This article was guest written by Jay Hicks of PreraceJitters.com
Byshon Nellum is a phenomenon. Descriptions like “freakish” and “ridiculous” are thrown his way. He is shooting for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and the rising track star is mentioned in the realm of Jeremy Wariner, LaShawn Merritt, and Angelo Taylor.
As a senior in 2007 at Long Beach Poly High School, Bryshon Nellum a notch above all others in the talent-laden, California track and field scene.
He displayed dazzling speed and strength at state meet while breaking the California record at 200-meters in 20.43. Bryshon also dropped 45.54, a personal best, in winning the 400 state title.
As Bryshon led Long Beach Poly at the state meet, he brought down the house all over the Golden state with an array of state titles. They won the 1,600 meter relay and broke the 800-meter sprint medley national record. At the end of the state meet Nellum had won four gold medals. He was awarded the Gatorade National Male Track & Field Athlete of the Year for dominating the nation in the 200 and 400-meters.
Once the summer of ’07 hit, Nellum took his show on the road: he was the No. 1 ranked runner coming in the U.S.A Junior Track & Field Championship track meet in Indianapolis in the 400.
He dropped 45.38, while dominating a field that included stand out college freshman, to win the national title at 400-meters.
Bryshon’s status gained over the summer, as evidenced by his impressive win in 45.40 over the best junior runners gathered from around the globe at the Pan American Junior Athletics in Sao Paulo, Brazil. He is an ill 400-meter runner, from a state known for ill 400-meter runners where Danny Everett, Steve Lewis, and Quincy Watts names come to mind. The 6 foot, one inch University of Southern California (USC) freshman stands out tall amongst his peers.
Bryshon’s 2008 collegiate debut must wait, for now.
Nellum strained his right hamstring two weeks ago at the Trojan Relays running in the 400-meter relay and is not expected to compete for several weeks. He has yet to make his collegiate debut. USC does not focus on indoor track and field as a team, but typically sends a few athletes a year to compete for the National Championship.
Nellum will benefit from skipping the indoor season in order to train and get stronger. He has the chance to contend for NCAA 400 and 1,600-meter relay titles before peaking at the U.S. Olympic Trials and competing for an Olympic team spot.
The sprint sensation was not pushed in high school, but that will soon change. The U.S. is loaded in the elite 400 field. Reigning king, Jeremy Wariner, has no plans to just hand over the crown. The title must be earned.
No one knows what ’08 has in store for Bryshon Nellum, but it is universally recognized that he is in line to be the next great 400-meter runner.
About the Author
Jay Hicks, a.k.a. Track Evangelist is a former Missouri high school state champion at 400-meters, an all-conference 800-meter runner at Baylor University, and track’s most outrageous blogger.