MORGANTOWN — As children, we all have big dreams to become something amazing when we grow up. Whether we pinned a towel around our neck and pretended to fly like Superman or used our bed as a rocket ship to reach the moon, we let our imaginations run wild with possibilities.
As we get older, those wild dreams seem to taper off and we focus on more realistic expectations. But for every child that pretends to be The Flash or just wants to mimic eight-time gold medal Olympian sprinter Usain Bolt, kids in the area can also look to local athlete Josh Edwards — who has made a name for himself as “The Nation’s Fastest Freshman.”
According to the website milesplit.com, Edwards ranks number one for freshman in a 5K with a nation-leading time of 16 minutes flat. This score is a result of his finish in the Spiked Shoe Cross Country Invitational on Sept. 7, where the University High freshman garnered second place overall, helping his Hawks secure a second-place finish, as well. A young man of few words, Edwards also appears to be a man of even fewer emotions, at least when it comes to taking praise for his accomplishment. When asked what went through his mind when he saw the ranking, he replied “it was more surprising than anything.”
He added that he had great support from his team and gave a lot of credit to his coaches, including head man Ed Fronapfel, saying that it’s a culture around the team where everyone rallies around one another.
To make such a big impact early in his high school career, Edwards said it wasn’t an easy transition to compete at a higher level and had Fronapfel to thank.
“It was definitely more miles along with more workouts with more volume,” Edwards said about running at UHS. “(Fronapel) has been tough on me, but understanding through training, pushing me where I need to go to allow me to get better. Overall, it’s really been helping.”
Edwards couldn’t be more right as he currently sits in second in the boys Class AAA rankings, trailing only senior Jacob Birurakis of George Washington High, according to runwv.com. More impressive, he’s the only freshman in the top 15 and the only underclassman in the top 10.