Colin Sahlman and Lex Young, both of Newbury Park High School in California, and BYU pole vaulter Zach McWhorter turned in outstanding performances at The Armory’s New Balance Track & Field Center during the Dr. Sander Invitational Columbia Challenge. Photos of Young and Sahlman by John Nepolitan.
California high school teammates Colin Sahlman and Lex Young truly left their best marks on Saturday’s 5th Annual Dr. Sander Invitational Columbia Challenge at The Armory New Balance Track & Field Center.
Competing in the Men’s Mile, Sahlman, a senior at Newbury High School, passed 2016 Rio Olympian Robby Andrews and 2015 2-mile indoor national champion Ryan Hill on the last lap en route to a victory and a fourth-best American high school indoor mile of 3:58.81.
Hobbs Kessler has the indoor record with a 3:57.66 followed by Drew Hunter, who owns a 3:57.81 and 3:58.25. Sahlman now has the fourth all-time American high school indoor mark, and three of these four marks were set at The Armory.
When Sahlman, the Gatorade California Boys Track & Field Player of the Year, made the final turn he had the lead and wasn’t about to relinquish it to his older peers.
“I don’t know what to think right now,” Sahlman said moments following his victory, “It happened really fast.
“It’s kind of crazy I am up with them (Hill and Andrews) right now. It’s so surreal.”
Binghamton University graduate Eric Holt finished second with a 4:00.01 time followed by Texas Tech graduate Jonah Koech (4:00.24), Hill (4:00.39) and Andrews (4:01.17).
Young, a junior at Newbury High School, came so close to surpassing his brother Nico Young’s American high school indoor record during the Men’s Invitational 3000k. Lex Young finished with a 7:57.06 and now is in the record books No. 2 nationally behind his sibling’s 7:56.97 indoor mark.
Lex Young finished fourth on Saturday afternoon as Dan Schaffer of Binghamton won with a 7:53.74 time.
“That was exhilarating, and it was my first race indoor,” Young said. “The track was awesome. Nico wanted me to break the record. Last night he gave me some advice and said not to waste too much mental energy.
“I’ve never raced in something of this caliber. It was crazy. I never thought I’d be racing against college (runners) and professionals in my junior year in high school…I want to come back next year and go harder.”
With two laps remaining, Young said he simply was trying to break the 8-minute mark, “but the last two laps I told myself that I have a little bit left and let’s see how hard I can push it.”