Distance running a joy for Fruita’s Brown
Kyler Brown is a distance runner.
The Fruita Monument High School sophomore takes pride in being able to run long distances no matter the season.
Brown, who finished 55th in the state cross country meet last fall, is the Wildcats 1,600- and 3,200-meter runner during the track season.
“Kyler really favors the longer stuff,” Fruita Monument distance coach Herb Huskey said. “Although in track there is going to be more sprinting because the turnover is different, there is something about four or eight laps where they think ‘I can do this because I know I get to stop after that third or seventh lap.’ “
Brown is one of the few Fruita Monument distance runners who don’t dip down during the track season. Huskey said many of the cross country runners don’t want to run the 3,200, instead, favoring the 800 and 1,600 races.
“They want to show their speed and you can’t do that with a 5K,” Huskey said. “Some of our distance kids even drop down into the 400.”
Brown sticks to what he knows.
“I like to do the longer stuff and make my endurance last,” Brown said. “But with track, it’s still a lot more speed work because you aren’t going as long.”
Brown sees many of the same faces that he competed against in cross country during the track season. That familiarity allows Brown to know who he can push himself against.
“In cross country, you try to find someone you can pace with,” Brown said. “If he beats you, it builds a competitive side so when you see them on the track, it’s a goal to catch them and beat them.”
Brown said he’s pinpointed Moffat County’s Alfredo Lebron as someone to measure himself against. Lebron, a junior, is one of the top distance runners in the state, and is currently ranked fifth in Class 4A. He bested Brown at last Saturday’s Mickey Dunn Invitational by 26 seconds.
“I’ve been trying to keep up with Alfredo,” Brown said. “I was able to keep up with him for the first half (at the Mickey Dunn), but it’s a goal to keep up and beat him by the end of the season.”
Brown is also trying to secure his position in the state rankings. The top 18 advance to the state meet on May 19-21 at Jeffco Stadium in Lakewood. Brown is currently 19th, with a chance to bump up this Saturday at the Warrior Wild West Invitational at Stocker Stadium.
This is the first year for the Warrior Wild West Invitational. There will be nine teams competing, including Grand Junction, Fruita Monument and Palisade along with Western Slope schools Rifle and Moffat County.
“I’m looking to get to 10 minutes in the two-mile (3,200),” Brown said. “Even under 10 would be nice.”