GCA runner Walker Elrod shaves 30 seconds in Rochelle, GA meet

Published 5:29 pm Tuesday, August 22, 2023

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Grace Christian Academy sophomore cross-country runner Walker Elrod dropped 30 seconds off his 5k time this weekend.

Elrod shaved the time at a meet in Rochelle, GA, this weekend. He finished third at the meet with a 16:17:84 and was less than three seconds from second place. 

Elrod represented the Cougars in the race but entered the meet solo. Elrod’s mother, Samantha Rentz, said they sought out the meet for Walker to run against tough competition. 

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“We were hunting the [meets] where the boys could push each other,” Samantha said. 

That they did, and Elrod, along with the top 2 runners, finished almost a minute ahead of the next finishing runner. 

Elrod comes into this season from a summer of training. He ran independently and attended Flagstaff, AZ’s Project Gold Running Camp. The camp is hosted at Northern Arizona University and is known for the conditions runners practice in.

“Flagstaff, for runners, is supposed to be the epitome that they all want to go and run at because of the altitude of being 7000 feet,” Samantha said. “He had a big time, running and training.”

Elrod said his goals this season are to win the state championship and break the Georgia sophomore state record of 14:49:08.

“I want to be the fastest there ever was in Georgia,” Elrod said.

His next competition comes Friday at the Cecil Field Summer Classic in Jacksonville, FL. He will enter solo and represent GCA in the meet. More than 70 schools will compete, and Elrod will run alongside more than 300 runners in his race.