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2018-02-14 / Featured / News

Cosby runner sets top U.S. time in two-miler

BY BEN ORCUTT CONTRIBUTING WRITER


Cosby High School’s Grant Northcutt ran two miles in 9:14.8 at the Virginia Showcase invitational at Liberty University in Lynchburg last month. 
PHOTO BY MARY ANN MAGNANT/ MILESTAT.COM Cosby High School’s Grant Northcutt ran two miles in 9:14.8 at the Virginia Showcase invitational at Liberty University in Lynchburg last month. PHOTO BY MARY ANN MAGNANT/ MILESTAT.COM A year after being sidelined with injuries, Cosby High School’s star distance runner, Grant Northcutt, has posted the fastest scholastic indoor two-mile time in the nation.

Northcutt, 18, bested some of the best runners in the country and blasted his personal best by more than 6 seconds en route to setting the top high school time in the U.S. for 2018. He ran the two miles in 9:14.8 at the Virginia Showcase invitational last month at Liberty University in Lynchburg. Heading into the race, Northcutt’s personal best was 9:21.

“It was a pretty stacked field,” Northcutt said. “There were close to 15 to 20 runners. … There were some pretty fast guys.”

This was Northcutt’s first time competing on Liberty’s indoor track after having to sit out last year’s two-mile race due to hip and knee injuries.

“This track is really nice. It’s banked so on the curves it’s higher,” Northcutt said. “What happened in this race is I took the lead early on from the second lap and didn’t let it go.”

It took just over 16 laps on the 200-meter track to complete the two miles.

“When I ran [9:14.8] they called it out and showed ‘USA No. 1,’ so it was kind of a cool feeling,” Northcutt said. “I had a totally different race plan from the beginning. I was just going to sit and see what the leaders were going to do, but when the race [started], I felt like I could have taken it out a little faster, so I did that and I went with it.”

Gregg Northcutt, Grant’s father, is pleased to see his son perform at a high level again.

“It is so much fun to watch Grant compete and finally have the opportunity to achieve some of his goals,” Gregg Northcutt said. “He kind of runs with a chip on his shoulder. That race demonstrated his strengthened confidence and racing maturity against top competition.”

Anthony Callicutt, who coaches Cosby’s long-distance runners and who has worked with Grant for four years, said he wasn’t sure if Grant would post the nation’s best time heading into the Virginia Showcase event, but he had no doubt that Grant would do well.

“He can block out adversity,” he said. “He has a mentality that’s tough to beat.”

Cosby head track and field coach Bryan Still said after the injuries, Northcutt bounced back stronger than ever.

“He’s a fierce competitor and runs with a lot of heart,” Still said. “His race at the Virginia Showcase meet showed the whole country how talented he is. Grant owns every distance running school record at Cosby. The Cosby school records that he has set will last a very long time.” Grant has accepted a scholarship to attend North Carolina State University in the fall and run for Rollie Geiger, the Wolfpack’s legendary men’s cross-country coach. Grant, who has a 4.3 grade point average, said he’s undecided at this point on a college major.

One thing he is sure about is that his two-mile time in the Virginia Showcase bodes well for him as the indoor track season draws to a close.

“Essentially that meet showed me what I was capable of on a national caliber meet,” Grant said. “So hopefully going into the postseason I can carry that momentum and keep it going.” ¦

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