The Top 7 Athletes To Watch At The Leander Spartans Invite

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7. Dynasty McClennon, Summer Creek (TX)

Races: 100m, 200m

The defending UIL Class 6A champion in the 400m (53.25) isn't running her preferred race at this meet, but she is going down in distance, so expect some fireworks. 

That's because McLennon will be lined up against some powerhouse athletes in the 100m (Jasmine Montgomery, Laila Owens, Taejha Badal and Autumn Wilson) and the 200m (Wilson, Badal, Montgomery and Camille Peisner), which will force the Summer Creek rising senior to race her very best to win. 

McLennon's personal best marks at the 100m and 200m are impressive, with wind-legal times of 11.81 and a US No. 12 effort of 23.28 seconds, respectively. The latter time, in fact, came at altitude the Great Southwest Classic when McLennon was a sophomore, and was one of six performances under 24 seconds on the year. 

This past indoor season McLennon scored personal best efforts of 7.61 seconds in the 60m, 24.23 in the 200m and 55.43 in the 400m. 

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6. Charles Ross, East View (TX)

Events: Long jump, Triple jump

Few athletes from Texas had as much potential in these two events in Ross did in 2020.

The rising senior at Georgetown East View High School secured an all-conditions US No. 6 performances of 24-4.75 in the long jump and added a personal best triple jump of 47-4.25, both efforts coming in March. 

And he was fortunate in that he was able to generate five performances across the 2020 season before it was canceled, totally jumps over 47 feet three times and one other mark over 24 feet. 

Ross' biggest competition on Saturday will be Solomon Washington, a junior from nearby Round Rock Stony Point who's secured marks of 24-feet and 50-8.5. 

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5. Autumn Wilson, Austin St. Dominic Savio Catholic (TX)

Races: 100m, 200m

Wilson was one of the breakout performers of the 2020 indoor season, scoring indoor personal best times of 7.38 in the 60m and 23.80 seconds in the 200m. Both marks finished the year as top five performances in the country. 

Much was to be expected from Wilson in her sophomore outdoor season with St. Dominic Savio Catholic, though that never came. Fortunately, Wilson was still able to secure some tune-up races to begin the season, notching times of 11.75 and 24.39 in March. 

But with a few races on the horizon, including these two on Saturday, Wilson once again has new hopes. The last few months of training has seen the Austin-based sprinter focusing on her block starts and drive phase with the hopes that she can once again pull down some impressive times -- notably, a sub-24 effort in the 200m. 

And as we mentioned above, she'll be lined up against a selection of talented Texas-based sprinters in the 100m and 200m.

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4. Auhmad Robinson, Klein Forest (TX)

Races: 100m, 200m

While Wilson was one of the breakthrough female performers of the 2020 indoor season, Robinson earned that distinction on the other end, becoming one of the country's fastest males on the track. 

The Klein Forest senior, who signed with Stephen F. Austin University over the National Letter of Intent period, seemed to be headed toward a very impressive future. He ran a US No. 2 time of 21.20 seconds indoors at the Texas Tech Under Armour High School Classic in January, and also added a personal best US No. 5 effort of 47.94 in the 400m at the Carl Lewis Invitational.

While Robinson didn't reach an individual final at the UIL Class 6A Championships in 2019, he did anchor his Klein Forest team to a fifth-place finish in the 4x400. And so a much bigger season was expected of Robinson over this state-run in 2020. He owned outdoor best marks of 10.79, 21.11 and 47.73 a year ago. 

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3. Laila Owens, Fort Bend Bush (TX)

Races: 100m, 200m 

In one of the best overall races of the Texas UIL Class Class 6A Championships in 2019, Bush came back from a huge deficit in the 200m -- she was third at the 100m mark -- to win the first state title of her career in a wind-legal 23.38. That was part of seven efforts for Owens, a Texas A&M signee, of under 24 seconds a year ago. She also ran a personal best time of 54 seconds in the 400m. 

Owens, however, will stick to the shorter distances on Saturday, with a focus on improving her 100m and 200m. This indoor season the Texan ran 23.55 seconds at the Texas A&M High School Indoor Classic, a wildly fast time on a banked track. 

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2. AJ Green, Eastview (MN)

Races: 400m, 800m

Green will be the most anticipated athlete on the track on Saturday. The future University of Kansas mid-distance athlete broke 1:50 in the 800m twice in 2019, ultimately finishing the season at US No. 3 with a time of 1:49.83. But he hasn't gotten a chance to race yet in 2020. 

So Green will have a mighty double at Liberty Hill High School, entered in both the 400m and 800m. He owns a personal best time of 49.36 in the 400m, though the main attraction will be the 800m, where he'll be the fastest seed by four seconds -- noteworthy: Green's range is impressive; he's also posted times of 23.09 seconds in the 200m and 4:19.06 in the 1,600m. 

Just last week, in Arizona, two runners (John Lester and Cruz Culpepper) ran 1:48 in a hot environment. Will we see the next athlete capable of doing that in Texas? 

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1. Robert Gregory, Houston Wheatley (TX)

Races: 200m, 400m

Gregory, quite simply, will be the fastest returning athlete from 2019 on the track on Saturday.

The Texas Christian University signee owns personal bests of 10.76 in the 100m, 20.91 in the 200m and 47.46 in the 400m. Only one athlete -- Da'Marcus Fleming -- has officially broken 21 seconds in the 200m this outdoor season, and none have gone under 47 in the 400m. But Gregory is a special talent. 

Without races since March, it might be difficult for him to find those heights so suddenly. But if anyone is capable of putting on a show, it's the Houston-based sprinter. He ran sub-22 in all three of his indoor races at 200m and opened his 2020 campaign in February and March with two more. 

In the 200m, he'll face off against David Foster (21.10), Robinson (21.30) and Isiah Banks (21.40), while he'll matchup against Bryce McCray (47.21) and Cameron Bonner (47.65) in the 400m. 

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