WATCH LIVE: THE TEXAS A&M BLUEBONNET INVITATIONAL
AIRING LIVE ON MILESPLIT FROM MARCH 4-5
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One of the premier early-season invitationals in Texas is here, and it's about to be full-on fire.
With nearly 1,000 athletes set to descend on College Station for the first annual Texas A&M Bluebonnet Invitational at E.B. Cushing Stadium, the state is about to see some big performances go down.
Just how fast will athletes go? Which teams will produce at the highest levels?
We'll be watching for all of those storylines and more throughout the weekend. The meet will be streamed live on MileSplit, while you will find stories, interviews, race videos and more during post-meet coverage.
Below are the five biggest storylines heading into the TAMU Bluebonnet Invitational.
5. The Two-Mile Boys Battle
This one should be fun, and chances are it could be a sub-9:10 type race.
Four athletes enter with seed times under 9:20, including top seed Ruben Rojas Betanzos of Katy Seven Lakes, Houston Strake Jesuit's Reese Vannerson, Montgomery Lake Creek's Carter Gordy and Denton's Wyatt Athey.
With just three seconds separating all four of those athletes, expect the pace to toggle, and for big moves to be made.
On paper, Gordy and Betanzos might be in the driver's seat after earning top eight finishes at state a year ago -- the former in Class 5A and the latter in Class 6A.
But Vannerson has the most speed of anyone in the lineup, sporting a 4:12 result in the 1,600m from a season ago.
4. The Nation's Top Female Indoor High Jumper Takes Center Stage
San Antonio Reagan's Mackenzie Dagrosa, competed just one time indoors, and that one time produced a U.S. No. 1 result of 5 feet, 10 inches in the high jump.
It remains the nation's top mark in the event. It also tied the fifth-best mark in the sophomore class ever.
While the San Antonio talent decided to switch gears to outdoor, there's a strong chance she offers the same kind of potency in the air that she's featured in the past.
After all, that 5-10 result wasn't in a vacuum.
It represented the second time over her career that she's reached that height, tying her career-best mark from the New Braunfels Invitational in March of last year. As a freshman.
It may be a tall order to suggest she's approaching 6-feet, but sometimes when the timing is right, things click and results happen.
Her performance on Saturday in the HJ will reveal yet another layer to her career.
3. Can Brandon Green Post Another 50-Foot TJ In Less Than A Month?
Ruston (LA) High School, the reigning Louisiana Division I state indoor team champion, is bringing a small contingent to College Station. And Brandon Green will no doubt be a fascinating athlete to watch.
The Oklahoma jumps recruit is coming off a career best performance at the indoor championships, where he leap a U.S. No. 1 mark of 51 feet, 6 inches.
It wasn't his only event, either. He finished fifth in the 60mH (8.36) and also won the long jump (23-5). Perhaps that form could follow him in Aggie Land, where he's entered in the 300mH, long jump and triple.
He owns a PR of 50-4.25 outdoors in the TJ and has gone 23-2 in the LJ and 38.72 in the 300mH. We've seen this kind of talent before in Louisiana. Is Green reminiscent of Sean Burrell?
We think so, and that's one big reason to keep your eyes every performance he puts down.
2. Will the 400m produce a sub-48 in the boys race?
Just how fast will high schoolers go on this track? That's one of the pressing questions entering competition on Friday and Saturday. And in the 400m, we might find one of the meet's fastest races.
Wylie High's Logan Popelka clocked a career best time of 47.19 at the AAU Junior Olympics in August, finishing fourth, while Brenham's Eric Hemphill -- a three-star football recruit -- went 47.45 at the UIL Class 5A Championships, earning himself a second-place finish.
Five athletes enter the competition with times under 50 seconds. The current U.S. No. 1 time in the 400m is a healthy 46.73, produced by Montverde Academy's Zyaire Nuriddin on Feb. 19 at the Louie Bing Classic.
If anyone approaches that time this weekend, it'll be a fantastic result.
1. The Toast Of Texas: Elite Girls Squaring Off In The 100m
There's no ifs, ands or buts about it.
The girls 100m is the premier race of the weekend. It will feature fourPower 5 Division I signees, including the likes of Autumn Wilson (Georgia), Camryn Domonique Dickson (Texas A&M), Jada Campos (Arizona State) and Haley Tate (Georgia).
Moreover, seven girls under with seed times under 11.75.
This weekend's race has the potential to truly offer an epic matchup. And there's no better place to start.
Wilson, who ran a wind-legal 11.39 at Brooks PR last year, is making her outdoor debut, while Dickson and Campos will also make their first appearances at the distance. Tate is the only one who has opened thus far -- she ran 12.24 in a tune-up on Feb. 12 at Katy Seven Lakes.
It's still early in the season, so we're not over-reaching at this point. But fast is fast, and we're likely to see a thrilling race on Saturday. The current U.S. No. 1 time is 11.64, and it's held by Micayah Holland.