* Allison Ince, Mia Brahe-Pedersen, Laila Campbell and Peyton Hollis are four of the top recruits for Oregon, USC, LSU and Duke over the national signing period
Photo Credit: MileSplit
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National Signing Day came and went, but the National Letter of Intent period is still very much open for track and field recruits.
So far, we've gained some real insight into how the best programs in the NCAA Division I planned and executed on their visions in the Class of 2024. As we do every year, we tracked where the top recruits are going and now we're going to offer some of our analysis on the best women's classes thus far.
Right now, the University of Southern is fast out the blocks and has the top women's recruiting class of 2024 so far. But there's still plenty of time for other programs to enter the mix.
The Blue Devils scored just five points at the NCAA Outdoor Championships this past June.
Naturally, that meant there was some work to do in the trenches.
But so far, Duke's work in the recruiting channels has been to-notch.
The Blue Devils landed two ranked prospects in the class and another on the honorable mention. Those wins aren't going unnoticed.
Hollis, in particular, is a quality signing. The Union Catholic senior is a versatile athlete who's been as good individually as she's been collaborating on national-championship relay teams, with 2:06 800m speed and a 55.81 clocking for 400m.
Callahan, meanwhile, won a Washington state cross country title on Nov. 4 and remains one of her state's top middle-distance runners, while Jirak is a high-level sprinter with coverage in the 100m, 200m and 400m.
While the men's recruiting class locked in a No. 1 ranking yesterday, the women aren't far behind, either, especially with the signing of Hampton, who's among the top high hurdlers in the country returning.
Hampton's ability in the hurdles, paired with Gordon's and Townsend's prowess in the jumps, will give the Bulldogs plenty of firepower to build on as they move forward.
But more than anything, this class could represent more foundational blocks. Georgia signed Sydney Harris at the very end of the 2023 class -- literally right before the end date of the NLI period -- and had a top five class in 2022 with the additions of Aaliyah Butler, Kaila Jackson and Autumn Wilson, so the immediate future looks bright for Georgia.
Mia Brahe-Pedersen might be the top sprinter in the class, but we also think immensely of Laila Campbell, a two-time national champion in the 100m who might move closer to Pennsylvania state records in 2022.
The Spring Grove sprinter, ranked No. 14 in the Class of 2024, isn't far behind the country's best, with PRs of 11.24w and 23.24 in the 100m and 200m.
Paired with Makeriah Harris, who ran 23.74 for 200m, 13.18 for 100m and 55.71 for 400m, LSU added some NCAA Championship caliber talent ready to score for the Tigers down the line.
Williams, a sprinter for Texas power DeSoto, has run 11.63w for 100m and 23.56w for 200m.
Oregon loaded up in the Class of 2024 with a little bit of everything.
They signed a middle-distance superstar in Allison Ince, two high-potential distance talents in Samantha Humphries and Nicole Humphries and a 20-foot and 40-foot jumper in Cassandra Atkins.
When you add Landen LeBlond -- a 2:10 800m runner -- and Sinke, a Pan American U20 silver medalist in the 3K (9:50) from Canada, you have the makings of a versatile class building toward a more rounded squad under Jerry Schumacher.
In business, they'll tell you to find a lane and dominate it. For Southern California, that just might be in the sprints, where the Trojans grabbed a bellwether recruiting class which could provide immediate dividends in the future.
Brahe-Pedersen is the No. 1 recruit in the nation for a reason. She ran 11 seconds flat in the 100m and reached the U.S. final in the event at the Outdoor Championships as a 17-year-old. Earlier, she broke an indoor national high school record for 200m and finished her junior season with a PR of 22.43 seconds -- third all-time.
If the Trojans had simply signed Brahe-Pedersen, we'd argue that they won the period, straight up. But with Maira Scott -- who is blossoming into one of Ohio's all-time best -- and Brianna Selby, a national champion from Virginia, and Pace, an 11.52w athlete, USC may have nabbed the track version of the 'Fab Four.'
These four ladies could, in theory, develop and become the future of Trojans sprinting. While that's only a hypothetical, the reality is that it's also based on performances, and with one more year left for each of these athletes, we wouldn't be surprised if they each leave their states with some serious hardware (and accolades).