Cole Sprout, of Valor Christian, Colorado’s Gatorade boys track and field athlete of year

Cole Sprout’s case as perhaps the greatest high school distance runner in state history received one more bullet point Monday when he was named Gatorade’s Colorado boys track and field athlete of the year.

The Valor Christian graduate earned the honor for the third consecutive year, becoming the first Colorado boys track and field athlete to win the award three years in a row.

Sprout did the same in cross country after claiming a third straight state title in the fall. The 5-foot-9, 135-pound senior would’ve had a chance to repeat as the 1,600- and 3,200-meter champion in Class 5A this spring if not for the coronavirus outbreak canceling the season. He won the Class 4A state championship in both events as a sophomore.

“Cole has the ability to get every ounce of potential out of himself when called upon,” Valor Christian distance coach Greg Coplen said in a news release. “He also has the ability to train, no matter the circumstances, and to maintain the passion and motivation. It’s never changed.”

A month ago, Sprout came within seconds of a four-minute mile at the Quarantine Clasico, finishing in 4 minutes, 2.42 seconds. He also took third in the 1,500 at the Reykjavik International Games in 3:54.23. It was the nation’s top time among high school runners during the 2020 indoor season.

Off the track, Sprout has volunteered with Denver Rescue Mission, participated in a mission trip to Ethiopia and maintained a 3.98 grade-point average as a student. He is committed to run on scholarship for Stanford next fall.

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