Boca Raton senior Connor Brooks, who finished sixth at The King’s Academy Invitational, set a personal-best clocking of 16:20.23 in the 40th annual Spanish River Invitational at South County Park in Boca Raton just one week later.
With The King’s Academy course known for being a little slower, Brooks, 17, who lives in Boca Raton, expected his time to drop at the Spanish River meet. He shaved nearly two minutes off that time of 18:16.40 and it also represented a drop of 20 seconds off his previous best time. He helped the Bobcats to an eighth-place finish in the competition.
“In the Spanish River Invitational, I knew I was in good shape,” said Brooks, who ran a previous personal best time of 16:44.30, when he finished 11th in the Park Vista Invitational in August. Brooks’ best time last year was 18:37.76 at the Palm Beach County cross country championships.
“I didn’t think I had that good of a race at King’s,” he said. “I just kind of threw it out of my head and reset my mind. I had some good workouts going into the Spanish River Invitational and I knew I was in really good shape, and I could drop a PR.
“I just focused on competing and I knew the time would follow,” he said. “I wanted to get out fast because I knew in the race last year I got a little stuck. I wanted to go out hard and stay relaxed and stick with that pace and see where that brings me.”
Brooks said he was inspired by his brother Colin, a freshman at Stetson University. Colin is the school record holder 3,200-meter run (9:37.09) and also ran a personal-best of 15:38.67 in cross country.
“I saw how good my brother was and I wanted to get out there and run every day,” he said. “It definitely gives me a lot of confidence and I really want to medal at states.”