* Paige Sommers (left to right), Autumn Wilson and Rheinhardt Harrison are among the elite high school athletes to watch at the upcoming Adidas Indoor Nationals
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We're less than three weeks away from one of the final indoor track and field meets of the calendar season.
But it's already looking like it could be the most competitive high school event of 2021 yet.
With over 1,000 athletes already registered to compete inside the Virignia Beach Sports Center from Feb. 26-28 -- and many more coming by the day -- Adidas Indoor Nationals will no doubt feature some of the season's best performances overall.
Registration is still open leading into meet week. For more information, visit the meet page.
MileSplit will be there -- masks in hand -- ready to cover the competition. And we couldn't be more excited.
Over the next few weeks, we are going to be laying out key entries and events as we look forward to this national championship meet.
Below, we examined five key entries who are readying for the competition.
5. Nicholas Medeiros, Old Bridge (NJ)
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Just two athletes have broken 1:53 for 800 meters over the indoor track and field season in 2021, but that could certainly change over the next few weeks.
Medeiros, in particular, has the wheels to not only win a championship-style race at Adidas Nationals, but he also has an opportunity to better his previous best mark of 1:52.76, which came last March at the NJSIAA Meet of Champions.
Adidas Nationals will mark a welcome moment for Medeiros, who has competed just once since that big PR a year ago, posting a time of 4:26.63 for 1,600m in July.
4. Paige Sommers, Westlake (CA)
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Event: Pole vault
A total of just three girls broke 14 feet in 2020 -- Leah Pasqualetti even set a new outdoor national record with a mark of 14-8.25 in July -- and Sommers was among that elite group.
Last February, she set a new California state record of 14 feet, 6 inches at the Thousand Oaks Lancer Invitational, which represented one of three competitions where she netted clearances over 14 feet.
At Adidas Nationals, Sommers will once again be eyeing up those marks.
However, she'll have some competition. Sommers certainly has the resume and requisite experience to win a national competition such as this, but in recent weeks Louisiana standsouts like Emery Prentice (13-9) and Heather Abadie (13-9) have climbed up the national leaderboards.
3. Logan Coles, Woonsocket (RI)
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Event: Weight throw
Coles and teammate Tarik Robinson-O'Hagan represent the country's top throwing duo -- here at MileSplit, we've nicknamed them, Notorius TLC.
But at Adidas Nationals, this could be Coles' event to win, as he enters with a US No. 1 mark of 76 feet, 1.25 inches.
He's sure to find the country's top competitors, too. Beyond Coles' obvious merits, Robinson O'Hagan (73-10.5), Nazareh's Collin Burkhart (72-0.5), Hillhouse's Gary Moore Jr. (71-3) and Michael Pinckney (70-1.5) are all over 70 feet and entered.
Championship-style competitions usually provide wild swings within each round, and so each competitor will have to be ready -- and up to the challenge -- of answering those marks.
2. Rheinhardt Harrison, Nease (FL)
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Not that Harrison needed anymore motivation, but when Ann Arbor Skyline's Hobbs Kessler broke 4-minutes for the mile on Sunday at the American Track League, posting an indoor national record of 3:57.66, he became the 12th high schooler to achieve that feat and the first 17-year-old of the year to do it.
Harrison turns 17 just two weeks shy of Adidas Nationals.
Still, he could become the youngest American to go after that mark indoors our outdoors overall, and he's got a very legitimate shot.
The young standout from Nease High School in Florida ran 4:01.34 for the full mile last August, and then proceeded to secure three more efforts under 4:06 over the next four months. No miler in high school history has been as consistent as Harrison at that age.
While Harrison's father, Dennis, says his son isn't 100-percent confirmed for adidas Indoor Nationals just yet -- Rheinhardt is contemplating running in Austin, Texas, in a mile race called The Texas Qualifier the same weekend -- there's also still a shot. And that's enough for us to keep him on this list.
But in a high school-only field, it will also be harder for the Tinman Elite Junior athlete to achieve that feat. Perhaps that will make it even more impressive if he does indeed capture it, then.
1. Autumn Wilson, St. Dominic Savio Catholic (TX)
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Events: 60m, 200m
Few athletes across the United States have been as consistent as Wilson in the 60m this indoor season.
She's picked up three major wins and five total victories at the distance in 2021, authoring a PR of 7.36 seconds from her performance at The VA Showcase in January.
But finishing those runs off with a championship? That's the only step left for Wilson en route to a perfect season.
It won't be easy, as current entries like Kaniya Johnson, Samirah Moody and Taejha Badal all have fast entry times, and more ladies are sure to join in the coming weeks, too.
And perhaps beyond that, too, there's the extra incentive of trying to secure her first sub-7.3 time -- a mark that would enter her into the company of the top NCAA sprinters today.
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