NORTHERN ARIZONA

NAU runner Nico Young qualifies for US Olympic team

Jun 22, 2024, 2:52 PM | Updated: 4:19 pm

2024 U.S. Olympic Team Trials...

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Northern Arizona University will be represented on the track at the Paris Olympics, as distance runner Nico Young qualified for Team USA at the 2024 U.S. Olympic Team Trials on Friday.

The 21-year-old Young finished third place in the 10,000 meters, clocking in at 27:52.40. Grant Fisher (27:49.47) and Woody Kincaid (27:50.74) finished ahead of Young to punch their tickets to Paris.

Young will be the youngest U.S. athlete to compete in the men’s 10,000 meters since 2004, according to LetsRun.com.

In a thrilling finish, Young held off Drew Hunter (27:53.35) on the final lap, although Hunter did not have the Olympic standard time to qualify anyway.

This will be Young’s first Olympics after he won three National Championships with the Lumberjacks and broke the 10,000-meter collegiate record with a 26:52.72 in March. That time hit the Olympic standard, opening the door for his qualification on Friday.

He also broke the NCAA 5,000-meter record this past season (12:57), another event he will compete in to qualify for the Olympics on June 30.

Young was a decorated high school athlete before joining Northern Arizona. He won the National Gatorade Player of the Year at Newbury Park High School in Southern California.

The men’s 10,000m final in Paris is scheduled for Aug. 2.

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