* Markevus Jackson (left) and Caleb Boutelle have had success outdoor races thus far this spring
- - -
By Garrett Zatlin - MileSplit Recruiting Correspondent
The outdoor track and field season has finally arrived.
While we may still be in early March, we have been lucky enough to see a handful of incredibly exciting performances from some underrated high school talents when it comes to the outdoor oval.
While the 2021 outdoor track season is still incredibly young, we wanted to take a look at and highlight some of the best uncommitted high school seniors who are currently sitting near the top of the national leaderboards.
Photo Credit: Hillory Broussard/Images
Jalan Rivers, Summer Creek High School (TX)
- - -
There have been numerous standout performances on the outdoor track so far this season, but one name that instantly caught our eyes when reviewing results was Jalan Rivers.
The Texas native has steadily risen into a tier where he is now one of the country's best high jumpers. He recently cleared a massive personal best of 7-0 in late February, putting him in some scarce company.
And if you thought that was a fluke, think again. Rivers went on to clear 6-10 one week later, validating that his 7-0 clearance and his overall fitness was legitimate.
You have to love the progress and momentum that we've seen out of Rivers. Not just recently, but throughout his high school career. He cleared 5-7 as a freshman, 6-0 as a sophomore, 6-6 as a junior and now 7-0 as a senior ... and we're not even halfway through March.
What has contributed to that development, though, has been Rivers' work with TJ Fakehinde and Margaret Glover of Jump Landers Track Club. Based out of Houston, Texas, the pair have previously worked with Matthew Boling and Claire Bryant -- who finished their high school careers with astounding success before parlaying it to even more at the University of Georgia and Florida, respectively.
There's no doubt, Rivers has elevated himself to an elite level in the high jump, and if his career trend continues to follow this progression, then he's going to be a problem for his competitors in the NCAA whenever he signs on the dotted line.
Markevus Jackson, Kissimmee Osceola (FL)
- - -
Yet another high school senior from a hot-weather state, Jackson is a name that you absolutely need to keep an eye on. He has yet to toe the line in the month of March, but in the three instances that he has raced, Jackson has been flat-out incredible.
In two meets and across three races, the Florida native posted times of 10.79 (100m), 20.99 (200m) and 47.68 (400m). Even if we saw Jackson run just one of those times, we would be talking about an exciting new sprinter who is showing off a ton of firepower. But to run that fast in three of those events, over the span of two weekends, before March? That's beyond impressive.
Don't get me wrong, Jackson was always a respectable talent, but his prior personal bests before this season began were 10.94 (100m), 21.79 (200m) and 47.94 (400m).
If the Osceola High School senior was able to do all of that before the third month of the year even begins, what will he be able to do over the next few months?
We would argue that Jackson should be at the top of every coaches' recruiting big board and they should work to sign the Florida native now before his performances catch the eyes of any other collegiate programs.
Caleb Boutelle, Pine Creek (CO)
- - -
When it comes to high school recruiting, distance runners are the first athletes to come off the board. That was evident this past fall as many of the nation's top distance talents quickly became unavailable as they were signing on the dotted line for their future homes.
However, Boutelle is a Colorado distance talent who has been waiting for his moment to shine -- and shine he did at the Sundown Track Series #2 meet.
The Colorado native came down from altitude and ventured to Arizona where he dropped an incredibly impressive time of 8:59 for 3,200m. That's a super strong mark, and most current seniors who have run that fast are already committed to run for some high-level D1 programs.
With that in mind, this isn't the first time Boutelle has run 8:59 for 3,200m. In fact, he actually ran 8:59 for 3,200m on an indoor track back in November.
According to our research, Boutelle has yet to commit anywhere. But there's good news on that front: This could make him one of the more coveted recruits in the entire NCAA this outdoor season, especially for certain cross country teams that might be one piece away from qualifying for the cross country national meet or winning a conference title.
This is, after all, someone who placed third at the Colorado State XC Championships this past fall behind Parker Wolfe and Ben Conlin.
Prior to his senior year, Boutelle wasn't a name who was going to garner a lot of major recruiting attention. However, he has seen a massive rise in his fitness as of late and is now one of the more nationally recognizable names in the high school distance running community.
- Inside Recruiting series page
- The Longhorns continue to land impact recruits
- Four unsigned recruits who made big statements at adidas indoor nationals
- Four girls recruits whose stock has surged upward
- California Baptist's women's team is bound for success
- Four college recruits who have exploded as of late
- Four fast-rising recruits over the '21 season
- More on Alexander Nunley's signing to NC State
- Just How Good Have Justin Braun And Jaylen Slade Been?
- Where They're At Now: Five All-Time Sub-4 Milers
- Four Class of 2022 girls athletes with special distinctions
- Four Class of 2022 boys athletes with special distinctions
- North Carolina A&T is developing into a HBCU power
- Three boys recruits with high ceilings
- Three girls recruits with special talent in the throws
- This BYU coach is building a strong recruiting reputation
- These high school stars could be the breakout stars of 2022
- Four Class of 2022 recruits who stand out in a big way
- Three big unanswered questions in NCAA recruiting
- The Class of 2020 made their NCAA debuts
- Three underrated girls signings that are good program fits