Lowellville’s Yon Aims High in Four Distance Running Events | News, sports, jobs

Correspondent photo / Lowell Spencer. Sophia Yon of Lowellville runs Saturday at the Mahoning County Championships.

AUSTINTOWN – Lowellville senior distance runner Sophia Yon is testing herself this year as she competes in four events during the spring track season.

If her performance on Saturday at the Mahoning County Track and Field Championships is any indication, she is primed for a successful campaign.

Yon competed in the 400m, 800m, 1600m and 3200m runs at the event, winning three of the four races. Her outstanding performance helped the Rockets’ girls team finish third in the Division II team standings with a score of 74 points. South Range captured the Division II girls team title with 143 points, while Springfield finished second with 139.

Yon started the day by taking the early lead in the 1600 meters and rode to a first place finish with a time of 5:46.66. That mark was ahead of Jackson-Milton’s Faith Sullivan and Nora Schwarten, who recorded times of 5:53.25 and 6:01.98, respectively.

“The mile my freshman and sophomore years was my best event. Then I got injured during the cross county season my freshman year and broke two of my metatarsal bones in my foot. So I didn’t have the stamina to start running the mile again,” said Yon about his return to the 1600 meters after a year’s absence. “It was difficult to complete four laps, but I was able to complete two.”

She continued her winning run in the 1600 with a third-place finish in the 400 meters with a time of 1:04.13, a personal best for Yon. Emma Sanders of Springfield ran a 1:02.38 to win the race, while Taylor Dado of South Range came in second with a time of 1:03.46.

Yon came back with another winning performance in her favorite event, the 800 meters, with a time of 2:30.32. That mark beat out second place, Sullivan, who ran a time of 2:36.55.

Yon ended the day by beating Sullivan for the third time when she ran a 12:49.68 in the 3200m. Sullivan ran a time of 13:10.76.

“In the mile (1600 meters) and two miles (3200 meters), I ran more for placement because it is difficult to do all four events I did today with utmost effort,” Yon said. “I wanted to save my legs more for the 400 and 800. So in the mile I pushed just hard enough to win. Then I gave it my all in the 400 and in the 800 I put in a decent effort because I wanted to win it too. Then I wanted to place there in the two miles as well.

Yon finished eighth in the 800 meters at the State Track Meet last year. She was the 18th seed, but performed well and made the podium.

For Yon, the goal is to return to the states and hopefully be on the podium again. She wants to excel again in the 800 meters.

“I want to go to state again in the 800. Since I got famous last year, I realized I liked (the 800 meters) a lot more than any other race I’ve run,” Yon said. “My passion is the 800, so I want to continue to improve in that this year.”

Yon has committed to continue her athletic career at Purdue next year after graduating from Lowellville. She will join the Boilermakers cross country and track teams this fall.

“They checked off all the boxes I wanted from a school,” Yon said. “Not only athletically, but also academically it was exactly what I was looking for. It’s just a bonus that they want me on their athletics team. I am very grateful and blessed to have this opportunity.”

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