Saturday, January 08, 2011

Matt Salazar on a fast track

Petaluma 12-year-old Matt Salazar proudly displays the plaque he won for finishing 18th out of 280 runners in the Junior Olympic cross country championships. His effort earned him All-American status.
To read the entire article, go to the following link:


Anonymous said...

Though he is clearly a talented young athlete and will likely make an impact at the varsity level by the time he is a frosh, I wouldn't say his profile is unique enough to merit a newspaper article or even a post on this blog. Many of the top athletes from USATF teams in NorCal have also done very well at the JO level while still achieving better than a 3.67. Congratulations to Matt on his success, he is in great company, but I just think we've seen this before.

Anonymous said...

Having been involved in both youth level and high school track and cross country for many years, I partly agree with this comment. It is correct that we see an athlete or two with similar credentials come through the youth/club system every year in Northern CA. The thing that makes this story a little bit different is Salazar's experience. Many of the standout youth runners get there because they simply out-train their peers. When a few select middle school students are running 30-40 miles per week and their counterparts are all running 15-20, they should win. Salazar however, just started running in October, and is already running times comparable with the more highly trained athletes. Where there are athletes in NorCal who are faster now, Salazar shows more promise for the future. Thinking about it in these terms, any high school program would be glad to bring in a freshman who can already break 5 in the mile, but it is a lot less exciting when that athlete is already training like a high school athlete than if they are training like normal middle schoolers. Salazar is training like a normal middle schooler, which is to say, not much. I don't know what his mileage is, but he hasn't been involved long enough to be running a lot.

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