* Braeden Holcombe could be a sleeper in the pentathlon at NBNI
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Contenders: John Murray (Bob Jones, AL), Braeden Holcombe (Palmer Ridge, CO), Quinn Lansill (Poly Prep Country Day, NY), Max Stakun-Pickering (Wellesley, MA), Odis Florence (Streetsboro, OH), Gregory Desrosiers (Belmont, MA), Gage Knight (Palm Harbor University HS, FL), Jett Kinder (Brentwood, TN)
Breakdown: Among those who have completed an indoor pentathlon this season, John Murray leads the way with a solid 3,772 point total from the Last Chance Invitational (AL) in January. Murray's best events are the 60 meter hurdles (8.22) and high jump (6-5.5), but he also scores well in the 1,000m (3:02.64) and long jump (21-6.75.
Braeden Holcombe, meanwhile, comes in with 3,662 points from the Air Force High School Open. He's ranked top 5 in Colorado in four of the events, including first in the long jump (23-0). Holcombe also finished 6th in the USATF JO Track and Field Championship Decathlon with 6010 points last July.
But Brentwood (TN)'s Jett Kinder is the returning national champion. The University of Oregon commit is a pole vaulter by trade -- the top vaulter in Tennessee, in fact -- but he performs well in high jump (6-8 outdoor best), shot put (52-8.75 indoor best), and long jump (22-10 outdoor best).
Also keep an eye on Gregory Desrosiers and Gage Knight, two of the top returners in the decathlon from the 2019 outdoor season. Desrosiers doesn't seem to have a key event in which he performs the best, but he did finish second at NBNO a year ago. Knight finished eighth at last year's indoor meet and fifth at outdoor nationals. He has cleared 22 feet in the long jump already this outdoor season and hit 15.38 in the 110 Hurdles. This will be his first and only indoor meet of the season.
* Brianna Smith could be the favorite in the pentathlon on Sunday
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Contenders: Brianna Smith (Cheltenham, PA), Bryanna Craig (Millville, NJ), Addison Berry (West-Oak, SC), Jada Johnson (Sharon, MA), Maddie Meiner (Lewisville Marcus, TX), Holly Cassels (Dwyer, FL), Lauren Heck (Blue Valley Southwest, KS), Ariel Pedigo (Parkview Baptist, LA)
Breakdown: Anna Hall graduated this past spring, which means it's finally time to crown a new queen of the multi-events. This year, it seems like a two-person race.
Brianna Smith appears to be emerging as the slight favorite, as she has a US-leading score of 3,617 from the Ocean Breeze High School Invitational. She also scored 3,667 last March en route to a fifth-place finish and excels the most in the high jump (5-8) and long jump (18-7.75).
But she'll have to do battle once again with Jada Johnson, who placed third last year with 3,735 points. Johnson finished top 3 in four of the five events, winning the long jump with an 18-8.75 mark. Johnson and Smith are fairly closely matched across the board -- it will probably be what happens in the shot put and the 60m hurdles that determines who brings home the crown.
And then there's Bryanna Craig, who set a national freshman class record in the heptathlon last year outdoors. She's the current US No. 2 athlete in the pentathlon and has scored 3,584 points. Craig is fairly well equipped in the field events, as she has posted a 5-8 lifetime best in the high jump and 18-5.5 best in the long jump (both outdoor). She also won the NBNO heptathlon last spring (ahead of Smith) and won the 15-16 age group heptathlon at the AAU Junior Olympics as well.
Maddie Meiner, last year's sixth place finisher, will be in the mix, too.