Bold Prediction No. 1 - Serena Clark Clears 7.40, Runs US Top 5 60 Meter Mark
We're kicking off the previews with a doozy of a bold prediction, but it's about time for a big time breakout performance from Lakota East's Serena Clark.
Arguably Ohio's top sprinter for the past two years, Clark has been pushing the envelope all season as she enters this year's state meet with the top marks in both the 60m dash and 200m dash.
Her 7.53 season best in the 60 sits well ahead of the next closest competitor (Jenna Oriani, Chardon - 7.65) and her 24.44 season best in the 200 has her 0.65 seconds ahead of Mentor's Paige Floriea's 25.09.
It's safe to say Clark is the heavy favorite in Division 1 in both events.
Now the focus shifts to how fast can she go.
Dropping over a tenth of a second in the 60 meter dash doesn't happen overnight. Clark's career best of 7.52 came at the 2019 UK High School Invitational and she's only broken 7.60 once this season so it may be difficult to see a massive jump like 7.39 coming on Saturday.
But what would the bold predictions be if they weren't bold?
Ohio's all-time greatest sprinter Abby Steiner entered her sophomore campaign - the year she ran 7.38 - with a 7.55 personal best so such a massive jump is not as difficult to conceive as one may think.
Even if she doesn't enter the country's top 5 marks, the current US No. 20 performer could enter into Ohio's top 2 all-time if she breaks 7.47. Right now, her 7.52 is tied for 8th all-time and if you don't believe that at least heading under 7.47 is out of the question for the senior, you're lying to yourself.
Keep an eye on the short sprint events in Division 1 as it appears Serena Clark is ready to put on a show.
Bold Prediction No. 2 - Caleb Brown Becomes Fifth Boy All-Time To Break 8:50 Indoors
This weekend, Brown will make a strong case for no less than a Top 20 spot when he solo's a sub-8:50 3200 and becomes only the fifth boy in US history to break 8:50 indoors.
The current national record holder in the 3200 is the great Alan Webb, whose 8:42.14 from 2001 has withstood some significant challenges over the past few years, the most recent challenge coming from Brodey Hasty (8:42.57), Noah Affolder (8:42.94) and DJ Principe (8:44.27) in 2017.
With a 2 Mile at New Balance Nationals Indoor on his mind next weekend, there are two possible outcomes for Brown on Saturday. Either he goes all out and tries to send a message to the rest of the country, or he cruises for his second straight D2/3 State Championship and gears up for the National Championship.
After a cross country campaign jam-packed with incredible solo performances, it seems out of character at this point for Brown to "cruise for a win." As a result, this bold prediction says Caleb Brown will go all out on Saturday, drop a 2020 US No. 1 and US Top 5 all-time performance in the 3200 en route to a Division 2/3 state title.
Bold Prediction No. 3 - Robie Glass Goes Over 7 Feet In the High Jump
Much like the national level breakthrough from Serena Clark, we have also been waiting for a similar breakthrough from Shawnee Springfield's Robie Glass.
It's coming, track fans, and it's coming soon.
The indoor high jump is wide open right now as the number one mark in the country stands at 7 feet and 1/2 inch. Glass, a senior, has cleared 6-9 this indoor season after clearing 6-8 this past outdoor campaign.
Glass has been over 6-8 since his freshman year. In 2017, he won the Division 2 outdoor state title with the clearance and has cleared the mark at least once in all three of his outdoor seasons. His indoor best heading into 2020 was 6-6 until he went over a lifetime best 6-9 at the Cedarville Richey Tune-Up.
The 6-9 clearance is a good sign for an athlete who's been waiting on a personal best since 2017.
On Saturday, Glass will challenge the top spot in the country as he goes for a 7-0 clearance and throws his hat into the ring as best jumper in the country heading into Ohio's outdoor season.