Gifted Griswold girl: 31:12 at 12

So I was looking at the results of Monday’s Fifth Season 8K, puffy-chestedly looking at my son’s time, scanning for people I know and wondering if I’ll ever break 40 minutes again.

There, in the upper reaches of the results, was something I scanned several times before it sank in:

14. Rebekah Topham, 12*, Griswold, IA, 31:12

I remembered the name from the awards ceremony. She also won the girls’ mile Monday, in 5:58. And that was after she had run the 8K at 6:17-per-mile pace. A total of 349 women ran the 8K. Rebekah was the youngest, and she beat 335 of them. She finished 10 minutes ahead of this old slug.

It took me back to the mid-1980s, when my cross country team ran an October 10K at the Governor’s Cup in Des Moines. The second-place woman was a 12-year-old girl named Christa Holms, who eventually became one of the state’s best distance runners ever at West Des Moines Valley.

If she doesn’t burn out, if she doesn’t flame out, if she doesn’t widen out, Rebekah is be on the same fast track. I’m guessing she is a seventh-grader at Griswold Middle School. The junior high state track meet is next May. Look for her name among the leaders.

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