Walker Elrod and the chase for a sub ten

Published 9:09 am Wednesday, March 29, 2023

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Grace Christian Academy freshman and world class runner Walker Elrod is continuing to progress in his journey as the 2023 track season is in full swing for Elrod and his GCA Cougars teammates. As to no surprise, the 2023 season has seen Elrod set PR’s and gain trophies, but Elrod is still chasing one of his most coveted accomplishments; a sub-10 3200m time. 

So far the 2023 track season has been strong for Elrod, especially considering the fact that he is just a freshman competing against the best 18 year-olds in the state. In the Bearcat Invitational in early march, Walker was the only Bainbridge native to medal in long distance running as he was third in the 1600m with a 5:51 time and 2nd in the 3200. In the following week in Kissimmee, FL, Elrod became the top four freshman runner in the state as he notched a 10:03 time in the 3200m run which earned him seventh at the Kowboy Invitational. 

A week later in Albany, Elrod had arguably his best race of the season, setting PR’s in two different races. Elrod ran a 4:48 in the 1600m earning him third place and an incredible 10:01 in the 3200m race which earned him second. Since the summer, one of Elrod’s many goals is to run a sub-10 3200m and Elrod is just on the cusp of accomplishing that goal. 

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“The team has a lot of potential for the next few years because there’s a lot of freshmen and sophomores so it sets us up to really be competitive in the next few years,” said Elrod in August of 2022. “I want to win state three years in a row and make it to a division one school like Florida State. If I continue to progress and work hard I know that I can accomplish those things.”

This past weekend, Elrod added to his trophy case as he took home first place in the 3200m out of 40 runners as he earned a time of 10:19 and also earned fourth place in the 1600m with a 4:50 time. Although Elrod took home a first place trophy, he was still focused on trying to reach his personal goal of hitting a sub-10. Although Walker led the race, it meant he was the one setting the pace and wasn’t chasing after anyone so it was difficult to reach a time of that magnitude but Elrod was nothing short of impressive.

“I would much rather have him come in 10th with a faster time than 1st with a slower time,” said his mom Samantha. ‘His body is physically not mature enough to lead the race and push the pace just yet. Once he fills out his times will drop even more.”

Elrod will continue his pursuit for a sub-10 this Friday In Fayetteville as he will compete in a 3200m race that will feature many fast distance competitors, so Friday night is a date the Elrod’s have circled on their calendar that could be one they remember forever.