Caleb Ten Pas is currently an 8th grader who attends Des Moines Christian school. He recently ran a 4:31 1600 and a 2:05 800 at the IATC Middle School state track and field meet to set Iowa all-time state meet bests for all classes and divisions. He also holds the “small school” 7th grade state meet records in the 1600 and 800 from spring of 2021. He has run 4:29 already outdoors this spring and split 2:01 for 800 in the 1600 medley anchor leg at the Drake Relays for the runner-up finish. Indoors he finished as the national runner-up in both the 1600 and the 800. He was also the state cross country middle school champion this past fall, winning by roughly a minute in the 2-mile competition.

You may assume that such a high performing runner has been doing this since a young age and slowly developed into this level of success. But the reality is that Caleb is just a baby in the sport. He barely new he had some talent when he signed up for last year’s middle school state meet since it was his first year running track. When he set the 7th grade records it was a surprise to everyone in attendance. Everyone except Caleb. If you know him you know that he has an incredibly confident personality and believes he will be the very best at anything he does. He compliments that competitiveness with a lighthearted approach to life that makes everyone around him smile and have a good time.

He first connected with XLR8 right after his state championship cross country season this past fall. It was really on a whim to check it out and see what the testing was all about. We immediately hit it off and it was evident from the first few lactate samples that we were dealing with a special talent. He shattered his mile personal best on the treadmill to close out his test session and that started the discussions fast and furious of what might be possible. Despite a busy basketball schedule in the winter, Caleb put in some light training and competed in several indoor meets before his breakthrough performances at the middle school indoor nationals in Virginia Beach. The testing numbers really opened his eyes to what was possible. He had originally only hoped to run around 4:40 for the 1600 at the very best. The testing indicated far superior potential and he is now shooting for sub-4:25 at the Festival of Miles in St Louis in a few weeks.

It has been very exciting getting to know this young man and his family. They are wonderful people who help to make it extra special being a part of his journey over this last year. Expectations will be high for him as he pursues his dreams into high school and beyond. But one thing is for certain, he will be bringing a big smile and just the right amount of swagger to let you know he means business on the track. And I can hardly wait to see what he does next!