Run, Freddie Run!
AWM Cross Country standout making fast tracks in competition
WM School District Academies of West Memphis sophomore Freddie Thorne may not have had designs on becoming a runner when he was thrust into competition for the first time.
It was in seventh grade at West Junior High when the track coach suggested Thorne run a few laps.
“I just kept passing people,” Thorne recalled.
That moment has propelled the lithe runner into ascension as the top distance runner in many years in West Memphis.
Thorne’s latest effort placed him second out of 299 runners, featuring 72 teams from 13 states. He ran a personal best 18:11 at the Frank Horton Night Invitational.
“Freddie is 31 seconds off the school record for a 5K,” said Blue Devil cross country coach Arthur Hargrove. “We are planning on Freddie breaking that record in three weeks.”
The school record for the 5K is 17:40 set four years ago by Martavious Johnson.
Thorne’s formative years in junior high included two years running track for the Blue Imps.
“Now, I’m up here competing with the big dogs… I really like it,” said Thorne.
On Sept. 21, Thorne placed 25th out of a field of 285 with a time of 18:40.
On Sept. 25 he placed fifth in the Memphis Youth Athletics meet. He will compete in the Chile Pepper Cross Country Festival on Friday in Fayetteville.
Furthermore, Thorne is working on entering AAU or USATF Cross Country Nationals in December.
“The first 5K I ran was when I was in the eighth grade in Orange Beach, Alabama,” said Thorne. “I ran a 23:23. From there I ran all summer to get ready for the St. Jude 5K and I ran a 19:45.”
Thorne already has his sights set on a college scholarship either in cross country, track or both.
“But I’m not putting all my eggs in one basket,” he said. “I try to do well in school, too. Track’s just kind of an extra way to get into college. I would just like to go as far as I can with running. I would love to run in college, it would be so much fun. Running is about all I watch on TV now.”