by Aaron Garcia
It would be easy to consider this a career-achievement award since Marvin Ridge’s Chris Colo has been making waves in Union County cross country for the past four years and had played a key role in elevating Marvin Ridge’s burgeoning track and field program to a championship level.
But, it isn’t. The fact that Colo has been named the 2010 Union County Weekly Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year rests solely on the season he had this past fall.
At Kernersville’s Beeson Park on Nov. 6, Colo topped all Union County distance runners in state-meet competition when he took home second place in the Class 3A race. Colo finished with a time of 15 minutes, 30.33 seconds, just three seconds behind the winner, Burlington Williams’ Graham Crawford. Colo’s performance helped the Mavericks finish in second place, overall. It was his best finish at a state meet.
It was a strong finish to a cross country career that started out unassumingly, said coach Cameron Starr. The coach admitted that he didn’t necessarily see signs of Colo’s greatness early on, and neither did Colo.
“Once I started running the summer before my freshman year, I really didn’t like it,” said Colo. But once he started running within the structure of a team, he “really started to love it.”
But that didn’t mean the sport loved him. Starr recalls early workouts where Colo would routinely get passed.
“I kind of thought he’d be in the middle of the pack,” said the coach. “After he got his first couple of races under his belt, you could see it; he does not like to lose.”
Starr equates Colo’s race-day mind-set to the flipping of a light switch. Before and after matches, Colo is a quiet, yet affable member of the Mavs, the silent-leader type. Good in school and all that.
But once the starter’s gun fires?
“He’s very competitive when it comes to race time,” said Starr. “He’s very focused. You can just tell that when it’s time to race, he’s a different person.”
Now, it’s on to the indoor track season, where he will again help pace the Mavs before choosing between N.C. State, Georgetown, Columbia University and Clemson, where he plans to run.
But this time, his coaches will know what to expect.