The Washington Times-Herald

Local Sports

October 31, 2012

State title's just the start for Sorrells

Sims on Sports

MONTGOMERY — Connor Sorrells did not run Sunday.

No, the newest Indiana boys cross country champion wasn’t resting and basking in the glory of Saturday’s win at the Lavern Gibson Championship Course near Terre Haute.

And no, he wasn’t taking it easy because he now has nothing left to run for.

No, Sunday was his regular day off from a 14-day training schedule. He had run his prior 13 days and Sunday was the day of rest in this case.

But late Monday afternoon, he was ready to start all over on the first day of the new 14-day cycle. You see, there’s plenty of running left in those legs that brought a state championship to Barr-Reeve Saturday.

In fact, Saturday’s win hadn’t really sunk in yet with Sorrells by Monday afternoon. He believes it might in the near future once he sees his name listed along side runners who have been legends to him as he grew.

The junior high student who told people that he would win a state championship when he became a senior in high school is still in the process of letting it all settle in.

“I feel like I’ve won a big race,” Sorrells said. “We talk about all-time greats in my world of cross country — when you think of those guys you think they were champions. Once I get to see my name with those guys, it will sink in a little bit more. I’m just enjoying it right now. It really hasn’t hit home yet at all.”

And besides, there are events coming up in the next few weeks to train for, and there’s a spring track season coming where a potential championship in the 3,200 meters may be in the works.

It’s all part of a training routine formed with the help of Barr-Reeve coach JayR Perkins who saw something in middle school students Sorrells and classmate Damon Pruett who also ran in the state event the past two seasons.

There’s really no time to rest. There’s a lot of running yet to do.

Before the spring, Sorrells will run in several post season cross events. Dates and events aren’t totally settled, but a few would seem more likely.

There’s the Indiana All-Star, or Midwest Meet of Champions, against several states to be held in Kettering, Ohio, a suburb of Dayton, on the weekend of Nov. 16. The prior Sunday offers the Nike Cross Country Nationals at Lavern Gibson. A top five finish at Nike offers a trip to Portland, Oregon, for a national championship.

The biggest is the Footlocker, Kenosha, Wisconsin, where runners come from across the country in four regions. Sorrells would run in the Midwest, and a top 10 finish brings a trip to San Diego for a national championship. That takes care of Thanksgiving to near middle of December.

“At most, I’ve probably got three left,” Sorrells said. “I may drop one, because I want to concentrate on a couple. It’s all really fun.”

After the postseason, there’s the final spring track season where Sorrells would like to catch the winning 3,200 time last spring run by 2011 cross country and 3,200 champion Futsum Zienasellassie.

The Northern Arizona runner won last spring’s race in 8:51. Sorrels was second. Sorrells will likely run the 1,600 and may toss in some 800 events, but the 3,200 is the now the next goal.

Then comes the beginning of a track and cross country career at Furman. He will run cross country, but track will be the main focus. He will be running for coach Robert Gary who competed in the 1996 Atlanta and 2004 Athens steeplechase.

Would that type of future be in Sorrells’ future. Well, that’s several years ahead.

The senior said the dream of a junior high runner came true because a lot of things that had to happen did. Maybe they can happen again.

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