Top 12 Distance Athletes To Watch At The AAU Junior Olympics

*Michaela Rose won her second 800m AAU Junior Olympic gold medal last year*

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1. Michaela Rose Looking to Defend Her 800m Title

Let's move to the girls action. 

And we would be naive if we didn't start with Michaela Rose.

The homeschooled athlete from Virginia has a few AAU Junior Olympic medals hanging up at home, to say the least. Last year, she won her third 800m gold medal by breaking the national age group record with a time of 2:05.53. Rose then won another gold medal in the 400mH with a personal best of 58.16, flipping an insane double in two wildly different events.  

This year, Rose will concentrate on her main events in the 17-18 girls division. She will be looking to defend her previous title in the 800m, while also competing in the 400m and 400mH. 

*Heidi Neilson wins the 1500m race at the 2019 Victor Lopez Classic in 4:40.93*

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2. Heidi Nielson Is Going After A Fast 1,500m 

In March, Katy Cinco Ranch's (TX) Heidi Nielson ran a personal best in the 1600m with a 4:47.90, which was right on pace from the sophomore campaign, when she ran a lifetime best in the 1,500m of 4:33.08

As a sophomore, not only did Nielson place second at the 2019 UIL State Championships in the 1,600m, but she also placed second at the USATF U20 Outdoor Championships in the 5,000m and qualified for the Pan American U20 Championships in Costa Rica.

An advantage that Nielson brings to the AAU Junior Olympics is her stamina, versatility and race experience. Having raced everything from the 800m to the 5,000m, she will be an athlete to look out for in the 1,500m in the 17-18 girls age bracket. 

*Meadow Millett won the 2019 AAU National Club Championships in the steeplechase*

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3. Meadow Millett Will Compete All Over the Track

One athlete, in particular, will be competing in a  wild array of distance events next week will be Millett. 

She's scheduled to go in the 400m, 800m, 1,500m and 3,000m. And if her resume is of any indication, she will be ready for it. 

Millett competed in 13 races this season ranging from the 200m to 3,000m. She will be one of the sharpest and most prepared athletes to step onto the track. During the 2019 outdoor season, she has set personal bests in every event she competed in.

*At the 2019 LHSAA State Championships, Halyn Senegal won the 800m title*

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4. Halyn Senegal Going for the Quadruple

Sam Houston's (LA) Halyn Senegal will be competing in two individual events and relays at the AAU Junior Olympics. Senegal is a two-time Louisana state champion in the 800m. She will be representing Track Dynamic and running a leg on their 4x400m and 4x800m in the girls 17-18 division.

One of her toughest competitions will be in the 800m, though, as she faces Rose for the title. After setting a personal best in the 400m this outdoor season, Senegal will be looking to earn the title in this event. And further, the Louisiana athlete may have an opportunity to chase after a coveted 2:10-effort in the 800m. 

*Alina LaForest became the 2019 PIAA District 1 AA Champion in the 800m*

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5. Alina LaForest Ready to Add Some Heat to the Competition

Alina LaForest will be opening up her outdoor season at the AAU Junior Olympics.

And oot only was LaForest ranked top 100 in the nation for the 400m and 800m this past indoor season as a sophomore, but she was also 10th overall in the 600m.

Last year at this meet, she placed sixth in the 400mH with a personal best of 1:03.19. Next week, she will be a contender in the 400mH, 800m and 1500m. 

*Jordynn West earns bronze medal at the 2019 AAU Junior Olympics in the 3000m*

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6. Jordynn West Looking to Add More AAU Junior Olympic Medals to Her Collection

Jordynn West has earned herself multiple AAU medals over the years.

In 2019, the young talent from Texas earned a bronze medal in the 3,000m. Earlier in her career, she also earned another third-place finish in the 1,500m in 2017.

She also competed at the AAU National Club Championships and won the gold medal in 2019 for the 3000m and in 2017 she won the gold in the 800m and 1500m.

She has multiple medals from the AAU Northern Indoor National Championships. And next week, you can expect her to compete in the 800m, 1500m and 3000.

West has personal bests of 2:22.17, 4:55.17 and 10:33.63, respectively, and is one of the bright, young talents who are set to compete in Florida. 

Related Links: 

The Top 7 Throwers To Watch At The AAU Junior Olympic Games In 2020