Future Stars Are Holding It Down Against Upperclassmen

* Caden Leonard at the UIL 6A Region 1 meet in 2023

Photo Credit: Emma Thomas/MileSplit

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Every week, underclassmen from across the U.S. are putting down national-level performances. 

But this time of year is busy.

While the indoor campaign finishes out, the outdoor season is in full bloom. Fortunately for us, that means we have another installment of Future Stars.

From a Michigan standout to a Texan duo, this trio proved their mettle over the last week and were the stars who secured top-notch moments, including new personal bests and all-class rankings. 

Here are a few risings stars who had great weekends chasing down their upperclassman competition.

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    Carroll High School(TX)

    Class of 2026

                  Making another appearance on this recurring series is Southlake Carroll sophomore Caden Leonard.

                          Leonard continued his strong momentum from the indoor season and opened his outdoor season this past week with a U.S. No.1 mark across all-classes in the 1,600m with his time of 4:10.26.

                          That time matched his indoor PR from Feb. 10 in Boston and was a five-second year-over-year improvement from this time last year. 

                          That spells good news, because Leonard was among Texas' top freshmen in 2023. He's also the reigning Class 6A champion in cross country.

                          His 4:10.26 performance was also No. 38 in sophomore class history. 

                          Oak Park (MI)

                          Class of 2027

                          A freshman out of Oak Park, Michigan, Burns finished her indoor regular season this past weekend at the MITS State Indoor Championships in Michigan. 

                          Burns ran her 400m finals in a new freshman class U.S. No. 1 mark of 55.07. Although not a PR for Burns, the mark also places her at a U.S. No. 5 and it was just off her career indoor best of 54.21. 

                          Next up for Burns? New Balance Nationals Indoor. 

                          Class of 2027

                          Finding her way into our Future Stars list yet again, the Flower Mound freshman ran away with the win in the 800m at the Falcon Fast Invitational  this past weekend. 

                          The Texan showed off her speed with her new freshman class U.S No. 1 mark of 2:13.59. 

                          This was also a new PR for Bennett, and places her at a U.S. No. 6 across all-class rankings for the distance. Bennett will likely feature for Flower Mound at New Balance Nationals Indoor next week in Boston.