* Justin Robinson at the USATF U20 Championships in 2019
Photo Credit: USA Today Sports/Kirby Lee
Justin Robinson's eyes are still firmly on the prize.
This weekend, the 19-year-old sprinter and recent Hazelwood West (MO) High School graduate will race at the USATF Grand Prix, a World Athletics Continental Tour Gold series event as part of the Oregon Relays at the new Hayward Field in Eugene.
Robinson will reportedly compete against the likes of Michael Norman and Rai Benjamin.
It will all be part of the larger mission: Robinson continues to chase a spot on the United States Olympic Team, either in the open 400m or on a relay, as he readies for the U.S. Olympic Trials in June at the same venue.
Fortunately for Robinson, he'll be finely-tuned.
On April 10, he raced for just the second time since August, competing at the Miramar Invitational in Florida where he came away with an impressive win at 400 meters in 45.23 seconds.
That performance, which followed his 2020 season-ending 44.91 in August (below) at an American Track League event in Georgia -- a performance that finished the year as the No. 1 outdoor time in the world -- stands as the eighth-best time in the world right now.
Two athletes to consider, however, are in the same class as Robinson.
Fellow 2020 graduate Ryan Willie, a freshman at the University of Florida, is No. 7 in the world with a time of 45.12.
And then there's 2020 Tucson Magnet School's Johnnie Blockburger, who currently owns the world's second-best time of 44.71. Two years ago, as a high school junior, his top time was 48.02.
A total of five men have already dipped under 45 seconds.
Robinson's overall 400m PR still remains his time of 44.84 from the Great Southwest Classic in 2019.
Robinson continues to train under the guidance of Sean Burris, who developed the St. Louis native across his high school career.
While Robinson deferred his enrollment to Arizona State University for a year due to concerns around COVID-19, Burris confirmed recently that the plan -- as of now -- was still to enroll next fall.