Future Stars: These 7 Underclassmen Can Shine At States

* Dylan Maloney, Chiara Dailey and Justin DeVaughn are a few underclassmen who will contest for state titles this weekend

Photo Credit: MileSplit

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Just a week ago, there were many athletes who were crowned state champions. This week will be another replica of that. 

California, Tennessee, Oregon, Maryland, Kansas, Illinois, Washington DC, and Montana have state championships that will be live on MileSplit throughout the weekend. 

For this week's Future Stars, MileSplit took a deeper dive into some of the nation's best underclassmen who are in the hunt for state titles over the next few days. Check out some of the top athletes to watch this weekend below. 

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* Chiara Dailey of La Jolla (CA) was one of the top competitors this cross country season

Photo Credit: Jeff Parenti / MileSplit

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As a freshman, Chiara Dailey of La Jolla (CA) blossomed on the scene during the cross country season. She was second at the CIF State Cross Country Championships before she finished 14th at the Champs National Cross Country Championships in December.

Since then, she inserted herself as one of the top athletes to watch in the Golden State.

Dailey qualified for the CIF Outdoor Track and Field Championships in the 1,600m with her San Diego Section Championships performance of 4:42.69. Her new personal best puts her at CA No. 3 and US No. 8.

Even though she will be one of two freshmen in the field, she has an opportunity to be on the podium in this event. 

* MileSplit followed Sadie Engelhardt at the CIF Masters Meet

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The reigning champion in the 1,600m will have another shot to defend her title at the CIF Outdoor Track and Field Championships.

Sadie Engelhardt, the sophomore sensation from Ventura (CA), continues to shine this season by dropping top marks across different distance disciplines. Engelhardt, who currently leads the nation in the 1,600m and mile, will look to earn her first 800m title as well in Clovis. 

Last season, Engelhardt was the runner up in the 800m with a 2:09.64. This season she ran a best of 2:06.71 ranking her CA No. 3 and US No. 10. 

At the CIF Masters Meet, Engelhardt had an opportunity to carry the baton around the track as she anchored Ventura's 4x400m to 3:52.92 to qualify for the state championships. 

* Dylan Maloney finished 16th overall at the IHSA Cross Country State Championships

Photo Credit: J. Espinosa / MileSplit

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In Illinois, Plainfield South's Dylan Maloney is gearing up to have a strong finish to his sophomore season. 

Currently, Maloney is ranked IL No. 11 and he is the fastest boy in the sophomore class in the 3,200m with a 9:14.66. In his state qualifying meet, the IHSA Class 3A Sectional, he won the title in 9:18.66. As he began to gear up for the state championships, his previous run was his second-best performance of the season.

So far this year, he's the fastest underclassman in the state by nearly four seconds. 

After not qualifying for the 2022 IHSA State Championships in this event, this will be his first appearance competing for a state title. 

* JaiCieonna Gero-Holt cleared the bar at Nike Outdoor Nationals last summer

Photo Credit: Ben Lonergan / The Register-Guard, USA Today 

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After representing Team USA at the World U20 Championships in the heptathlon, JaiCieonna Gero-Holt found herself defending her WIAA 4A State titles in the field and hurdle events this spring.

The sophomore standout from Emerald Ridge (WA) will contest in the 100mH, high and long jumps, and the javelin throw at Hayward Field. 

Last year as a freshman, she won her first set of individual titles and was seventh in the javelin. The rising star has already hurdled to the fastest time in the state this season with a 14.44. She holds the best high jump performance in the state with a 5-11.75 and currently is the second-best long jumper with a leap of 18-9.75. In the javelin, Gero-Holt threw a personal best of 138-7 this season to be Washington's second-best thrower.

Gero-Holt can do it all, now can she earn four more state titles to her resume this weekend?

* Isaiah Whitaker discusses his 1A indoor pole vault record from the Illinois Top Times meet 

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This season Isaiah Whitaker of Bloomington Central Catholic (IL) raised the bar all season as a freshman. 

He caught many eyes this winter as he cleared 16-8 in mid-March and he broke the 1A pole vault record of 16-6.75 at the Illinois Top Times. 

This spring, he's cleared three performances over 16-0, including a new personal best of 16-9.25.

This year, Whitaker remained undefeated in this event and he's even earned himself a spot at the top of the state's leaderboard. Whitaker is ranked US No. 10 and holds the No. 3 all-time performance for the freshman class. 

Since the indoor season, Whitaker wants to clear 18 feet at some point in his high school career and sweep the pole vault titles all four years at the IHSA State Championships. 

* Justin DeVaughn set a new personal best in the hurdles at the Baltimore City Outdoor Championships

Photo Credit: Jon Fulton / MileSplit

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Justin DeVaughn of Mergenthaler Vocational-Technical (MD) set personal bests left and right throughout the season. 

The sophomore from Baltimore is coming off a string of confident-boosting performances at the Baltimore City Outdoor Championships. He showed promise in the 300mH and high jump where he set personal bests of 38.14 and 6-0 in the high jump. 

At his first appearance at the MPSSAA 4A North Region Championships, he won the 300mH, finished second in the long jump and was fourth in the high jump. His performances resulted in him qualifying for three individual events in Landover at the PG Sportsplex.

DeVaughn's 300mH best lands him as the third-fastest boy and his field event marks rank him top 35 in the state. 

Just a year ago, Alesecio Batson tried six different track and field events during the 2022 season. This season, he got his foot in the door in the jumps. 

Topeka West's (KS) sophomore put his best performance together at the KSHSAA 5A Regional meet to solidify a spot to compete for a state title in the triple jump.

Throughout the season he's progressed from 43 to 45 feet. However, earlier this month, he set a personal best of 48-11 (NWI) to grab the regional title. His mark leads the state by nearly two feet. 

After finishing 15th in 2022 at regionals, and now this year becoming the champion, he has a true shot of finding himself on the podium in 2023.