Prep of the Year: Fred Huxham cruises into national spotlight

Riley Overend

Despite an impressive sophomore season filled with personal records and even a top 10 finish at the esteemed Stanford Invitational, Fred Huxham wasn’t satisfied with his performance.

“I didn’t get that much better and I didn’t qualify for State, which bothered me,” Huxham said. “I wanted to qualify for State.”

Senior Fred Huxham crosses the finish line in first place in the 3200 meter run at Meet of Champions last Saturday.
Senior Fred Huxham crosses the finish line in first place in the 3200 meter run at Meet of Champions last Saturday.

Two years ago, the lure of a State Track and Field Championship appearance motivated Huxham to transform as a runner. Beginning in the offseason, he ran six to seven days a week as part of a regimented workout schedule that also included keeping a journal of his nearly daily runs and his goals for the future.

“When I came into Redwood, the bar wasn’t necessarily as high as it is now,” Huxham said. “But as the seniors graduated and I had to set my own bar…I saw what it really meant to be good at running. I wanted to meet that standard.”

Now, two years removed from his solid sophomore year, the Washington-bound MCAL Track Athlete of the Year still sports the same lengthy stature and equable demeanor. But on paper, his times are barely recognizable.

Whereas the long distance specialist previously was finishing towards the top of MCALs, Huxham’s increased work level has propelled him to one of the best 3200 meter runners in the nation.

Huxham’s biggest success on the track came in April, when he competed in the Arcadia Invitational, a prestigious that annually attracts the best 3200 meter runners on the West Coast. His time of 8:55.03, a personal record, ranked him fourth in California and 10th in the nation (Huxham’s ranking has since been updated to 14th, as of press time).

Two weeks ago, building off his incredible finish at Arcadia, Huxham took first place in MCALs for the 1600 meter and 3200 meter races, along the way earning a 4:09 mile time to break the 35-year old school mile record held by Redwood track legend Rod Berry.

Last Saturday, Huxham once again captured first place in the NCS Meet of Champions in the 3200 meter, breaking the nine minute mark and qualifying for tomorrow’s State Championships.

In order to finish off his already historic season, Huxham will have to challenge one of the nation’s best runners in Blake Haney. An Oregon commit, Haney’s resume includes sweeping the 800 meter, 1600 meter, and 3200 meter races at the Central Section championships and winning the Arcadia Invitational, finishing nearly nine seconds ahead of Huxham.

Despite the higher stakes, pressure, and levels of competition, Huxham remains poised under the national spotlight.

“You’re always just moving up,” he said. “It just feels like the same racing I’ve always done, even if it is a bit more intense.”