Look Ahead: Who Are Potential COROS MileSplit50 Boys AOYs?

* Bullis School's Quincy Wilson is our reigning MileSplit50 Indoor Athlete of the Year

Photo Credit: David Nguyen/MileSplit

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Based on what we've seen thus far over 2024, we could be in store for the fastest outdoor season we've had on record in 20 years. 

And we're not joking. 

The high school track and field space is littered with game-changers across the board this year, from sprint phenoms to distance powers. Who are the top contenders to change the sport? We have a few ideas. 

Below we dive into the top candidates to challenge for our season-ending COROS MileSplit50 Athlete of the Year. 

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Look Ahead: Who Are Potential COROS MileSplit50 Boys AOYs

Quincy Wilson, Bullis School (MD)

Consider this: Quincy Wilson opened up his outdoor season with a U.S. No. 1 time of 45.19  for 400 meters. That was the eighth-best time in high school history.

It was also an automatic qualifier to the U.S. Olympic Trials. 

So it's fair to say he's off to a good start. 

But it's also worth nothing that one good race won't clinch Athlete of the Year, even for the reining Indoor AOY. Wilson will have to race well consistently to be in contention here -- though it doesn't mean he has to be invincible.

Just how Wilson deals with the pressure, and the stakes, of high-level racing will be the true denominator of success. 

The only question we'll have this year is just distances Wilson will run. He's only a sophomore.

As a freshman, he stuck to the 200m, 400m and 4x400. But over the indoor season he ran a 4x800.

Could we also see a 100m from him this spring? All things combined, Wilson should have enough firepower to make a run for Outdoor AOY. 

Jelani Watkins, Atascocita (TX)

Perhaps the greatest challenger to Wilson will be Watkins. 

Watkins is capable of running under 10 seconds this outdoor season for 100 meters (though he isn't the only one), and that distance might be his calling card by the end of 2024. 

Already, though, Watkins anchored the fastest high school 4x100 ever run -- that came on March 23 at the Victor Lopez Classic when his team clocked a time of 38.92 -- and has clocked a time of 10.22 for 100m. Watkins' resume is already building. 

But Watkins also excels in the 200m and a year ago he pulled Klein Forest High School to a Texas team title with his anchor run in the 4x400. Let's say Watkins wins two individual state titles and helps grab two more relay wins for his team? 

Is he AOY? 

If the LSU recruit can clock a historic time, help Atascocita claim a team title at the Texas State Championships and make a run at an individual national record, he will have an argument.  

JoJo Jourdon, Olympus (UT) 

Jourdon was the only athlete to break four minutes in the mile this indoor season, so he will be high on the list of top distance athletes in 2024. 

But that roster will also be long, with the likes of Daniel Simmons, Drew Griffith, Riley Smith, Clay Shively and probably a few others also vying for that honor. 

Just how Jourdon separates from those athletes will be his case for the spring AOY distinction. 

The Wake Forest signee opened up his season with times of 1:53.34 for 800m and 4:04.60 for 1,600m. What helps Jourdon is that he trains at altitude and will have opportunities to race at sea level. 

Drew Griffith, Butler (PA)

Griffith broke a rather-bullish two-mile indoor record two times this indoor season. He also ran 4:02 twice in the mile.

The point? 

Don't doubt 'em. He's got the internal fortitude to chase after records.

Now, the better question: Which records will he chase after this outdoor campaign? 

This weekend, the Butler (PA) senior could go after the national record in the 3,200m at Arcadia. Naturally, he could also look to take down a four minute mile at some point -- maybe the Penn Relays?

But the rare distances that could also be within his reach? 

Why not the 5K record of 13:37.30, accomplished last year by Connor Burns? Better yet, could a distance athlete this year chase after Rudy Chapa's 10K high school record of 28:32.70? 

Very few high schoolers have even run the latter distance. We think the Notre Dame recruit may be up to the challenge. 

Christian Miller, Creekside (FL)

Like Watkins, Miller is capable of breaking 10 seconds in the 100m this year. 

He might be the best bet, actually. 

The University of Georgia signee ran 10.06 last year at the U.S. U20 Championships in Eugene, scoring the fourth-fastest wind-legal performance in history. His opener in the 200m this outdoor campaign matched his 20.51 from last year, so Miller is already on the fast track. 

And then there was his 10.14w performance from the Florida Relays, which keeps him on path. 

Miller will need competition to meet his standards, so the only question remaining is where his schedule might take him in 2024.

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