Cole Lindhorst’s earliest memory of a sport he fell in love with began with shame.
“I remember just running around my neighborhood in San Antonio with my mom,” said the Tompkins High junior, who was born in the Alamo City before the family moved to Katy six years ago.
“In fourth or fifth grade, I would always go out and run with her, probably about a mile. She used to beat me, too, so it’s kind of embarrassing.
“At the beginning, I didn’t like it as much. I was more of a basketball player when I was younger. But it was in the seventh grade when I started winning races, and I really started to enjoy it a lot more then.”
These days, Lindhorst has a lot to enjoy.
Lindhorst, whom Tompkins boys coach Walt Yarrow appreciatively refers to as a “low-pointer” because of his high finishes at meets, placed 10th individually at the state cross country meet last November. In the spring, Lindhorst finished seventh in the 1600-meter run and eighth in the 3200-meter run at the state track and field meet.
Long gone are the days Lindhorst struggled just to keep up with his parents. These days, he beats them. That’s perfectly fine to his father, Chris, and mother, Grace.
Their child’s success has only sustained lofty expectations that began in their home.
Chris and Grace are former running stars in their own right. The couple met while competing for the track team at the Air Force Academy a little more than 20 years ago. As a collegian, Chris ran in the World Military Championships, one of 12 Americans chosen to compete against top militaries in the world.
Chris and Grace said they encouraged their son to find his own way. Initially, it was basketball, but Lindhorst’s career on the court ended during his freshman year at St. John XXIII College Prep after suffering a stress fracture. He thought about trying out last season for Tompkins, but ultimately decided against it.
“I love basketball, but it was time to let go,” Lindhorst said.
He envisions one day running for the Air Force Academy, just like his parents.
“It’s neat to see him follow the same journey,” Chris said. “He’s made his own decisions, but it’s nice to see him excelling at it and taking it to a whole other level that maybe we couldn’t be able to.”
A blossoming prospect last season for a loaded Tompkins team, Lindhorst is now a leader for the program, though one of two juniors on a roster otherwise full of seniors. He craves what looks to be a big season for him, upping his miles during offseason workouts and focusing on aerobic development.
“Even just since track season, I’ve built my base up aerobically,” Lindhorst said.
“I have more endurance, definitely. I ran a lot more miles. I upped my long runs. Last year, they weren’t consistent at all and this year I tried to be more consistent every week by keeping a steady pace. My tempo runs are 30, 40 seconds faster than they were last year.”
Michigan, Northern Arizona and Oklahoma have expressed interest in Lindhorst. He yearns for the Air Force Academy, of course. But any college decision is still a while away.
In the meantime, he is content deriving inspiration from his favorite artists (his pre-race music mix consists of everything from Kenny Chesney and Rascal Flatts to Drake and Rich the Kid) and reflecting on all the work and time that goes into winning.
“I like to think back to the workouts,” Lindhorst said of what goes through his mind during meets. “That’s the big thing, remembering how much work went into what you’re about to run and the amount of time and effort an entire team puts in. Visualizing the race is also important, focusing on where and when on the course I want to make my moves.”
Chris said his son believes he will win every race. That’s half of the battle, Chris said. The more Lindhorst sees that and goes through races, he only gains more and more confidence.
“His work ethic is what sets him apart from a lot of the kids,” Chris said. “He lives and breathes running. He puts in the miles and time. These guys that are good become good when they’re not being watched, and he understands that.”
This article appears in the September Issue of VYPE Magazine. Pick up your copy at any one of our locations today!