Five Athletes To Watch At AAU Region 19

By Bryan Deibel, MileSplit

Some of the nation's best youth track and field athletes are converging on Converse, Texas, for the AAU Region 19 Qualifier this week.

The meet runs from Wednesday, June 28, at 1 PM (CST), through Saturday, July 1, at 7 AM (CST) and offers competitors a chance to book their trips to next month's AAU Junior Olympic Games in Ysipilanti, Michigan.

You can watch all the action LIVE on FloTrack with a MileSplit Universal subscription. See all the AAU Region Qualifiers here and click through the slideshow to see big names to watch this weekend.


Virginia Kerley

Girls 400m
When: 7 AM (CST) Friday, June 30
Why: Virginia Kerley has the second-fastest 17-18-year-old 400m time in the state of Texas this AAU season. She ran 56.63 at the AAU District Qualifier - South Texas (Northern) two weekends ago. Not to mention she was also the Texas 4A UIL State Champion with a 54.38.

She could see some tough competition from Jade Neal who finished third last year in the 15-16 years old 400m dash at the Region 19 Qualifier. Last year Neal ran 59.19 to finish third. Angelica Brown from A Running Start will also give her some good competition after going 57.94 also at the AAU District Qualifier-South Texas (Northern)

Elijah Gifford

17-18-year-old boys, 400mH, Boys 110mH
When: 7 AM (CST) Friday, June 30
Why: Elija Gifford has the third-fastest time in the Texas AAU club rankings with his 56.20 from the AAU District Qualifier-South Texas (Northern) earlier this month. He finished seventh at last year's AAU Junior Olympics after running 54.67. This past spring, he was the TAPPS state champion in the 300mH with a run of 37.58. Gifford will look to try and sweep the hurdles, as he's also entered to run the 110mH.

Krianne Mcbride

12 year-old girls 800m, 1500m, 3000m
When: 7 AM (CST), Friday, June 30
Why: Krianne Mcbride has the fastest time in all the distance events for the 12-year-old girls in Region 19. She's run a 2:24.04 800m, 4:57.17 1500m, and 10:35.77 3000m. Her times also rank nationally in the top 11 for 11-12-year-old girls in all three events. Last year at the AAU Junior Olympics, she finished fourth in the 11-year-old 3000m run (11:10.10) and 10th in the 800m (2:30.56). She's also the returning AAU Region 19 champion for her age group in the 800m and returning runner-up for the 1500m and 3000m.

Mark Dubose III

Boys 8 and Under 200m, 400m and 800m
When: 7 AM (CST), Friday, June 30
Why: Mark Dubose III has the fastest times in all three of the events he is racing in this weekend. He's run 31.09 in the 200m, 1:10.19 in the 400m, and 2:44.98 in the 800m. The times he's already run this year would have gotten him into the finals of the AAU Junior Olympics in all of the races for his age group last year.

Austin Zirkel

17-18 Boys 2000m Steeple
When: 7 AM (CST), Friday, June 30
Why: Austin Zirkel was the Texas UIL State meet 1A boys runner-up in the 800m, 1600m, and 3200m. The junior looks to continue his junior year success into the postseason. He will be running the 2K steeplechase this weekend in Converse, where he will try to get the crown again this year. In the 15-16-year-old division last year, Zirkel placed second in his first time running the event and then went on to place seventh at nationals in the event.


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