Caleb Brown Is Quietly Climbing The National Ranks

Shelby senior Caleb Brown does not need your attention, but he sure deserves it. 

"I'm fine with not being talked about," he told MileSplit Ohio when approached for comment. "That doesn't bother me."

After stellar indoor and outdoor seasons during his junior year, including three individual state championships, a 14:53.59 5K at New Balance Nationals Indoor, and a victory at New Balance Outdoor Nationals in the Championship 2 Mile, Brown has broken out in a big way. He swiftly took his spot atop Ohio's individual rankings and has yet to relinquish it. His 14:56.30 from the Tiffin CC Carnival on September 7th still stands as the top mark in Ohio over six weeks later.

"That was a big mark for me as it boosted my confidence," Brown said about the race. "I ran that sub 15 off of base training only so I had no speed in my legs."

Brown has been racing by himself all season and producing the kind of consistency about which most athletes and coaches only dream. That sub-15:00 at Tiffin was 29 seconds ahead of the next closest finisher. In his four races this year, he has an average margin of victory of 48 seconds to go along with an average time of 15:07.

"My consistency is kind of just natural I guess. I don't worry about times to be fair. I worry about racing the competition and doing the same thing I've been doing to help my team."

Well, Brown hasn't had much competition to race so far. Even in his most recent race at the Mid-Ohio Conference Championship on Saturday, his first race in over a month, he finished 54 seconds ahead of the runner-up. A tune-up race as we head into district weekend no doubt, Brown will look to keep the good times rolling into the postseason. 

Brown started running in 8th grade. Both his sister and father, runners themselves, convinced him to give it a shot and, after winning his league meet's mile in 5:08, Brown found himself hooked. He quickly found success as he moved into high school, but was still buried in the ranks behind 42 other freshmen.

Now a senior, Brown can only look down to see any of his competitors. 

With only four races under his belt so far this season, it would appear that Brown is ramping up for a big November. 

Most years, a sub-14:40 performance would seem outrageous. But with 12 boys under the mark halfway through October, that seems hardly implausible this season. With at least four more opportunities to hit the mark, one of which being the always fast and competitive Nike Cross Nationals Midwest Regional meet at Terre Haute, and the kind of consistency that begets stellar performances, he's poised to accomplish his time goal. As for his goal of getting to Nike Cross Nationals? He'll have challenges from Michigan's Jack Spamer and Carter Solomon, as well as Indiana's Luke Combs and Pickerington North's Matt Duvall, among others. 

But seeing as he hasn't had much of a push so far this season, Brown could surprise us all with the right competitors around him. 

"My goals are to stay healthy and focused on racing when it counts," Brown said. "My inspiration is my grandfather. Losing him 6 years back I've always wanted to make an impact doing something in life to make him proud." 

Surely earning a state title, a berth to Nike Cross Nationals, and All-American honors would make any grandfather proud. Brown appears to be on a crash course to accomplish all three of those tasks.  

Caleb Brown doesn't need your attention. He's perfectly content quietly dominating the Ohio distance running scene. But while he may not need your attention, he surely deserves it.