* Claire Bryant is the favorite to take the national long jump title at NBNI; Photo Credit: Dan Loughlin/NC Runners
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Girls Long Jump
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Contenders: Claire Bryant (Houston, Texas), Morgan Smalls (Cary, NC), Chelsea Mitchell (Canton, CT), Sadie McMullen (Highlands Ranch, CO), Tessa Stapleton (Fairfield, CT), Teagan Zwaanstra (Highlands Ranch, CO), Brooklyn Manna (Woburn, MA), Gabriella Recce (Harrisburg, PA) Riley Ammenhauser (Napervile, IL) and Kennedy Jackson (Romulus, MI)
Breakdown: This might come down to who's most over 20 feet. Three girls have experience above that threshold. And while South Carolina commit Synclair Savage is the highest returner in the field, this might be Claire Bryant's event to lose.
The Houston Memorial (TX) senior and Florida signee has cleared over 20 feet nine times since last outdoor season. She currently holds a US No. 1 of 20 feet, 5.25 inches. It may be her first New Balance Nationals Indoor experience, but don't expect the Texan to be timid. She's the returning Pan American U20 champion in the long jump.
Then there's Smalls, who's also over 20 feet with a mark of 20-2.5. She has a shot, but she'll have a busy championship schedule with at least one event per day -- and she'll run the 200m prelim within an hour of the start of this event.
And then there's Savage, who amazed with a runner-up performance of 20-5 last year. Leading up to last year's competition, she had only jumped over 19-feet twice. And since then, she's found herself more consistent over 19-feet, with just one leap over 20-feet.
But hey, this is nationals. Can magic strike again? Savage has done it before.
* Jieem Bullock is the defending national champion in the LJ at NBNI; Photo Credit: Dan Loughlin/NC Runners
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Boys Long Jump
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Contenders: Jieem Bullock (Leland, NC), Christian Lewis (Lexington, KY), Clayton Keys (Katy, TX), Jaden Price-Whitehead (Fort Washington, PA), Devin Daye-Schafer (Midlothian, VA), Johnny Brackins (Lee's summit, MO), Marquise Kinley (Danville, KY) and Austin Montgomery (Norristown, PA).
Breakdown: This is going to be one of the more competitive field events of the weekend. Last year, North Brunswick's (NC) Jieem Bullock won the crown in 24-4.25 -- on his very first jump. The field only saw three boys over 24 feet overall.
With the LSU signee returning to the field, he could defend his title. This time, though, there are five additional athletes with history over 24-feet across any season.
Jaden Price-Whitehead, the New Balance Nationals Outdoor Champion in 2019, has the best mark in the field with a US No. 1 of 25 feet from the TFCAofGP Meet of Champions in February. He also has two additional marks over 24 feet. Then there's Johnny Brackins, a junior at Lee's Summit, who's US No. 2 with a leap of 24-6.5.
While Christian Lewis, a Frederick Douglass (KY) senior, hasn't gone over 24 feet this indoor season, he posted a third-place performance at NBNO in 2019 with a PR of 24-6.
And then there's Marquise Kinley (24-4.5) and Clayton Keys (24-9) whom each broke the 24-feet barrier during the 2019 outdoor season. Keys also recently jumped 24-3.25 outdoors.