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High School Sports Rally

One Step At A Time: The Fastest Freshman Ever Looks To The Future

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(credit: CBS) David McCoy
David McCoy joined the WCCO-TV sports team in March 2013 as a report...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – This time of year, it’s a perfect day for a run…indoors. But when there’s as much at stake as there is for Eli Krahn, you don’t take days off.

“It takes a lot of dedication to be good at this,” the sophomore from Stillwater said.

And Krahn is good at this. In fact, he’s the best for his age. Ever.

He won the 1,600 meter state title last year, as a freshman. And his time of 4 minutes, 9.38 seconds broke the national record for freshmen.

“It was a gear, if you want to speak in those terms, it was a gear that I had never seen before,” said his coach Scott Christensen.

Since Krahn has run the fastest mile ever for a ninth grader, what’s next?

He’s working on it…starting with the gym. Ever since setting the record last summer, his life has been completely different.

“It’s weird to be the focus of things,” he said. “I’m not sure how I feel about it yet. But yeah, it was definitely a huge step up. It was all the sudden, from being just, like, there, to all the sudden, everyone wants to know what I’m doing, when I’m doing it, and how I’m doing.”

His coach says he has a lot to live up to.

“There’s going to be a lot of people looking at him and wondering: How good is this guy going to really be?” Christensen said.

When you have so much success so young, it allows you to dream big. How about four straight state titles?

“Yeah, people told me I have the chance to do it,” Krahn said. “I haven’t really given it a lot of thought.”

And what about beyond that?

“I mean, you just can’t immediately jump ahead four years and project him to be a collegiate champion,” Christensen said. “I’ve got to worry about what are his races going to be this April.”

For now, Krahn will let others do the dreaming, and the speculating over his future. That’s the only way to accomplish things… one step at a time.

“Try and keep things pretty close to what I’m doing right now,” Krahn said. “I try not to look too far ahead, try and keep things focused on…just these next few steps that I’m going to have to take to get to the next level.”

Krahn just missed the overall state record last season by .87 seconds. He says that’s one of his goals this season.

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