Breaking Down Athletes Lining Up Against Pros This Weekend

* Athing Mu will line up in a professional 800m this weekend in North Carolina

Photo Credit: USA Today Sports

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Records could be dropping this weekend. 

A selection of high school athletes will line up against professionals in New York and North Carolina with eyes on PRs and potential national records.

View: Millrose Games entries

MileSplit has examined these entries and takes a peak into what it will take to have career performances. 

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Athing Mu, Camel City Elite, Pro 800m

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When: February 8

Notable Entries In Field: Raevyn Rogers, Sammy Watson, Lindsey Butterworth

What To Look For: This will be Mu's first truly fast 800m of the season. And she'll be familiar with the stage and precedent. A year ago, the Trenton Track Club athlete ran her fastest indoor 800m in this very race, going 2:03.98 to finish fifth behind Ajee Wilson, Hanna Green, Raevyn Rogers and Lindsey Butterworth. Two of those entrants are back, and Mu is a year wiser. She opened her season in January and preceded to record PRs in the 300m (37.36) and 500m (1:10.22, new national record) at The VA Showcase. The recent week has seen Mu working on consistency and turnover, with 1K work turning over to 300m repeats on top of 60m closing speed. This race should see Mu, at the very least, compete for a performance much like last year. Interestingly enough, this will also be the rematch between Rogers, whom Mu beat last February at the USATF Indoor Championships in the 600m.

Nico Young, Millrose Games, Pro 3K 

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When: February 8

Notable Entries In Field: Justyn Knight, Joe Klecker, Eric Avila, Paul Tanui, Hassan Mead, Edwin Kurgat

What To Look For: Young is certainly fit. Ten days ahead of Millrose, he recorded a 1600/800m workout that saw him hit splits of 4:10/2:07/4:16/2:06. That would seem to indicate he would be in the hunt for the American Junior Record he's chasing after. Young would have to eclipse a time of 7:56.31, which Chris Derrick last accomplished in 2009. If done, that time would also surpass the national high school record of 7:59.83, which Drew Hunter notched in 2016. History has also shown us that the field has traditionally gone out fast, which would make this attempt more approachable. All but one athlete in the field a year ago went under 8 minutes for 3K. Where exactly will Young place among the 2020 contingent? That's actually the most interesting equation in all of this. Will Young hang on to the back? Or will he have the stamina to hold on with the pros?

Justin Robinson, Millrose Games, Pro 300m

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When: February 8

Notable Entries In Field: Rai Benjamin (Nike), Wil London (Nike)

What To Look For: In his first attempt in a 300m in January, Robinson learned quite a few things. The Hazelwood West senior and Arizona State University signee took loss to Cameron Rose by the thinnest of margins, but he produced an all-timer, going 32.87 -- tied for fourth best all-time. But his second go-around on Saturday has the potential for him to learn from some of those issues, and there's a chance we could see an even greater effort here. If nothing else, Robinson would be looking to improve from his previous best. But a potential high school national record could once again be on the line. Brian Heron went 32.64 in 2018. Faced against Benjamin and London, if nothing else, will prepare Robinson for future moments down the line. For perspective, Noah Lyles scored a U.S. Indoor all-time record of 3.187 in 2017. The top 10 cut-off for American men's records at the distance is 32.38 seconds. 

Taylor Ewert, Millrose Games, Pro 1-mile RW

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When: February 8

What To Look For: Taylor going for a PR. She posted a personal 1-mile best and American Junior Record of 6:28.21 at this distance a year ago, winning the overall race by 0.18 seconds. That performance marked a 17-second improvement from her previous best. Fast forward to this year. Ewert will once again double in the 1-mile race walk and 1-mile run, where she will feature in an incredibly stacked high school field. Ohio's all-time best in the indoor mile is 4:47.96 (Micaela Degenero, 2016), and the state's overall 1-mile record is 4:41.22. In January, she went 13:00.56 in the 3K race walk, which would rank No. 2 now in the world -- the time hasn't been ratified yet. And that performance was a 24-second improvement from her previous best in 2019. 

Leah Phillips, Millrose Games, 60mH

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When: February 8

Notable Entrants In The Field: Georgia Ellenwood, Gabbi Cunningham, Nia Ali, Keni Harrison, Janeek Brown

What To Look For: A possible PR. Phillips already is US No. 2 in the 60mH with a time of 6.41 seconds. That performance ranks No. 41 on the all-time charts according to MileSplit's database. But if Phillips wants to move up the ranks, there's plenty of room. For instance, the high school national record is 8.02 seconds. The race will present Phillips with the best lineup she's ever faced. If races up to the competition, there's a good chance she'll see big gains. 

Best Millrose Games High School Matchups

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Shawnti Jackson vs. Moforehan Abinusawa vs. Victoria Perrow

Event: Girls 60m

Talitha Diggs vs. Aaliyah Pyatt vs. Leah Phillips vs. Isabella Whittaker

Event: Girls 300m

Gavin Sherry vs. Yasin Sado vs. Alex Fleury vs. Matthew Farrell

Event: Boys 1-Mile

Michaela Rose vs. Victoria Vanriele

Event: Girls 600m

Jenna Huchins vs. Ella Kurto vs. Roisin Willis vs. Marlee Starliper vs. Taylor Ewert vs. Taryn Parks 

Event: Girls 1-Mile

Storyline To Watch

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Reheem Hayles going after the high school national record in the 600m.

Hayles went 1:19.10 at the PSAL Martin Luther King . Relays on Jan. 20, which put him US No. 14 all-time. He's still roughly a second-and-a-half away from the national record of 1:17.58, which Christopher Columbus' Strymar Livingston last accomplished in 2012. But for what it's worth, Hayles has intimated he's going after the record. And this would be a good place to do it.