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Thursday, January 16, 2014

Annandale third-grader is national running champion

Caleb Hymans with his gold medal.
The fastest 8-year-old in the country is Caleb Hymans, who lives right here in Annandale, in the Truro community. 

On Dec. 14, Caleb came in first place out of 205 7 and 8-year-old boys in the USA Track and Field National Junior Olympics Cross Country Championships in San Antonio, Texas. He won the 2,000-meter race with a time of 7:31. 

Caleb, a third-grader at Wakefield Forest Elementary School, is taking it all in stride. “I like running a lot,” he says. “I like to feel the cool air on my face when I’m running really fast. It makes me really happy.”


Caleb ahead of the pack at the National Championships. [Both photos by Lynda S. Hymans]

He did pretty well in his first competitive race a couple of years ago—a 5K he ran with his mother, Lynda S. Hymans, at Stone Harbor, N.J., where the family goes every summer. Lynda, was an All-American long-distance runner at Allegheny College. Since then, he’d been with a local elementary school running program called Running with the Stars.

In September 2013, Caleb came in seventh out of 550 kids and adults in the Tim Kerr 5K Island Run in Avalon, N.J., with a time of 20:29. At that point, he was ready to move on “to something more intense,” says his father, Geoff Hymans, so they put him in the more competitive Fairfax Police Youth Club’s running program.

“He jumped in with both feet,” says Geoff, and won every race in his age group this fall, except one: He  came in fifth in the Cross Country Coaches Association National Youth Championship in Louisville, Ky., in November.

Caleb also plays travel soccer and recreational basketball. He’s taking a break from running this winter, and will be ready to race again in the spring.

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