Lagano, who was not allowed to begin his NASCAR career until he turned 18 in May 2008, went from prodigy to champion by winning the rain-shortened Lenox Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway last week. In doing so, he became the youngest driver to win a Sprint Cup Series Race. Here are some other notable achievements across sports by youngsters looking to make a mark.
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Youngest to win a Super Bowl
Though Baltimore's run to the Super Bowl was based on the Ravens' stifling defense, the 21-year-old Lewis became a focal point of the team's offense after supplanting Priest Holmes as the team's starting RB in Week 4. During the Ravens Super Bowl victory over the Giants, Lewis rushed for 103 yards and a touchdown, becoming only the second rookie ever to rush for over 100 yards in a Super Bowl.
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Youngest to Win a World Series Game
Though K-Rod was not old enough to drink (20 years, 9 months), he was old enough to silence the late-inning bats of the Yankees, Twins and Giants in leading the Angels to a World Series victory.
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Youngest to Win an NBA Title
Though he played less than 15 minutes during the entire Pistons championship run, Darko became the youngest NBA champion (18 years, 11 months) during Detroit's 2004 run to the title. The former No. 2 overall pick has bounced around the league since then and was recently acquired by the Knicks in a draft-day trade.
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Youngest to Win the Stanley Cup
In 1955, Hillman (in white, pictured with Bobby Hull in 2000) won his first of six Stanley Cups at the age of 18 years, and 2 months while a member of the Buffalo Sabres. The former defenseman can breathe easy; Under current NHL rules, a player must turn 18 by September 15 to be eligible to play in NHL that season, which means Hillman's record can not be broken.
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Youngest Male to Win a Grand Slam Singles Title
Chang beat Stefan Edberg in the Finals of the 1989 French Open to become the youngest male to win a Grand Slam singles title, it was his epic five-set comeback victory over Ivan Lendl in the fourth round of that tournament that made Chang a household name. The tournament victory also gave Chang the distinction of being the first American male to win the French Open since 1955.
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Youngest Female to Win a Grand Slam Singles Title
Hingis burst onto the professional women's tennis tour in 1994, two weeks past her 14th birthday and never looked back. She became the youngest Grand Slam winner in 1994, when she teamed with Helena Sukova at Wimbledon to win the women's doubles title at 15 years, nine months. Six months later, she became the youngest to win a Grand Slam singles title by beating Mary Pierce in the Australian Open finals.
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Youngest Male to Win the Masters
Though Tom Morris was the youngest to win a Major (17 years 5 months), that was achieved in 1868, so we're giving this distinction to Tiger Woods, who won the Masters in 1997 at 21 years, 3 months. In the 12 year since, Woods has made his case for becoming the greatest golfer of all time, winning 14 majors and becoming one of the most recognized sports figure in the world.
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Youngest Female to Win a Golf Grand Slam
Pressel has achieved achievements over her short career. At 12, she became the youngest player to qualify for the U.S. Women's Open. At 17, she successfully appealed the LPGA to let her play professionally even though the rules state that a competitor must be 18. She even managed to play part-time on the tour while still attending high school. None of these achievements measure up to what she did in 2007, when she became the youngest to ever win an LPGA major golf tournament at 18 years, 10 months.
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