The story book season continues for recent Damien High School graduate Zachary Shinnick. In his most challenging race of the season, running against the nation’s best junior sprinters, Shinnick won the 400-meter race to become the 2017 USA Track & Field Junior National Champion on June 24 in Sacramento.
Shinnick’s winning time of 45.20 seconds is the fourth best time in California state history and eighth best time in U.S. history for a junior. He qualifies to represent the U.S. at the Pan American Junior Championships in Peru, July 21-23. Josephus Lyles (45.74) from Virginia and Sean Hooper (45.86) from Texas finished second and third respectively.
Last week, Shinnick was named the 2017 San Gabriel Valley Tribune Boys Track and Field Athlete of the Year and his Head Coach Michael “Doc” Williams named the Coach of the Year.
It was an incredible ending for Shinnick’s high school career. Last year, the junior suffered a hamstring injury at the Arcadia Invitational and was unable to compete for a CIF-Southern Section or State titles. This year, the senior won the Baseline League (47.79), CIF Division 3 (46.93), the CIF-SS Masters (46.38) and CIF State (46.12) titles.
Shinnick’s CIF State time is the sixth best time in the nation for a high school student-athlete. The time was a Damien school record and the 12th fastest time ever in California track and field high school history.
For more on the race including quotes from Shinnick, read the Press-Enterprise story: