Recently graduated Red Mountain senior Yan Vazquez in the 300 meter hurdles at the 2022 AIA State Track & Field Championships in Mesa at Mesa Community College.
Photo credit: David McBee/MileSplit Arizona
Recently graduated Red Mountain senior and UCLA-bound Yan Vazquez continued his successful season with a second place finish in the 400 meter hurdles at the USATF U20 Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Oregon in a time of 50.95, earning All-American status in the process.
Vazquez put in a late charge at the very end after coming through the first hurdle in eighth place, coming in just .33 seconds off the winner, Texas commit Kody Blackwood. As well as walking away with a second-place medal, Vazquez will also leave Eugene with a state record in the 400mH. The previous record was held by James Smith, who ran 52.88.
"I'm just blessed to have been able to get this far and super proud of myself," Vazquez said. "I set a goal and was able to accomplish it -- which was to run sub 51. It was an amazing experience to run against all these talented athletes."
The summer has been quite successful for Vazquez as he already won the 300m hurdles at the Great Southwest Classic in Albuquerque, New Mexico at the beginning of the month before following up that performance with a first-place finish in the 100m hurdles at the USATF Arizona Junior Olympic Championship in Mesa in mid-June.
This is already after Vazquez put together one of the best seasons a hurdler has had at the high school level in Arizona, going undefeated in the 300mH the whole year.
Yan Vazquez 2022 Outdoor Season
With the second place finish, that means it is the first time in 410 days that Vazquez lost a hurdle race that was over 300 meters. Quite the winning streak considering the level of competition Vazquez faced during that time.
"It honestly was a sweet loss," Vazquez said. "I was still so happy at the end of the day because I PR'd [personal record] and made the US team, although I'm actually going to run for Puerto Rico. This race has only been the start since it's still early on for me in the 400 hurdles, so I can't wait to see what I accomplish next."
Next up for Vazquez are the USATF National Junior Olympic Track & Field Championships in Sacramento, California at the end of July. The following week is the big kahuna though -- the World U20 Track and Field Championships in Colombia. Although Vazquez has qualified for Team USA in the 400mH at Worlds, he has opted to compete for Puerto Rico -- where his father, Jayson, is from.