What To Watch For At This Weekends AAU National Qualifiers

Region 17 

The Dragons Youth Track Club is one of the hard nosed teams that know how to battle. They are not short of sprinters and relays on the girls side. Their 8 - 14 year old girls lace up afterburners instead of spikes. They should be the leaders of the pack at the Region 17 meet from the 100m - 400m and the relays.

Pearland Track Express has a stud on their team and his name is Noah Haileab. Haileb is just in his second year of running, but he is one of the best in the nation in the 14 year old age group. Last year, he won the AAU Junior Olympic Games national titles in the 1500m (4:26.18) and the 3,000m (9:30.69).

This year, he is stronger and faster and looks to repeat and will look to add the 800m national title as well.

The Region 17 field events will be rocking with the girls 15-16 year old throwing events. Two of UIL's best freshmen from the school season were both Houston area throwers and they will battle it out all of the way to the AAU national meet. 

Amelia Flynt of the All American Throwers Club and Chrystal Herpin of Pearland Speed will duke it out on the shot put. Flynt has a summer's best of 42-1.75 and Herpin checks in with a 40-5.5 this summer. Herpin also has the top throw in the discus and she will look to win that as well.

The 15-16 year old girls sprinters will have some of the state's best. Rajer Gurode of the World Class Sprinters Track Club will lead the way in the short sprints. Gurode ran her way to the UIL 5A state meet where she placed 4th in the 100m in 11.63.

The 15-16 year old 400m will be a barn blazer. Wonders Oguejiofor of The Wings Track Club is the UIL 6A state 800m champ, but she has a 54.61 400m PR and will be gunning for a fast time in her complimentary 400m event. She will have to battle Laila Owens of the Hurricanes Track Club who has a 54.03 PR. 

The 15-16 year old girls relay battles should also come from The Wings and Hurricanes.

Greater Houston Track Club has a very good team. They are led by 15-16 year old sprinter Bryson Stubblefield who ran to the UIL 5A state 100m finals where he took fifth place for his state champion Fort Bend Marshall Buffalos. Stubblefield will lead the boys 15-16 year old charge in the 100m and 200m races. Greater Houston 

The 15-16 year old boys relay battles should be between Greater Houston and The Wings.

The 17 -18 year old girls action should be in the 1500m and the 3,000m races. The UIL 6A state cross country champion Halena Rahmaan of Montgomery in entered in the 1,500m. Rahmaan has tons of experience as she is a 2016 NXN individual finalist and a 2017 Foot Locker Nationals finalist. She will have to battle Wings teammate and 2017 AAU Nationals 1500m champion Kylie Smith of Conroe Oak Ride. Smith will also run the 3,000m and will team up with Rahmaan on the 4x800 relay.

The 17-18 year old boys should be The Wings show. They won the AAU Nationals title in the 4x400 and the 4x800 relay last year. They carried the fastest time into the finals in the 4x100 but were DQed for a false start.

They have could be in position for three relay wins at the AAU Nationals meet and that would be the first time ever that would have been accomplished.

Individuals to look out for in the sprints will be Ashton O'Conner, Moyo Oyebamiji, and Lance Broome. O'Conner represents The Wings and will taking on both Oyebamijo and Broome of Prototype. All three runners were at the UIL 6A state meet. O'Conner placed fifth in the UIL 6A 200m, Oyebamijo was fourth in the UIL 6A 400m, and Broome was on the Katy Seven Lakes 4x100 and 4x200 relays.

In the distances, The Wings' Christian Rivera is a straight up distance stud. He is the 2016 UIL 4A cross country runner up and the 2017 fourth place finisher. This spring, he was fifth in the 3200m and second in the 1600m. The Kaufman sophomore currently leads the club rankings in the 1500m and the 300m and will compete in both this weekend.