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Nico Young of Newbury Park is selected Gatorade national track and field athlete of the year

Newbury Park distance standout Nico Young (center) with twin brothers Lex (left) and Leo.
Newbury Park distance standout Nico Young (center) with twin brothers Lex (left) and Leo. Young was named Gatorade national track and field athlete of the year on Thursday.
(Eric Sondheimer / Los Angeles Times)

Distance runner Nico Young of Newbury Park has won so many awards and trophies from Gatorade during his four-year high school career that he’s probably running out of space in his bedroom.

“I’ll need a good spot to put them,” he said Thursday.

He has been chosen the Gatorade national track and field boys’ athlete of the year for 2020. That comes after being named the Gatorade national cross-country athlete of the year for the 2019 season. Coach Sean Brosnan informed him in a surprise Zoom call. He’s only the second athlete in the 35-year history to win two national player of the year awards in the same school year.

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Nico Young is awarded the Gatorade national track and field athlete of the year

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Young, who will attend Northern Arizona, ended his senior track season last week by setting a state record in the 5,000 meters in Portland, Ore.

He will go down in Southern California history as one of the most decorated distance runners. He set course records in cross-country last fall and won state and national championships. His spring track season was cut short after schools were closed in mid-March, but his chance to run in Portland gave fans a final opportunity to see his talent before preparing for college.

“I’ve been thinking a lot on my senior athletic career,” he said. “Sure, there’s some things that could have gone differently, but I’m super proud of everything I’ve accomplished. Every race I ran I took something good and am excited for the future.”

Young leaves behind his twin brothers, Lex and Leo, who will be sophomores at Newbury Park. Asked if they could break his records one day, Young said, “I have no doubt about it. I think they will break some of them, maybe all of them.”


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