Young Glenwood runner impresses many
GLENWOOD SPRINGS — Not many high school track and field programs have the opportunity to say a national champion will be a part of their program.
But, Glenwood Springs High School’s coaching staff has a chance to say just that about 13-year-old Henry Barth.
Henry won a national title in the Junior 1 division of the U.S. Telemark Ski Association National Championships this past winter, just two years after he started the sport. His title came just a year after impressing some older, more-experienced skiers when he was competing at the U.S. nationals in Steamboat Springs.
What a lot of people have seen with Henry, who was running with close to 100 other athletes at the Glenwood Springers Track and Field Meet at Stubler Memorial Field on Wednesday, are the running finishes he’s had on the streets of Glenwood Springs. He was a Top-10 finisher in the Strawberry Shortcut before he was a teenager, and he cracked the top five during Glenwood’s Turkey Trot 5K on Nov. 28, 2013.
And even though he’s surprised at the early success he’s had running, he’s already doing whatever he can to keep getting better.
“If I finish seventh one year, I make a goal,” Henry said. “My goal would be to finish no worse than fifth. I try to work my way up there. I do that with a lot of track meets.”
Henry didn’t reach that goal this year, but there was a reason for that.
After finishing seventh in the Strawberry Shortcut’s 5K in 2013, with a time of 20 minutes, 23 seconds, he ended up dropping in the individual standings to 29th place in 22:05 on June 22. That, however, was after he made an impromptu decision to run in it after he’d finished 15th in the 10K in 42:07.
He was right on pace with the previous times he had run, placing fourth in the Turkey Trot 5K in 20:42. Henry admits, however, that he’s not a avid runner and only follows the training regimen that’s given to him when he’s at track practice.
“Actually, running is more of a hobby for me,” Henry said, smiling.
Glenwood Springs High track and field coach Blake Risner, who is also a gym teacher at Glenwood Springs Middle School, said Henry has not typically fared well in the bi-annual Fenceline Run. The Fenceline run is a 600-yard jaunt around the playing fields behind the middle school what has been used as the school’s primary cardiovascular measuring stick for more than a decade.
“That’s not his thing,” Risner said. “He’s going to be more of the 1,600, 3,200 and 5K distance guy, which will fill a need we’ve had for a long time.”
Henry admits, however, that he’s using running to get better at telemarking. His victory came after racing at Bromley Mountain and Haystack Mountain in New Hampshire in March, and he admits that the two intertwine enough that there’s a lot of carry over from one to another.
“Running keeps my legs strong, and telemarking is like doing alpine skating,” he said. “I hope I keep getting better.”
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