Lake harrier runs down leaderboard spot at Killens

FELTON – Drew Harris likes to run.

The Lake Forest junior, however, didn’t join a cross country team until he entered high school.

Included among the reasons why he decided to join the Spartans boys’ cross country team was an all-time leaderboard he walked by every day.

Junior Drew Harris's 17:33 time at Killens Pond State Park was enough to get him on the Lake Forest all-time top 10. (Special to The Journal/LaFayette Bell Sr. )

Junior Drew Harris’ 17:33 time at Killens Pond was enough to get him on the Lake Forest all-time top 10. (Special to The Journal/LaFayette Bell Sr. )

Displayed on the board are the names of the runners who have the 10 best times ever recorded at the Killens Pond State Park 3.1 mile (5K) cross country course, which is the home layout for the Spartans.

“My freshman year I didn’t know what I was doing because I had never ran (cross country) before,” said Harris. “After looking at the leaderboard and realizing I was a good runner I decided to join the team.

“When I decided to join the team, I also set a goal of getting my name on the leaderboard and have been working hard since then.”

Harris’ hard work and dedication paid off during the first home meet of the season when his recorded time of 17:33 was good enough to put him in 10th place on the leaderboard.

The last time the Lake Forest cross country leaderboard had a name added was eight years ago in 2007.

Harris’ goal now is to place his name at the top of the board and replace Mark Tozer’s school-best time of 16:41.

“I’m really optimistic that I can put my name at the top of the leaderboard,” he said. “I have been cutting seconds off of my time every race, including a 17:20 at the Dover race, which would have put me at seventh or eighth on the leaderboard if I had run that time at home.

“The only times that are on the leaderboard are those that have been run on our home course at Killens Pond.”

Harris’ love for long-distance running grew as soon as he joined the cross country team.

“As soon as I started running I discovered I really liked it,” said Harris, who also runs several 5K races and long distances during the off-season. “I stared working hard at it and was rewarded when I qualified for the state meet last year.”

Lake Forest cross country head coach Eric Payne has no doubt Harris has the drive necessary to put his name at the top of the leaderboard.

“Drew is a hard worker that always gives 110 percent,” he said. “I feel that, because of his work ethic and having the remainder of this season as well as all of next season, he has a very good chance of putting his name at the top.

“All he needs to do now in order to knock a minute off his time it to continue to work on his upper body strength in the weight room and continue to work hard on long distance running and build his stamina.”

Harris’ next chance at climbing the cross country leaderboard will be Oct. 14 during a home quad-meet against Cape Henlopen, Seaford and Sussex Central.

His last chance of this season will be when Lake Forest hosts the Henlopen Conference championships Nov. 7.

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