By: Christian Deiss

(Winfield, WV) – One of the best young runners in the region is saying goodbye to the area he lived and competed in, his first 14-years.  Noah Castro, a graduating eighth grader from Winfield Middle School, along with his family is moving to Texas later this month after a stellar middle school cross country and track career.

I first met Noah after a community three-mile race in Barboursville and we have been friends and run against each other ever since, most recently in the Mid Valley Athletic Conference running events for middle schoolers.  Noah always seems to have a smile on his face, whether during training or during a race and he told me while we were watching the high school state track championships in Charleston last month that it’s been a blast representing the Winfield Generals, “Lots of fun, I have been training with them since the second grade and competing for them the last three years.  It’s sad to have to leave my running friends.”  Noah’s family is moving to South Lake, Texas, due to his mother Marie’s job transfer to the Lone Star state.

Very seldom did I ever see Noah not cross the finish first in a race.  Most of the time, his track team could rely on him for up to 30 points a meet, usually winning 800, 1600 and 3200 meter races, “I am leaving my best friends and that really hasn’t sunk in yet, but I know it will.  These are the same friends I hang out with every day in school, but it’s exciting that I am going to be making new friends and new running partners.” Noah will take with him personal records of 2:11 in the 800, 4:44 in the 1600 and 10:29 in the 3200.

To accomplish those excellent times, I know Noah had to work extremely hard.  One person who has seen most of his workouts has been his father James, “Noah has always been self-driven and understands there’s always someone out there that’s working just as hard if not more.  He also knows nothing in this world is handed to him and everything has to be earned.”  Noah’s moto is, if you aren’t willing to work for it, don’t complain about not having it.

I have always watched Noah be a good sport to his fellow competitors, which I have always admired that in him.  This trait is also recognized by his father, “Noah understands sportsmanship outweighs anything you can accomplish on a track and excellence is ultimately about effort, commitment and always being respectful, not only to your teammates but to you competitors.”

Noah’s older sister Barkley will be a senior at Marshall University this fall and as a member of the university’s track team this past season broke the school record for the 800 indoors and also holds or is part of the school records in the 1000 indoors, 4 x 800 relay indoors and outdoors and distance medley relay, indoors and outdoors.  His brother Braxton just finished up his senior year at Winfield by helping his team capture the AA Boys State Championship as a member of the 4 x 400 and 4 x 800 relay teams.

One local track and cross-country coach whose teams have competed against Noah, Jimmy Cunningham of Putnam county rival, Hurricane Middle School, has enjoyed watching the young runner improve, “Let’s put it this way, the first time we ran against each other I beat him and I haven’t beat him since and that was a bunch of years ago.  He has done the correct training all the way from elementary school through middle school and I can’t wait to see what he accomplishes in high school in Texas.”

I wish Noah the best of luck in his journey, as he continues his running career in Texas.  I will be sad not seeing him and competing against him locally. 

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