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OFFICIAL: Northern Arizona Superstar & 2024 Olympian Nico Young Turns Pro, Signs With Adidas

 

Written by Mike McKean, additional edits and commentary via Garrett Zatlin

 

Earlier today, Nico Young, a two-time NCAA champion, the NCAA 10k record holder, the NCAA indoor 5k record holder and a soon-to-be 2024 Paris Olympian, announced that he was turning pro and signing a professional contract with Adidas. The official signing acts as an extension of sorts given that Young signed an NIL deal with Adidas earlier in the year.


Nico Young has been no stranger to the public eye, quickly emerging as an all-time elite among the high school ranks before ultimately being announced as the 2019-2020 Gatorade National Boys Cross Country and Track & Field Athlete of the Year. He was the first high school boy to win Gatorade national honors in multiple sports in the same season.



For the most part, Young generally lived up to the hype during his time at Northern Arizona. In his first season with the Lumberjacks, he earned a 4th place finish at the 2021 NCAA Winter XC Championships which was paired with a team title to boot. His sophomore and junior seasons were also capped off with team titles on the grass.


A runner of consistency who was a relied upon as an elite low-stick for the Lumberjacks, Young’s cross country championship performance results were never worse than 11th place. All-American honors and postseason awards were captured like infinity stones.


While Young was familiar with team success, the most prestigious individual accolades had eluded him...until recently. Thankfully, the full extent of Young's brilliance was on full display during the 2023-24 NCAA indoor track season. In his last winter campaign as a Lumberjack came, Young left the NCAA Indoor Championships as a national title winner in both the 5k and the 3k, the first (and only) two individual NCAA titles of his college career.



During that same season, Young etched his name in the NCAA record books with a mark of 12:57.14 for the indoor 5k. More of the same came about in his last outdoor track season as he clocked a monster time of 26:52.72 in the 10k, a mark which currently sits as the second-fastest 10k mark among All-Americans this year.


Finally, Young officially earned his spot to the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris with a gutsy 3rd place effort over 10,000 meters at the USA Olympic Trials.

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