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Schedule: The track stream begins at 11:30 EST on Saturday
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A tremendous amount of youth track and field talented is headed our way this weekend in Las Vegas, Nevada, as Milesplit is set to stream the 2020 AAU West Coast Junior Olympic Games from Saturday through Sunday.
Much like the AAU Junior Olympic Games, which is scheduled for August in Florida, the West Coast Championship will feature some of the country's best young talent in events ranging from the sprints and distance all the way to the jumps and throws.
We're bringing you previews of top events and athletes headed our way. We're focusing, in particular, on 17-18 age-group athletes who have either graduated or have eligibility left for their high school careers.
See below for a specific analysis of key events.
*Hamilton North - Nottingham's (NJ) Shamali Whittle winning the NJSIAA Meet of Champions 200m dash with a 21.68.
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Event: Boys 15-16 100m and 200m
Breakdown: On paper, this should be a good race. All of the top three guys come in with an 11.02 or faster. Shamali Whittle, who will also be running in the 200m, comes in with the top time and will be the guy to watch. Whittle could pull off the sweep in both the 15-16-year-old boys 100m and 200m race; he's seeded with a 10.65 in the 100m and a 21.52 in the 200m. Over the 2019-2020 indoor season, he clocked a 21.68 to lead Hamilton North-Nottingham to a 200m 1-3 team sweep as a sophomore. Many of the guys listed above will be competing in both the 100m and 200m.
* Dunbar's (FL) Leonard Mustari running 13.84 at the Louie Bing Memorial Classic.
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Event: Boys17-18 110mH
Key Athletes: Leonard Mustari (Dunbar HS, FL)
Breakdown: Fort Myers Dunbar High School's (FL) Leonard Mustari is currently one of the best high school hurdlers in the country. He finished the indoor season ranked US No. 5 in the 55mH (7.29) and US No. 6 in the 60mH (7.89). Those marks earned him a spot on the Milesplit50 rankings. This outdoor season we got to see him perform quite a few times before the quarantine as well as once after. In March, he hit a PR of 13.84 at the Louie Bing Memorial Classic and most recently he ran a 14.18 at the Peak Performance Invitational on June 20th. With a rust buster out of the way, we should see Mustari look to hit his seed time and a new PR of 13.70.
Key Athletes: Amari Brown (Milwaukee Rufus King, WI), Lucheyona Weaver (Dunbar HS, FL), Taejha Badal (Tomball Concordia Lutheran, TX), Makayla Oliver (Vacaville High School, CA), Chloe Decker (Christian Brothers High School, CA), Brianna Brand (Kennedale, TX)
Breakdown: This should be a very good battle. Milwaukee Rufus King High School's Amari Brown holds the leading seed time of 11.40. While she was unable to run outdoors before the lockdowns, she was able to post a 7.56 in the 60m indoors and a 24.52 in the 200m; both were Wisconson No. 1 times at the end of the indoor season. She also finished sixth last year at the AAU Junior Olympic Games, clocking an 11.96 in the 100m. Lucheyona Weaver, Taejha Badal, Chloe Decker, and Brianna Brand have all competed during the outdoor season and will give Brown a run for her money. Weaver, Badal, and Oliver are all seeded 11.90 or faster.
Event: Boys 17-18 200
Key Athletes: Udodi Onwuzurike (Maximum Output Track Club), Dominique Mckenzie (Pine View, UT), Gavin Schurr (Fairview High School, CO), Dana Ridley (Hamilton North - Nottingham, NJ), Brandon Miller (Unattached), Anthony Smith (Eastside Catholic High School, WA)
Breakdown: This is the Desert Duel 2.0. We got to see Eastside Catholic High School's (WA) Anthony Smith race against Fairview High School's (CO) Gavin Schurr at the Desert Dream Last Hurrah and now we will watch these two battle again. But Schurr got the better of Smith in Arizona. Schurr ran a 21.47 while Smith ran a 21.63. In this matchup, they are both going to be challenged by Maximum Output Track Club's (MI) Udodi Onwuzurike and Pine View's (UT) Dominique Mckenzie. Onwuzurike comes in with a seed time and PR of 21.36 and finished third at last year's AAU Junior Olympic Games. McKenzie comes in with a 21.41 from earlier this year at the Private Club Time Trial Meet.
* Dunbar's (FL) Lucheyona Weaver running the 100mH at the Louie Bing Memorial Classic.
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Event: F 17-18 100H
Key Athletes: Lucheyona Weaver (Dunbar HS)
Breakdown: Before the lockdowns, Dunbar's (FL) Weaver ran the fourth-fastest 100mH time in the nation. The rising senior posted a 13.63 at the Louie Bing Memorial Classic. She comes in seeded number one with a 13.60. Keep an eye on her as one of the next big names in the hurdles.
Event: Boys 17-18 LJ
Breakdown: There are three jumpers in the field who are all seeded with 22-foot marks or better. Leading the way is Dunbar's Mustari. The rising senior holds a PR of 23-04.00 from the Peak Performance Invitational on June 20. But in the spring, Harlingen High's (TX) Eric Quilantan also jumped at four different meets and registered a PR of 24-4 from the SAMS Relays. He's seeded with a 22-11.75. The final athlete to come in with a seed mark over 22 feet is Mesa Mountain View High School's (AZ) Gabriel Binion. Binion's most recent performance was his win in the long jump at the Desert Dream-Last Hurrah Track & Field Invitational where he jumped 22 feet even.