Coby Horowitz ’14—10-time All-American, six-time Athlete of the Week, and holder of seven Bowdoin College records—continued his dominance at Farley Field House last weekend with wins in the 1000-meter and the mile run.
Next week, Horowitz expects to face his toughest challenge of the season at the Dave Hemery Invitational at Boston University, where runners from all three divisions will compete. Horowitz ran his personal best in the mile at the event last year and is hoping to beat his own mark. He has already qualified for nationals, and is also preparing to run the 3000 with fellow senior Sam Seekins. He hopes one of them will break the only record not owned by the Class of 2014. All his other remaining races this season will feature only D-III runners.
Horowitz’s records have come in races as short as the 1000 and as long as the 5000.
“He’d be an All-American if he ran only middle distance races, or if he loved the longer races like the 10K,” said Head Coach Peter Slovenski. “He would be an all-star racer in that entire range.”
Horowitz is currently the defending champion in the state meet mile and the 1000m.
“That’s a very tough double,” Slovenski said. “He’s got to run at a national-qualifying level twice on 50 minutes of recovery.”
Horowitz said he credits his high school coaches for playing a large role in his ascent to All-American status, claiming that they took him as “a scrawny kid who couldn’t play soccer and made him into a decent runner.”
Known to be nonchalant about his considerable success, Horowitz claimed that runners are only separated by their off-time preparation; he explains that he spends much of it sleeping, a skill at which he believes he excels. He feels that races are as much as 90 percent mental.
Seekins drew attention to Horowitz’s sprinting speed at the end of races.
He relies on a strong sprint, tending to stay behind for as much as three-quarters of the race and then push into pole position with only a short distance until the finish line.
“In terms of raw sprinting speed, he’s faster than most distance runners,” Seekins said. “When it comes to a slightly longer sprint, the 200 or 400, he’s one of the best.”
Horowitz said that he takes solace in knowing he will not be asked to do anything he has not already done. He jokingly referred to an anecdote from his high school running career:
“My coach was all about building character,” he said. “One day he had us running in the freezing hail—which in hindsight was a terrible idea—but if you can run in that you can probably run in anything.”
Horowitz added that he values scouting his opponents before races.
“I probably spend more time on the track data website than on Facebook, which is saying something,” he joked.
“He already knows each person he’s going to race against,” Jacob Ellis ’16 said, calling this research “result stalking.”
Ellis runs with Horowitz in the 4x800 relay and will run in the upcoming distance medley, which involves legs of 1200, 400, 800 and 1600 meters. Horowitz anchors the team in the 1600-meter portion. Ellis will run the 800-meter leg.
“So I hand it off to him, which is reassuring because it means I only have to be reasonably close to the guy ahead of me,” said Ellis.
Ellis estimated that the team will need a time of ten minutes to qualify as a medley team for nationals, and believes that Horowitz will lead them to meet that mark.
“There’s a distance between a good miler and a great miler,” he said. “If it’s about a ten minute race and the mile is at least four of it—well, you can imagine how important he is.”
The sports editor of the Orient chooses the Athlete of the Week based on exemplary performance.