King Combest is once again on the fast track to success.
A sixth grader at Burns Middle School, Combest has the fastest 55-meters time in the nation for a 12-year-old this indoor season — having run a 7.38 at the Mason County Indoor Meet last Saturday in Maysville.
Among his biggest supporters are his father, Casey, an All-American at Owensboro High School who set the still-standing national high school record at 60 meters in 1999 (6.57) at Ohio State University in Columbus, and his grandfather, Keith, a state champion runner at Henderson County in the 1970s.
“I’m trying to be a champion like my father and grandfather,” said King, who ran a 12.98 for 100 meters last May at Goshen in the KTCCCA Elementary State Championships to set the state record for an 11-year-old. “I’m setting goals and taking it one day at a time.
“Today, I set my goal as being No. 1 in the country. Tomorrow, I’ll set another goal to be the best in the world.”
King also enjoyed success in recent meets at McLean County High School and Western High School in Louisville, where he ran a 7.48 for 55 meters and debuted a purple and gold starting block in tribute to the late LA Lakers legend, Kobe Bryant.
On the track, meanwhile, King is locked in.
“He has a much better understanding of what he’s there for this year — he’s much more confident,” Casey Combest said of his son. “His start is getting a whole lot better and he’s already improved .85 seconds over what he ran last year.
“He’s more mature now. He’s 5-foot-4 and 112 pounds. Last year, he wore a size 6 shoe and now he wears an 8½, so he’s definitely working from a stronger core, which is helped by the 500 sit-ups he does every night.”
And, King’s athletic talents are not limited to the track.
Last fall at BMS, he rushed for 1,300 yards and scored 17 touchdowns on offense, and he made 82 tackles on defense from his safety position — earning MVP honors for his 6th/7th grade football team.
He also had a successful season in 6th/7th grade basketball for BMS.
“I encourage him to play (multiple sports),” Casey Combest said. “It’s good for his mind and body, gives him something to do, and staying active all year keeps him in good shape.
“By the time track season rolls around, he looks at in a fresh way, like it’s new challenge, and he’s ready to run.”
King will wrap up his indoor season on March 7, either at the middle school state championships in Mayfield or at the AAU 14-and-under Nationals in Ypsilanti, Mich.
All the while, striving for more.
“In the future I want to go to college and set my goals higher,” King said, “until I reach my ultimate dream of running down the sidelines for the University of Alabama.”