* MileSplit's No. 8 ranked athlete in the Class of 2020, Leah Phillips, signed LIVE on MileSplit LIVE
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athletes from across the country have already signed their National Letters of Intent.
And for the next
eight months, more and more high school cross country and track and field athletes will be
able to sign to the NCAA school of their choice.
But over the course of the first two days of the signing period, a lot has happened. Elite
athletes made powerful statements as they announced their future homes to the
public. You can check MileSplit's top 50 ranked athletes in the Class of 2020 here.
We've taken a
look at the numbers and a few NCAA women's programs have risen above of the rest. These are the teams that have, at the very least, won the early days of the recruiting wars.
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The Trojans signed three of the top 10 girls in the Class of 2020 based on MileSplit's recruiting rankings: No. 5 Jasmine Jones,
No. 6 Kimberly Harris and No. 7 Morgan Smalls.
Each girls athlete is, respectively, one of the best--if not the best--in their chosen disciplines; and
they've picked a program that has been able to take the elite successes of their
athletes previous to NCAA competition, and turn it into national championship contenders.
USC has placed
in the top 10 nationally 19 times. In 2018, it won its second NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championship in school history. This current recruiting class has the ability
to solidify that national recognition during their time as Trojans.
Smalls, the No.
2 high jumper in high school history, will be USC's leader next fall. Jumping 6-2.25
at New Balance Nationals Outdoor, she has the ability to break the school
record (6-2) as a freshman. The North Carolina state champion will also have
the opportunity to make it to nationals. Only three girls jumped
over six feet at the outdoor championship last year; Smalls jumped over that
mark four times in 2019.
Jones, the Pan American U20
champion in the 100mH, will be entering a strong hurdle tradition and will follow the graduation of 2019 400 meter hurdle national champion Anna Cockrell. However, Jones
won't be the only hurdler in Los Angeles next year, as junior Chanel Brissett
won the 60-meter hurdles indoors and took silver in the 100 meter hurdles at NCAAs last season. Jones
will get the push she needs with the No. 2 high hurdler in USC history at
If USC is known
for anything, it's the Trojans' elite 400m athletes--more recently Kendall Ellis, Jaide Stepter, and Kyra Constantine. Harris could vie for a place in history, eventually. She ran sub-54 five times as a junior, running
52.16 to cap off 2019. As Constantine enters her final season, the
Trojans have a strong upcoming 400m presence with sophomore Bailey Lear and
2019 recruits Jan'taijah Ford and Jatana Folston. The addition of Harris further
solidifies USC as one of the top places to be as a quarter-miler.
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The overall women's runner-up
on National Signing Day are the Aggies of Texas A&M. In two days, the program secured three athletes within the top 20 of MileSplit's Top 50 Recruits.
No. 13 Alicia Burnett
and No. 20 Laila Owens were the first scholarship sprinters to commit to the Aggies
since 2018. Then North Canyon's (AZ) Dominique Mustin signed her NLI on Thursday, and
she's the No. 3 returner in the 800m in 2020 and No. 19 on MileSplit's top 50 ranking.
The Aggie women
have had two 800m national champions in two years. Jazmine Fray won the outdoor
championship in 2019, and Sammy Watson won the 2018 indoor title before turning
professional. Both Aggies share the 10 best outdoor 800m times in Texas A&M
history. Even with Fray's recent graduation, Mustin could join the program and become one of its best, with her current PR of 2:06.01.
sprints have been an undeniable staple to its program. Throughout this
decade, the women have had at least one relay in a national championship final,
with six consecutive years scoring the 4x100m and 4x400m relays.
Since moving to
the SEC in 2014, and even during the Aggie's time in the Big 12, the program presents an
environment that breeds elite sprint performance.
the national high school ranks after running 11.47 and winning Brooks PR in her debut high
school season. A five-time Missouri state champion, she ran 23.46 before
claiming her most recent 200m title.
Owens began her junior season with the No. 16 indoor 200m of all-time in 23.54.
She built off that performance and won her first UIL Track and Field
Championship in a US top 20 time of 23.38. In addition to her dominant 200m
efforts, Owens has continuously improved as a 400m runner, with a 54.76 (US
No.9) indoor and 54.0 outdoor efforts.
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The women of LSU
have won 23 team national titles and 100 individual championships. The Tigers recently inked the No.1 weight thrower in the nation, Monique Hardy, and the No.
2 returner in the 400mH, Leah Phillips.
Headed to Baton Rouge next fall, Hardy's impact will be immediate. The women of LSU only have
two throwers on their current roster.
LSU has never had
a strong throws presence relative to its sprint and hurdle prowess, with its SEC and national standouts spread
throughout its history. The last NCAA champion in the throws was Danyel Mitchell in 1994, and she topped the podium in the shot put three years in a row.
recently, Denise Hinton won a SEC Championship in the weight throw in 2014.
Hardy, a Webster Thomas (NY) senior, won New Balance Nationals Indoor in 2019 with the fourth-furthest weight throw
in high school history: 64-7.25. She also has the U.S. No. 5 hammer
throw of 185-11 and No. 43 on MileSplit's top 50 ranking.
Phillips, a senior at Bullis School (MD), will be
entering into a strong hurdle tradition, with previous standouts such as Lolo Jones
and Cassandra Tate once filling the ranks. In 2019, the Tigers had three hurdlers represent on the highest
collegiate stage: Brittley Humphrey, Jurnee Woodard and Tonea Marshall.
third in the 400mH at the NCAA's and NACAC U23 Championships. Her event partner, Woodard, placed sixth at nationals and won a SEC title. Marshall, an all-time great in high school, leads the pack with her school record performance in the 100mH (12.66), which was good for third place at NCAAs as well.
The No. 8 ranked Phillips had a season of PRs in the short and long hurdles. At
the USATF U20 Championships, she ran 13.52w (US No.12) and 58.45 (US No.5) to just miss team selection.
She won the Arcadia Invitational in the 300mH, with a US No. 3 performance of