IMG Academy junior Jaylen Slade was back in fine form this weekend.
The high schooler competed at the Pure Athletics Summer Invitational on Sunday in Clermont, on that fast National Training Center Track.
After running fast wind-aided times during his last outing against the pros on May 2 -- with his fastest all-conditions times ever at 10.03 and 10.04 but both over the wind-legal reading (over +2.0) cut off -- at the same venue, Slade was back at it. He was hoping for another opportunity to run fast again against elite competition, only with one big difference: He wanted to generate wind-legal conditions for a U. S. Olympic Trials Qualifier.
After a disappointing third-place showing and a 10.47 clocking at the adidas Boost Boston Games last week in Boston -- but on a portable track runway -- Slade showed a much better indication of his ability. He went against some of the World's best in pro sprinting, including the likes of Isiah Young and Noah Lyles.
Slade warmed up for the finals with his fastest wind-legal time to date with a 10.22 performance in the prelims -- with a -0.1 m/s wind reading.
In the finals, Slade held his own against several athletes who will be likely vying for the Olympic team this summer.
Young was first in 9.89, Lyles was second in 10.05 and Slade finished third with a 10.09, with virtually non-existent at +0.2 m/s.
The time ranks third fastest all-time in U.S. high school history behind only Trentavis Friday at 10.00 (2014) and Florida grown Jeff Demps at 10.01 (2008). It ties him in the third spot with another Floridian in Anthony Schwartz (10.09 in 2018), who just was drafted to play professional football for the Cleveland Browns as a wide receiver out of Auburn University.
While Young got out fast on the entire field en route to his dominant sub 10-second victory, Slade actually got off to a great start as well to have the advantage on one of the top picks to win Olympic gold at 200 meters this summer in Noah Lyles. It was not until the final strides before the 2019 IAAF World Athletics 200 meter champion nipped the high school junior Slade to slide ahead in the runner-up finish.
Slade is already qualified to run in the Olympic Trials for the 200-meter dash with his wind-legal 20.20 effort at the Pure Athletics Elite Meet on May 2nd. His performance on Sunday at the National Training Center in the 100-meter dash currently ties him 26th fastest on the potential U.S. qualifiers list of professional, college, and high school athletes. 10.05 is the automatic qualifier standard for the Olympic Trials, but Slade could potentially provisionally qualify in the event with his time this past weekend.
The performance also is the fastest wind-legal and US #1 high school time this season in the 100 by over two-tenths of a second ahead of US #2 ranked Jordan Anthony from Tylertown, Mississippi at 10.30, who actually beat Slade head to head just last week in Boston.
With the U.S. Olympic Trials coming up on June 18-27 at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon, it remains to be seen if this weekend will be Slade's last race before then to focus on training and prep for that big stage for the U.S. high school indoor record holder at 200 meters or get in at least one more race prior in staying sharp.