Racing unattached in pro field, Young elevates to No. 2 all-time in California and No. 6 in U.S. prep history in 1,500 by clocking 3:40.86; Sahlman, Jeanneret prevail in high school 800 races, with Markow and Perez securing prep 1,600 wins
By Landon Negri for DyeStat
SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, Calif. – The most eye-popping performance from a prep athlete at Saturday night’s Sound Running The TEN meet at JSerra High came from an individual who wasn’t in a designated high school race.
Newbury Park High senior Leo Young, running unattached, entered the men’s 1,500 meters and ran 3 minutes, 40.86 seconds to finish second after a rousing final lap of 57.56 seconds.
Young’s performance highlighted a list of strong high school showings by California competitors.
Newbury Park teammate Aaron Sahlman, a Northern Arizona-bound senior, won the boys 800, with JSerra junior Georgia Jeanneret winning on the girls’ side.
Cathedral junior Emmanuel Perez outdueled Newbury Park senior Brayden Seymour to win the boys 1,600, with Dana Hills senior Allura Markow capturing the girls 1,600.
Young finished second in the 1,500 to former Villanova standout Casey Comber (3:39.50), now running with Under Armour Mission Run Baltimore Distance.
And Young wore a big smile on his face at the finish, and well after the race. His time in the 1,500 helped him elevate to the No. 6 all-time performer on the U.S. high school outdoor list, including second in California prep history behind former Newbury Park teammate Colin Sahlman (3:39.06).
“It was just a lot of fun,” said the Stanford-bound Young. “I mean, the past year of training, there’s been some ups and downs, sickness, injury, drama … anything. So it’s just like, it feels really good to just be in a really good spot with training and running really well and having a lot of fun with it. So finishing a race is just kind of like the culmination of those things, which is just such a satisfying feeling.”
And everything came together at the finish.
“I don’t know, coming through there, I was like, ‘This is what I work for, and this is awesome,’” Young said.
For Young, Saturday night was also about letting loose. He was able to stray somewhat from the usual race plan while twin brother Lex bounced around the infield in jeans, filming the whole competition.
“No one knew I was in it Wednesday, I didn’t know I was in it until Wednesday,” Leo said. “It was like a low-stakes environment….
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