Bella Witt is one of the top-ranked 100-meter hurdlers in the U.S. in the 2021 class. (Jeffrey Parenti photo)
Who are the hottest sophomores heading into the spring season?
Using the MileSplit database, we identified boys and girls in the Class of 2021 who rank among the top returning athletes, regardless of grade, heading into the 2019 outdoor season.
These are sophomores whose marks as freshman during the track and field season last spring are among the best in the state.
For the boys, we looked at the rankings of the top 50 returners in each event and highlighted all athletes from the 2021 class who appeared on each of the event lists.
For girls, who tend to rank higher than boys at an earlier age, we limited our search to the rankings of the top 30 returners in each event. However, if girls among the top 30 in one event also had marks among the top 50 in other events, those additional marks are noted in the list below.
You will see that we also looked at U.S. class rankings and U.S. overall rankings to find that CA is well represented.
On our boys list, there are six boys who rank among the top 5 nationally -- Antonio Abrego
(No. 2 for 800 meters), Elisha Lloyd
(No. 5 for 100 meters), Colin Peattie (No. 1 for 1600 meters), Anthony Taylor in two events (No. 3 for 100 hurdles and No. 4 for 300 hurdles), and James Wright
(tied for No. 4 in the discus throw).
There are 11 girls ranked among the top 50 nationally regardless of class -- AKA: Among the best in the nation!!
Four of those girls are ranked among the nation's best overall in two events -- Barnett (1600/3200), Bender (DT/SP), McDonald (LJ/TJ), and Suarez (1600/3200).
Four CA sophomore girls are ranked No. 1 in the U.S. in the Class of 2021 for their event. They are included here in this list of where CA's elite 2021 girls rank nationally in the class and overall:
- Barnett ranks No. 1 in the class in the 3200; No. 2 in the class and No. 7 overall in the 1600.
- Bender ranks No. 1 in the class and No. 3 overall in the discus throw; No. 2 in the class and No. 23 overall in the shot put.
- Jacqueline Duarte ranks No. 1 nationally and No. 2 overall in the 1600.
- McDonald ranks No. 1 in the class (among wind legal marks) and is tied for 11th overall in the triple jump.
- Paige Sommers ranks No. 1 in the class and No. 14 overall in the pole vault. (Jeffrey Parenti photo at right)
- Suarez ranks No. 2 and No. 27 overall in the 3200; No. 3 in the class and No. 15 overall in the 1600.
Check out our full list of top sophomore boys and girls on the following pages. Athletes are listed alphabetically by last name. Below the names are the event, where they rank among all returners in CA, and their mark. U.S. rankings are for the Class of 2021 unless "overall" is noted.
School affiliations for known transfers have been updated.
NOTE: There are four boys' marks that rank higher in their class nationally than they do among all CA returners. Even though they don't rank among the top 50 overall returners in CA, we included them because they do rank highly in the 2021 class nationally. Those are indicated by ** next to the event. You'll notice their ranking is beyond 50.