The Garmin and RunningLane Cross Country Championships

Senior Colin Sahlman, from Newbury Park, finishes the race in 14:03, breaking the 5k high school men’s national record by 7 seconds. (The Catalyst / Charlie Townes)

On Saturday, December 4, at 11:44 in Huntsville, Alabama, history had been made. Newbury Park’s lead male runner, Colin Salman, broke the national high school men’s cross country 5k record by 7 seconds, which was set in 2000. Before he broke it, it had been 14 minutes and 10 seconds. Alongside Colin, three other runners dipped below this previous record. Two of them were also from Newbury Park, and the other was Zane Bergon from Niwot high school.

Newbury Park’s men’s team, from Los Angeles, California, is officially ranked the number one cross country team in the nation. Additionally, their top three runners are ranked outstandingly; being the top three in the nation. Senior Colin Sahlman is ranked first, junior Leo Young is second, and his twin, Lex Young, is third. Their fourth-best runner, Aaron Sahlman, is not far behind as he is ranked 11th in the nation.

Once it had been announced that Nike Cross Nationals, the usual nationwide cross country race, was canceled due to Covid-19, many teams were disappointed. Luckily, Garmin and RunningLane partnered to host a cross-country nationals race as a placeholder.

When asking Megan Worry, a sophomore on the varsity cross country team about her thoughts on Newbury Park she said, “I think it is absolutely amazing that we got to race on the Clovis course, and then a couple of hours later, got to watch the number one cross country team in the nation run the same trail. When we watched them run by, you could feel the excitement bursting out of the team. I am so happy I got the opportunity to see them run and I can’t wait for next time.”

When we watched them run by, you could feel the excitement bursting out of the team”

— Megan Worry

The girl’s gold championship race also was very thrilling. Natalie Cook of Flower Mound was able to grab the title and set a new personal best of 16:03. Niwot High School XC Club snatched the women’s team title, with Buchanan High School from Clovis, California getting second.

Natalie shared on Instagram, “I am very thankful for the opportunity to race against all these talented ladies and I am so proud of my team for getting sixth in the nation.”

This race fostered a new 5k national record set by Colin Sahlman, and 73 boys running under 15 minutes. To many, this is considered the greatest and most historic high school cross-country race of all time.