Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Penn Hills Senior Surprising Foes

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Penn Hills Senior Surprising Foes

Article excerpt

Success can often be predicted.

For instance, look at a person's current body of work and project what they will accomplish in the future.

There are, of course, exceptions to this way of thinking.

A prime example is Penn Hills senior Khallid Young, who has become one of the WPIAL's top 400-meter runners this spring.

"I totally didn't expect it," Young said. "It just came out of nowhere."

Chances are Young's opponents have been saying the same thing about him when he passes them on the track.

Young is new to achieving extensive track success, but since he's gotten a taste of it, his hunger has earned him more and more. Young owns the second-fastest reported 400 time in the WPIAL, running a 50.44 in winning the Latrobe Wildcat Invitational two weekends ago.

He also runs a leg on Penn Hills' 1,600 and 3,200 relay teams, both of which have posted the fastest times in the WPIAL.

Young sometimes sees his first name misspelled, with people using one "L" instead of two. But that letter isn't even a part of his vocabulary once he gets on the track. There, all he often sees is "W's."

Penn Hills has competed in three invitationals, and Young has flourished in all of them. His most recent stellar effort came April 12 at Latrobe, where he was one of the meet's top performers after winning gold medals in the 400, 1,600 relay and 3,200 relay, in addition to a third-place finish in the 200.

Performances such as that have caught the eye of Penn Hills track coach Lee Zelkowitz, who has seen Young's production grow immensely the past few years.

"He's come a long way," Zelkowitz said. "I couldn't have predicted that when he first started running track that he would be where he is right now. That's just being committed and working hard. It's not all about talent. You have to work hard, too."

It's hard work that has played perhaps the biggest role in Young's ascension from being a decent runner to an excellent one. …

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