Boys Cross Country: Brent Leber doesn’t even need shoes to dominate

“I lost my shoe about a mile through the race,” said Leber. “I was thinking, I lost my shoe but, I just have to keep running and stay as close to the leaders as I can.”

The Knights’ best runner, Middletown High School junior Brent Leber, is humble and easygoing, but when he starts running, it seems like he could go on forever – even without a shoe.

“I lost my shoe about a mile through the race,” said Leber. “I was thinking, ‘I lost my shoe, but I just have to keep running and stay as close to the leaders as I can.’”

Leber finished in third at the 2A West Regional Championship Meet with a time of 16:45.8, qualifying him for states on Nov. 9 at McDaniel College in Westminster, Md.

Although Leber did qualify, no one else on the Middletown team did, and the team as a whole did not either. The next closest runner on the Knights was junior Reese Whitesell in 48th place.

Leber started to drop back around the two-mile mark, falling as far back as sixth place.

“I knew was falling back a little bit, but those guys that were ahead of me are great runners,” said Leber. “I knew if I kept close to them, I would be in good shape toward the end.  I hoped I would have a little bit of a kick left in the end to pass some people.”

Leber’s strategy certainly worked. He moved up four spots with in the last mile, all of it coming without one of his shoes.

“Running without a shoe is a different experience,” said Leber. “You’re not exactly level.”

Leber had enough left in him to make that extra push at the end and propel himself into the State Championship.

“I actually thought about kicking the other shoe off,” said Leber. “I just though if I could finish the race with one shoe, it would be cool.”