*Nico Young of NAU broke the American Junior 5K record yesterday at Drake Relays
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It was a very exciting night for Nico Young.
Young broke the American Junior 5K record at Drake Relays Friday evening. The previous record of 13:25.46 by German Fernandez of Oklahoma State stood for almost 15 years.
The freshman at Northern Arizona University ran in the middle of the pack for the first 1600m and split 4:17.38. The 18-year-old started moving up towards the front of the pack with about a mile left to go.
He came down the final straightaway and finished third behind Under Armour's Morgan McDonald and Kieran Lumb in 13:24.26 to break the record.
On the west coast of the United States, just a few hours later, Cole Hocker hit the ground running at Oregon Relays at Hayward Field.
The redshirt freshman at the University of Oregon was able to hold off his teammate Cooper Teare down the homestretch. The 19-year-old finished in 13:19.98 to win the 5K to Teare's 13:20.24.
U20 rules state athletes have to be 19 or younger on December 31 of the year of the competition to be considered a part of that age group. As Hocker turns 20 in June, he is not considered a junior in competition. Young will go down as the record holder in this event. Hocker won the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championship titles in the mile and 3K.
Young improved by 26 seconds in the 5K. In high school, Young clocked a personal best of 13:50.55 in June. His performance was the fourth-fastest all-time in high school history before he graduated. He is one of nine athletes to break 14 minutes for 5K.