series (presented by New Balance) could be one step toward actualizing collegiate, professional and Olympic dreams, even if they don't know it at the time.

In 2015, the Elite Series mile, featuring (not yet) Olympic/world class runners Grant Fisher and Donavan Brazier, drew a large crowd around the cool blue 300 meter oval in Grand Valley State University's Kelly Family Sports Center. Everyone was eager to watch these two powerhouse athletes race head-to-head.

Spoiler alert, Fisher won, but that race was just a small glimmer of the success that both of these young men would eventually find on the track as sponsored professionals.

Elite Series Legacy

Fisher and Brazier are far from the only well known Elite Series Alumni; since the conception of the event in 2012, the talent in each field has deepened, boasting standout names like:

  • Evan Bishop (University of Wisconsin)
  • Corey Gorgas (Northern Arizona University)
  • Drew Bosley (Northern Arizona University)
  • Nick Foster (University of Michigan)
  • Erin Strzelecki (University of Notre Dame)
  • Sophia Kennedy (Stanford University)
  • Zophia Dudek (Stanford University)
  • Kayla Windemuller (University of Michigan)
  • Lani Bloom (University of Michigan)

The list goes on, and continues to evolve, as the quality and depth of competitors in each field grows with each passing year.

"These races are a lot of fun to watch. I like to tell my high schoolers to come out to at least watch to learn how to race," said Josh Vork, director of the Elite Series and coach at Zeeland East.

Elite Series History

11 years ago, in an attempt to elevate the high school indoor racing scene, Ted Kushion (a former Gazelle Sports employee) came up with the idea to bring together a field of elite high schoolers to race for a mile.

"Back then, you never knew who was going to show up and if there were going to be any good races or not, and you didn't see high level competition go head-to-head very often," explained Vork.

The Elite Mile found quick success and the meet was expanded when they added the Elite 3200 in 2013 and the Elite 200 in 2023. Every year, in the dead of winter, athletes from all around the country make the voyage to frigid Allendale, Michigan to refine their racing skills.

Competing in front of a crowd of dedicated fans, family and collegiate coaches (scouting athletes for future rosters), the Elite Series is a chance for athletes to showcase their talent and prepare their minds and bodies for a successful outdoor track season. Racing well at the Elite Series can signal upcoming success in the spring.

"Usually, it's a pretty good indication that they're going to go make some noise at their outdoor state finals, whether that's in Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Colorado or Michigan," said Vork.

New Balance Kits & Registration

New Balance has partnered with Gazelle Sports to elevate the Elite Series experience. Every year the brand goes above and beyond to create unique race kits for the athletes who are invited to compete.



In order to be included in the Elite mile, 3200 or 200 meter fields, athletes have to meet certain standards:

Elite Mile: January 27, 2024
Standards: Boys - 4:20, Girls - 5:02
Registration closes: January 7, 2024

Register for Elite Mile

Elite 3200: February 17, 2024
Standards: Boys - 9:29, Girls - 11:03
Registration closes: January 28, 2024

Register for Elite 3200

Elite 200: February 17, 2024
Standards: Boys - 22.50, Girls - 25.90
Registration closes: January 28, 2024

Register for Elite 200

*If you meet the standard, or feel that you have achieved an equivalent performance and appropriate body of work, please register for consideration in the field.

**Achieving the standard does not guarantee entry into the field.

Do you think you have what it takes to race with the best this indoor season? Register now! Even if you don't plan on racing, mark your calendars and pack your fan gear, because these are historic races you won't want to miss.

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