* Photo Credit: Cole Sprout's Instagram
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Cole Sprout, Colorado's top distance runner and the No. 2 recruit in MileSplit's Class of 2020 rankings, announced his commitment to Stanford University on Monday, making it two straight seasons the Cardinal have received a pledge from one of the nation's top cross country recruits.
The Valor Christian (CO) senior, a 7-time state champion in Colorado, is the country's top returnee from Nike Cross Nationals in 2018 and owns personal records of 1:53.87 for 800 meters, 4:07.20 for 1,600 meters, 4:04.19 for the full mile, 8:40.73 for 3,200 meters and 8:46.41 for two miles -- which adds up to a US No. 1 for two miles, a US No. 2 for 3,200m and two junior class No. 1s in the 1,600m and 2-mile from the 2019 season.
Sprout's career blossomed as early as his sophomore season when he earned his first All-American finish at Nike Cross Nationals and posted two sub-15 efforts for 5K, but it went to another level the following spring when he posted a sophomore class record of 8:13.85 for 3,000 meters at the Oregon Relays, and then followed a time of 8:49.46 for two miles at Brooks PR.
Sprout's junior season built upon the foundation he set as a sophomore and he won six straight races, including his first NXR Southwest title, before finishing third at NXN. Over the outdoor track and field season, he became the first athlete to run under 9 minutes for 3,200 meters on Colorado soil.
As a senior, Sprout's been lights out: He ran the third-fastest 5K time in cross country history in September, posting a 14:16.00 at the Nike Desert Twilight Festival, then lowered his meet record at the CHSAA Class 5A Cross Country Championships on Saturday, going 15:12.70 on the Norris Penrose Event Center course.
Stanford scored one of the country's top cross country stars in the Class of 2019, signing last year's NXN winner Liam Anderson from Redwood (CA), and also added Bolles (FL) graduate Charles Hicks and Pt. Pleasant Boro's (NJ) Devin Hart.