Don’t get him wrong. Albert Yen wasn’t Hollywood-ing it.
It only looked that way.
“My glasses have transitional lens,” said the New Trier hurdler, following his victory in the 110-meter hurdles at the Class 3A Niles West Sectional on May 18.
Thus, on this sun-splashed late afternoon in Niles, his spectacles turned into hip sunglasses.
Oh, so apt.
The future’s so bright, (he’s) gotta wear shades.
Yen also looked pretty stylish, when he glided to a first-place performance in the 300 hurdles (39.24).
The Trevian junior definitely has found his groove. He was the lone two-event champion at the sectional.
And the prospect of him doing well at the State Finals in Charleston (May 26-27) is very good. His 14.55 clocking in the 110s is the seventh-best sectional time in the state. And his 39.24 clocking in the 300s is in the top 10.
“I like Albert,” said NT assistant coach Johnse Holt, a former Big Ten track standout at the University of Wisconsin. “You only get one Albert [in a coaching career]. He’s very bright — and fun.
“He’s the full package,” Holt added. “He’s got desire, ability and focus. You put all those things together and good things happen. It means that you’re on it. You’re on your game.”
Yen advances to the state meet as a red-hot hurler. He also was a double winner — 14.67 in the 110s, a personal-best 38.70 in the 300s — at the CSL South Meet on May 12, while he ran his PR in the 110s (14.54) at the Glenbrook South Invite on May 5.
Competing in the state’s showcase meet is nothing new for Yen. He also qualified in both hurdle events last season.
“He’s achieving,” said Holt. “He’s learning to put his best effort forward in every race.”
Yen still is trying to smooth out things. In the 110s at Niles West, he clipped a number of hurdles.
“I hit at least four, maybe more,” he said. “But that’s better than usual.
“I’ve learned that if you hit one, you just keep going forward, “ Yen added. “But I do need to limit my side-to-side movements.”
Yen takes a bold approach into every race.
“He wants to go low. He wants to go through the hurdles,” said Holt. “Which means he’s aggressive. Not afraid.
“He’s got the ability to plow through the obstacles that he faces,” the coach added. “He’s got a strong pursuit for excellence.”
Notable: New Trier finished in a fourth-place tie in the team standings (54 points) with Glenbrook North at the sectional meet. Prospect (96), Evanston (65) and Niles West went 1-2-3. … In addition to Albert Yen, the Trevians’ other state qualifiers included senior Will Shoup in the discus throw (2nd, 154-11) and junior Wei Chen in the 400 meters (50.06). … The team’s other top placers were junior Patrick Norrick in the 3200 meters (3rd, 9:25.98), sophomore Charlie Forbes in the 1600 (5th, 4:34.23) and senior Ilya Arif Ahmad in the 200 (6th, 22.74).
New Trier Girls Track
The Trevians tallied five points in the Class 3A state girls track and field meet at Charleston on May 21-20.
The 4×800 relay turned in the team’s top finish. Junior Savannah Noethlich, sophomore Caroline Trukenbrod, senior Grace Fagan and sophomore Marne Sullivan cruised the eight laps on the Eastern Illinois University oval in 9:21.92 to finish seventh. Belvidere North claimed the title in a time of 9:12.12.
The Trevians added a point in the 4×400 relay. Noethlich, Sullivan, senior Kate Holly and freshman Bridget Forbes took ninth in a time of 4:01.89. Lincoln-Way East placed first in 3:51.62.
Senior distance ace Caroline Fix also brought home a state medal. She finished ninth in the 1600-meter run in 5:06.39. The winner was Glenbard West freshman Katelynne Hart (4:51.54).
Noethlich qualified to the finals in the 800 meters. She placed 11th in 2:19.20.