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. Watch Race Here with a USATF.TV +PLUS account.
Competing in the Men’s Mile, Sahlman, a senior at Newbury Park 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 Park 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.”
On Friday night, Zach McWhorter of Brigham Young University soared to an Armory record in the Men’s Invitational Pole Vault with a 5.85m (19 feet, 2.25 inches). He surpassed current world indoor record holder Mondo Duplantis’ 5.81m height in 2017. McWhorter also set the BYU record.
Sarah Mitton of Canada won the Women’s Invitational shot put with a 19.16m (62 feet, 10.5 inches) throw and now has the second-best throw in the world this year. Mitton’s throw established a new Canadian record.
In the college team competition, the University of Connecticut won the men’s division with 75 points just ahead of host Columbia University with 71, while Penn State won the women’s division with 116 points followed by the University of South Carolina with 80.
Honoring the life and legacy of the late Dr. Norbert Sander, founder of The Armory Foundation, the Dr. Sander Invitational Columbia Challenge has become one of the premier collegiate track and field meets in the entire country.
Twenty-seven NCAA Division I teams took part in the meet, led by the host Columbia Lions. They were joined by several of their Ivy League rivals, including Brown, Cornell, Dartmouth, Penn, and Princeton. Other top programs set to compete from across the country include Brigham Young, Iona, Maryland, Penn State, South Carolina, Syracuse, UCLA, Virginia, and many others.
During Saturday’s competition 12 invitational events were held that included the country’s top professional track & field athletes.
For complete results of the Dr. Sander Invitational Columbia Challenge at The Armory please click HERE.