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A freshman cross country runner here in Southern Colorado is already making his mark in the state record books.
It's Coronado's Oliver Horton, he recently broke the Colorado 5K record with a time of 15 minutes and 10 seconds, beating the previous record by 8 seconds.
"It was super exciting, I couldn’t really believe it," Horton said. "I was so tired, but I was just so happy and pleased with it because I didn’t think I was going to break it by that much.”
Horton is averaging a 4 minute, 56 second mile and Coronado head coach Lisa Rainsberger said it's not just his speed that makes him a special athlete.
“Oliver is like a team mascot," Lisa smiled. "He just brings such joy and all of the upperclassmen love him."
Rainsberger has been running for 30 years and coaching for 20 years. She won the Boston Marathon back in 1985, so it's safe to say Oliver and the 2nd ranked Coronado Cougars are learning from the best.
“Talent is a tough word because it just assumes that he was born with it, but he works hard," Rainsberger said about Horton. "He brings together everyday an attitude and a work ethic and a liveliness that is far bigger than talent.”
Horton's passion for running really took off in second grade.
“I think both my parents knew it’d be good for me to do a sport when I was little," he said. "I just love to do it and finishing a race and being happy no matter how tired you are, there’s no better feeling that that.”
Horton hopes to lead Coronado to a state title at the end of the month. The 2023 Cross Country State Championships are set for October 28th at the Norris Penrose Event Center in Colorado Springs.
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