Neuqua Valley’s Chris Derrick was without question one of the greatest high school runners in Illinois state history. In 2007 Derrick won the cross-country championship and nearly set the decades old the course record finishing in 13 minutes and 52 seconds, just two seconds behind Craig Virgin’s time of 13:50 set in 1972.
During the 2007 track season Derrick ran a 13:55 in the 5000 meters, the fastest time run by an American high school student in a high school-only race. Derrick received the inaugural Gatorade National Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year award.
Derrick carried that dominance into his college career receiving 14 All-American honors at Stanford. In 2009 he set the American Junior 5000 meters record clocking in at 13:29.98 breaking Galen Rupp’s previous record by almost eight seconds. He finished his college career in the 2011-2012 season by placing second in the cross country championship, as well as second in both the 3000 meters and 5000 meters during the track season.
Derrick also finished in 3 rd in the 10,000 meters setting an American Collegian record at the Payton Jordan invite in 27 minutes, 31.38 seconds. In June of 2012 Derrick finished 4th in the 10K Olympic trials missing out on the Olympics by one spot. In 2020, he has his sights set on the summer Olympics in Tokyo.
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