Nation’s best youth runners shatter records at John Hunt Park Cross-Country Course
Published on December 7, 2021
A high school cross-country team known for winning championships continued its streak in the Rocket City on Saturday, Dec. 4.
At the Garmin RunningLane National Championships in Huntsville, students from Newbury Park High School from Newbury Park, California, won the boys team 5K event and set a U.S. cross-country team record for the second time this year.
With more than 2,300 of the nation’s best youth cross-country runners in the field, Newbury Park shattered the team record with an average time of 14:14 per runner. Newbury Park’s Colin Sahlman (14:03.29), Leo Young (14:05.07) and Lex Young (14:05.49) finished first, second and third, respectively, in the Boys Gold Division race.
In 2020, the cross-country team from American Fork High School in American Fork, Utah, set the team record with an average time of 15:00.9 in the team 5K event at John Hunt Park. Then, Newbury Park broke that national record earlier this year at an event in California. And now, again, the speedsters from California broke their own record at the national championships this past weekend.
Individually, Colin Sahlman’s time of 14:03.29 sets the new national record for fastest cross-country 5K for 18 and under boys, shattering the previous record of 14:10. Demonstrating just how fast this race was, the top four finishers all broke the previous record and 77 boys finished in under 15 minutes, the most ever in one race.
In the Girls Gold Division, Natalie Cook of Flower Mound High School in Flower Mound, Texas, recorded a time of 16:03.93, coming within five seconds of the national record set here in Huntsville. In 2020, national youth cross-country record-holder Jenna Hutchins became the first girl to ever run a 5K race in under 16 minutes (15:58). Hutchins will join the defending NCAA National Champion Cross-Country program at Brigham Young University in the Fall of 2022 to continue her running career.
For more information on the championships, visit RunningLane.com or HuntsvilleSports.org.