Taking on a 26.2-mile challenge
December 16, 2008
Pat Matava learned in her first year as head coach of the Truckee cross country team that she could count on Kyle Jorgensen ” whether it be to provide general team leadership, scout out a needed practice course, or come through in the clutch in a big race.
“Kyle is just an exceptional kid. Even as a freshman you could count on him,” Matava said. “He has incredible leadership skills at a young age.”
So the Truckee coach had no reason to doubt Jorgensen, 15, would remain true to his word when he mentioned his interest to run 26.2 miles ” marathon distance.
On Dec. 6 Jorgensen followed through, running all 26-plus miles of the 27th Annual California International Marathon, starting at the Folsom Dam and ending in front of the State Capital in Sacramento.
Jorgensen crossed the finish line of his first marathon in 4 hours, 16 minutes and 35 seconds ” 3,256th place out of 5,198 individual finishers, according to the race Web site, http://www.runcim.org. Ethiopian Halefom Abebe won the overall in 2:16.42.
Anna Thrasher, Jorgensen’s P.E. teacher at Truckee, said her student could have posted a better finish time had he not pulled his Achilles tendon during the run.
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“He’s a phenomenal young man and student-athlete. He has an amazing running career ahead of him if he puts his mind to it,” Thrasher said.
Matava couldn’t agree more.
“Kyle has a lot of natural ability,” she said. “He has a natural stride. When you watch him run you can see he’s going to be very good some day.”
He already has one marathon under his belt.
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