Originally slated to be a rematch of last year's 800m, this year's 1K is going to be a head-to-head meeting with US No. 2 all-time in the 600m, Sophia Gorriaran, and US No. 2 all-time in the 1K, Roisin Willis.
This means it is going to be a fast race from the gun and both girls won't look back.
Your first guess would be to go with the girl who owns the faster 1K time, but you have to look deeper than that. Gorriaran has a better mile and indoor 800m PR than Willis but Willis has a faster 400m PR than Gorriaran. Basically what we are saying is this race is going to be good and it almost certainly will take a 2:40 or faster to win.
National Record: 2:40.72
Boys & Girls 500m Dash
Interestingly enough, this record has been nearly taken down on the boys side before and the national record on the girls side is actually the meet record, too. This year, both records could fall with stellar competition slated to compete.
On the girls side, Gorriaran and Willis are back in action, but a day after their battle in the 1K. This should add fire to whomever takes second and could make it a fast race from the start. The time to beat is 1:10.22. All-time, The VA Showcase has produced US No. 1, US No. 3, and US No. 5 all-time in this event.
Over on the boys side, things are going to be scary fast. Leading the way is Georgia's Will Sumner, who may be one of the most versatile athletes in quite some time. He runs 21.66 for the 200m and 1:51 for the 800m. If there ever was an event for him, it is the 500m.
Sumner won't have a cakewalk, though. He has stiff competition from two Virginia athletes who are veterans at this distance. Jayson Ward, who has run 1:02.92, and Austin Gallant, who has run 1:03.95 already this season. These boys need to run 49 thru the 400 to be on record pace.
National Records: 1:01.70, 1:10.22
Girls Long Jump
If there is one thing you need to know about field events, it is this: It only takes one. Often in the jumps, a record is set or broken just by one athlete having that perfect jump. Now you need to be talented, too, but you need perfection as well. One jumper in the stacked competition that could do that? Avery Lewis.
Lewis enters the meet with a personal best of 21 feet, 3 inches from last indoor season and has jumped consistently over 20. She owns the meet record and freshman national class record ... this weekend, though, she is going for the overall national record set by Agoura (CA) graduate Tara Davis from just a few years ago.
National Record: 21-11
Boys & Girls 300m Dash
If there is one event The VA Showcase is known for, it's the 300m dash. The meet has all-time US No. 1, US No. 2, US No. 3, US No. 4, and US No. 5!
That means to rank fifth all-time at this meet, you need to run the fifth-fastest time ever in the country.
This year, we are going to see some bangers that can certainly notch their name onto that list. Justin Braun enters with a personal best of 33.24 and is the top seed. His next competitor is likely going to be Shamali Whittle, who owns a personal 200 best of 20.73 ... that is some serious speed.
Club teammates for Run U Xpress, next week they'll be running for their high schools and will square off with some other solid girls to see who can chase down that record. Davis currently sits at US No. 4 all-time with her 37.38 and Jackson is the current US No. 1 with her 38.06 run on a flat track. If local star Madison Whyte enters, it you will then get another superstar athlete considering Whyte owns a personal best of 37.81 in this event, too.
National Records: 32.64, 36.82
Boys & Girls 200m Dash
This is a race where if things go right, records can fall. We wouldn't put it as the most likely record to fall, but we cannot say it is safe, either.
In the girls competition you currently have Avery Lewis and Jassani Carter. There might also be a late addition of Kaniya Johnson and with her in the field you're talking about girls' seeds of 23.56, 23.39 and 23.31. The national record is 23.14 and was last set by Allyson Felix. If it falls, athletes will surpass absolute track royalty.
In the boys race you have Justin Braun, who enters with a personal best of 20.87. He has a serious shot at going after Jaylen Slade's 20.62 from last year. He will need a perfect start and attack the race but he could take it down.
National Records: 23.14, 20.62
Girls 55m Dash
This record is really three records in one. Meet management is running the 55m in prelims, since it is the legacy event at the VA Showcase. But the finals will contest 60m. The timers, however, are putting en route cameras at the 50m and 55m lines.
The current records for all three are 6.28 (50m), 6.68 (55m) and 7.19 (60m). Interestingly enough, if you break the 60m, you take down all three en route based on the times, but between the 55m and 50m, things are slightly easier to go after. For instance, the 6.68 in the 55m converts to a 7.28 in the 60m.
Jackson, Carter, and Johnson look like they are going to battle here as well. Johnson is the current US No. 1 leader at 6.87, Carter ran 11.56 in the 100m last outdoor season and Jackson has run 11.13 for the 100m.
The 55m/60m is not all about top end speed, but it also is about starts, so this race will come down to who can separate not only at the end but also during their drive phase too.
National Record: 6.68
Boys 4x200m Relay
One record to keep an eye on is the 4x200m relay team from Archbishop John Carroll (DC). This quartet ran 41.46 in the 4x100m relay last year and they return everyone.
Now we know that 4x1 speed does not translate to 4x2 speed in all cases, but in this case it actually is enhanced. The biggest leg on their team is Nyckoles Harbor, who has run 21.36 outdoors. He is joined by some stellar teammates who should bring them close to that time.
The runners on last year's 4x1 team were Harbor, Reece Temoney, Marcus Brown, and David Warmington. They also have a new teammate, Giovanni Wearing who should help not only the relay but training as well.
National Record: 1:25.60
Other Big Races To Watch
National record attempts aren't the only races to watch this weekend. There almost certainly will be stacked competition in the boys 55m, boys Triple Jump, boys high jump, girls 4x8, and boys DMR.
Check out the performance list to be posted Monday with all the top entries!