Index: 60m (Girls And Boys) Preview - 200m Preview - 400m Preview - 60mH Preview
* Justin Braun is one of the contenders to win a 400m title at NBNI
Photo Credit: Shawn Conlon/Ohio MileSplit
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Boys 400 Meter Dash
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Contenders: Justin Braun (Thomas Worthington, OH), Willie Johnson (East St. Louis, IL), Reheem Hayles (Springfield Gardens, NY), Jonathan Martin (Hoover, AL), Solomon Strader (West Ranch, CA), Jayson Ward (L.C. Bird, VA).
Breakdown: This race will be an open book. Returning champion Justin Robinson is taking care of some minor quips back home in Missouri, while returning runner-up, Ashton Allen, will also take the race off in order to take care of some lingering issues -- despite being entered in the field. Bullis School head coach Joe Lee clarified that this past week.
That means an entirely new final will take place on the final day of NBNI. And as it stands, Braun is the only athlete in the country to go under 47 seconds -- though he achieved that feat on an oversized track.
Braun could potentially solidify that mark again on a banked track, but he'll face talented athletes such as Hayles, ranked US No. 1 in the 600m, and Strader, who went 46.59 outdoors in June of last year. Strader probably presents Braun's best competition, though the sneaky picks to run well and reach the final are Martin, Ward and Johnson, the returning EE champion.
* Aaliyah Butler ran a US No. 1 time of 53.03 seconds in the 400m in February
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Girls 400 Meter Dash
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Contenders: Aaliyah Butler (Piper, FL), Aaliyah Pyatt (Massaponax, VA), Isabella Whittaker (Mount De Sales, MD), Caitlyn Bobb (Harford Technical, MD), Victoria Bossong (Cheverus, ME), Shaniya Hall (Bullis School, MD), Ziyah Holman (Georgetown Day, DC).
Breakdown: While returning 400m champion Kimberly Harris will compete at NBNI, she has opted against the 400m, which means this race is wideeee open. So who should contend for a championship? Returners from the championship final in 2019 include Pyatt (6th), Gadson (7th) and Johnson (8th), though they'll face an uphill battle with US No. 1 Butler, US No. 6 Hall and US No. 8 Whittaker all in the hunt.
No one, however, has broken 53 seconds this indoor season. And that likely will be what it takes to win. From a numbers perspective, Butler (53.03) is the closest toward a favorite being named as you're going to get. But can she come away with a victory? The tight turns of The Armory present their own challenges, but this one should be a fun one.