He goes by the name of Green, but he's been pure Gold as of late.
Kansas track and field standout Noah Green is staging his assault on the indoor track and field national leaderboard, climbing as high as third in the 60 meter hurdles after clocking 7.90 at the Pittsburg State Gorilla Classic on Jan. 22 (pictured).
The soft-spoken Green, who carries a 4.3 weighted grade point average in school, is the top junior on the 60 meter hurdle national lists.
"I was really pumped up when I saw the time I ran," said Green, remembering his finish at the Gorilla Classic.
"My focus at that race was to relax and go all out; I was mainly going to work on getting clean over all the hurdles," he said. "It paid off. I got a decent start out of the blocks and got through all of the hurdles."
He's also at No. 11 in the national rankings for the 400 meters, clocking 48.87 at the University of Arkansas High School Invitational on Jan. 14; and he's at No. 62 in the 200 meter run, running 22.31 at the Pitt State meet.
Green, who is currently running for the KC Flyers Track Club, was the Kansas Class 5A state champion in the 100M hurdles and 300M hurdles last year, running for Blue Valley Southwest. Green has since transferred schools and will run this spring for St. Thomas Aquinas.
"He's a real self-motivated kid," said Noah's father, Ben, a standout sprinter at Baylor University and Fresno State University in the late 1980s and early 1990s. "He wants to be the best in Kansas; his ultimate goal is to get a full (Division I) scholarship."
Ben Green is one of four coaches that Noah has with the KC Flyers. The younger Green said his training during the indoor season focuses on building strength, so he gets a regular dose of 300's, 400's and 500's as well as technique work.
At the Jayhawk Classic High School Invitational on Jan. 29, Green won the 600 yard run in a time of 1:15.23.
"The people you train with motivate you," Noah Green said. "I have a really good training group. We get along really well. We hang out outside of practice, go out together to have fun."
His father calls Noah "a mild-mannered kid, not cocky," but his aggression on the track is anything but mild. Noah's times in the 60M hurdles and the open 400 have qualified him to run in the New Balance National Indoor Track and Field Championships March 10-12 at the Armory in New York City.
That meet, though, is just a stepping stone to higher goals. This Spring, Noah says he's got his eye on sub-47 in the 400 meters; a state record in the 300 hurdles (he missed it by .34 at last year's state meet); and lowering his own 100 meter hurdle record to 13.6 (he set the record last year at 14.02).
"I just want to see what my potential can be as an athlete," he said. "The last several years, my times have been coming down. I just want to get better and continue to grow as an athlete."