Renfree: Qualifying for Foot Locker is a "Dream Come True"

Jake Renfree burst onto the scene in Tennessee a year ago.

He started the 2016 season with a 17:45 at A.F. Bridges. Then fast forward to the 2016 state meet and he was a minute and a half faster on the same course.

Jump ahead to last weekend, and Renfree was able to fulfill a dream of qualifying for Foot Locker Nationals.

Foot Locker is a brand new experience for Renfree. But his competition with two other elite in-state runners helped him qualify in eighth. 

"I've never run here before," Renfree said after the race. "This is the first time I've trained through and run Foot Locker. I'm just happy to be here. I've been running against Titus (Winders) the past four weeks. I've been running against Carter (Coughlin) all year."

Since his meteoric rise up the state rankings last season, Renfree has aimed for this moment. He attained this dream while watching a national meet.

And now he'll be running in one.

"I was watching one of the national races and one of the announcers said 'Always keep your eye on where you want to finish.' That was my goal. I just always wanted to see fifth to tenth place, in that range. It's just a dream come true. This is the most tired I've been after a race. This is awesome," he said.

In the race itself, Renfree had a lot of work to do in the final mile. He said afterwards that he trusts his kick. And it paid off for him

Renfree was able to pass five runners in the final stretch, securing a place in San Diego for Foot Locker Nationals.

"My coach just want to stay up in the front pack and that's exactly what I did," Renfree said. "There were 25 guys that kind of split up and I had to pass a couple guys to stay in that pack. And then going up the hill I caught a couple people. And I just knew I had to stay in that front pack before I got too far off."

He said that he feels his kick is a big strength.

"I knew 200 meters in that I could catch people," he said. "I knew I was going to have to get a little bit more if I could catch those last three guys.

"It worked out really well."

Renfree joins Titus Winders and Carter Coughlin at the Foot Locker National Championship. We'll be profiling each of those athletes leading up to their race on December 9th.