PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A junior at Lincoln High School burst onto the cross country scene in early December and isn’t slowing down.
Mateo Althouse won the Foot Locker West Regional — a competition between the top high school cross country athletes in 11 western states.
His coach, Eric Dettman, told KOIN 6 News the competition features many “really talented athletes” and no one, including Mateo himself, had any expectations going into it.
“The result was kind of shocking and it’s taken a lot of time to process,” Mateo said. “I’m just glad I qualified and am able to run this weekend.”
Mateo is only the third Oregonian to ever win the West Regionals.
“It’s surreal, like going in not really knowing anybody in the field but being aware of some really big names,” he said. “It’s kinda crazy crossing the line and I knew I felt the tape so I kinda figured I went first but it took me a while to actually process that.”
This is only Mateo’s second year running cross country. Many people hadn’t heard his name before his recent win.
“As soon as he won the West Regional, he had a bunch of different schools reaching out,” Eric said. “I had schools reaching out to me, ‘Hey, who is this guy? What’s his background?'”
The coach is certain Mateo has a big future in running ahead of him.
“They’re going to know his name here pretty shortly, so I guess we’ll leave it at that,” Eric said.
Mateo will represent the entire state of Oregon at the Foot Locker National Championships on Saturday, Dec. 14 in San Diego.
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