Walker Elrod hits goal of sub-ten 3200m

Published 1:26 pm Monday, April 3, 2023

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After years of training and a 2023 season that has seen Grace Christian Academy freshman runner Walker Elrod shatter PR’s and top finishes, Elrod reached a goal of his this past weekend that he has been striving for since the beginning of last season. On Friday night Elrod competed in the Friday Night Lights at Star Mills race where Elrod ran a 9:48 3200m, shattering his previous PR of 10:01. Elrod’s goal has been to run a sub-ten 3200m and he did that with ease on Friday night. Elrod is now focused on what’s next and that is to have a 3200m below 9:40. 

Going into Friday’s race, Elrod was optimistic that he would be able to hit that goal based upon the course and the competitors in the race. In his previous races, Elrod has been able to finish at the top of the leaderboards but still was just short of the sub-ten time because he was the one setting the pace of the race. On Friday, Elrod was able to be the one chasing and reach the time, despite not even starting until 11:00p.m. 

“Walker ran even splits,” said his mom Samantha. “He went 4:54 for the first and second 1600. He knew with two laps to go that he was going to get the time he wanted and then some. This was a big barrier and a huge accomplishment considering his age. Now he’s already focused on a sub 9:40.”

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Not only did Elrod hit his goal of a sub-ten but he also was the first freshman or sophomore in the race to even finish. Elrod was seeded at 12 overall going into the race but still managed a top ten finish as he finished seventh overall. 

Next for Elrod is competing in Region for the GCA Cougars on April 12. Going into the race, the goal for Elrod is to win the 3200m for his school and Region and also set a new PR in the 1600m. Right now Elrod’s PR for the 1600m sits at 4:48 but he believes that he can reach a 4:40. With the training from coach Britney Skiles and the community support around Elrod, the future for the world class runner is bright as he aims to compete at the Division 1 level after high school.