Danny Simmons, who recently graduated from American Fork High, raced against professionals at the Portland Track Festival over the weekend and broke the national high school record for 5,000 meters by 13 seconds.

Simmons, who has signed to compete for BYU, finished eighth with a time of 13:25.86, just .86 off the A standard for the Olympic track and field trials, which will be held in two weeks. The 30 fastest Americans in the 5,000 will be accepted into the Olympic trials; Simmons currently ranks 25th.

The previous high school 5,000-meter record was 13:34.86, set last year by Lex Young.

Simmons, the two-time national Gatorade Cross Country Player of the Year, has been on a record-setting tear. He also broke the national indoor high school record for 5,000 meters by 18 seconds in March, with a time of 13:38.86, and he owns the fifth-fastest time ever by a high school athlete in the 3,200-meter run. Among high school runners in 2024, he ranks first in the 3,200 and sixth in the 1,600, the latter with a performance at altitude.

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His precocious performance earned him headlines on various running-related platforms.

Meanwhile, a number of other Utahns made impressive showings in the same competition. Anna Bennett, the 2021 NCAA champion for BYU, won the 1,500-meter run with a time of 4:07.13. Whittni Morgan, the 2021 NCAA cross-country champion for BYU, was fifth with a time of 4:08.29. Both run professionally for Adidas.

Kenneth Rooks, the 2023 NCAA and USA national champion who left BYU to turn pro this year, won the steeplechase with a time of 8:18.77, which put him three seconds ahead of his nearest rival.

BYU All-American Lexi Lowry, who redshirted the 2024 collegiate season, was fifth in the 5,000-meter run. Her time of 15:02.89 easily surpassed the A standard of 15:10.00 for the Olympic trials. She finished behind several star professional runners, including Olympic champion Sifan Hassan and Olympians Elise Cranny and Karissa Schweizer, all of whom set personal records. Hassan won with a time of 14:43.85.

Daniel Simmons, American Fork, receives the male Athlete of the Year award from Brett Greenwell at the Deseret News high school sports awards at the Grand America in Salt Lake City on Saturday, June 8, 2024. | Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

Davin Thompson, who also redshirted the 2024 season for BYU, was eighth in the 10,000-meter run with a personal-record time of 28:31.75.

Aubrey Frentheway, a former BYU runner and four-time All-American, was fourth in the 10,000-meter run with a time of 32:33.33.