High School News Digest

Hot weather didn’t do Nico Young any favors in his 5000 record attempt, but he nonetheless moved to No. 4 on the all-time list. (KIM SPIR)

THE PREP SEASON, for almost all intents and purposes, came to a grinding halt back in March, with not only no State Meets contested, but also no Regionals or Districts. The summer months have had a few sparkles, however, like Leo Daschbach’s sub-4:00 mile, reported in the last issue. Since then, we’ve even had a new national record. The highlights:


261-7 National Record By Trey Knight

Hammer thrower Trey Knight (Ridgefield, Washington) regularly hops across the Columbia River to compete at a facility in Oregon City, as he did on June 27. The result was a national record 261-7, taking down the 260-5 set by Rudy
Winkler (Averill Park, New York) in ’13. Knight’s series was 222-2, foul, 249-5, 251-8, 261-7 & 242-11. Coming into this, his senior season, the USC-bound Knight stood at No. 3 on the all-time list at 256-6.

“It felt good,” Knight told Doug Binder of DyeStat. “I was on Cloud 9. It’s something I’ve worked for and dreamed about all through high school.”


Outdoor Vault Best For Leah Pasqualetti

The Big Red Barn Vault (Menifee, California, June 26) brought together the yearly indoor and outdoor vault leaders, Leah Pasqualetti (14-3i) and junior Paige Sommers (14-6). Pasqualetti (Orchard Park, New York) came away with not only the win but also the highest outdoor prep vault ever.

After each cleared 14-1¾, the bar was jumped to a PR height for both, 14-8¼. Pasqualetti remained perfect on the day by clearing on first try, but Sommers (Westlake, Westlake Village, California) was unsuccessful on her three. The New Yorker then missed thrice at 15-0. Pasqualetti’s 14-8¼ trails only Chloe Cunliffe’s indoor 14-9 on the all-time list, but will be eligible for American Junior Record status. “The competition was incredible,” Kent State recruit Pasqualetti told the Buffalo News. It’s still sinking in.”

Said Mike Auble, her coach at the Warsaw Pole Vault Club, “I’m not too shy to admit that it’s something we talked about. It’s pretty surreal. Leah’s a gamer and this meant a lot to her.”


Nico Young Falls Short In 5K Record Attempt

After smashing the national indoor record in the 3000 over the winter, Nico Young (Newbury Park, California) was ready for some big stuff outdoors, but the pandemic pretty much wiped that out. Even with the big invitationals not available, the 17-year-old star was eager for a record shot and was able to have a planned 5K record attempt in Portland on June 23.

With recordholder Galen Rupp part of the limited crowd in attendance, Young gave it a good go, getting early rabbiting help from pro Logan Orndorf. Young passed through the 3000 at record pace in 8:09.99, but running solo in low-80s weather he faded, although he still claimed the No. 4 prep time ever, 13:50.55. Rupp ran 13:37.91 in ’04.

In discussing his track 5000 debut, the Northern Arizona-bound Young told Rich Gonzalez of prepcaltrack.com, “Yeah, it felt really long. After 8 laps and with still over a mile left, it felt pretty overwhelming, but I learned from it.”


Miscellany…

Pasqualetti hasn’t been the only notable girls vaulter, as Veronica Vacca (Middle School, Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania) cleared 12-0. Not impressive on the surface, perhaps, but that 14-inch PR gave her the national 7th-grade and age-13 records…

Then the national frosh-class and age-15 records fell as Amanda Moll (Capital, Olympia, Washington) moved to No. 8 on the all-time list with her 14-3¾…

John Lester (Amador Valley, Pleasanton, California) took the yearly 800 lead at 1:48.26, making him the third-fastest junior ever… In another meet, Lester miled 4:06.97. ◻︎

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