Local boy, 9, among finalists for SI award

HOUSTON They are on pins and needles at First Baptist Academy. The winner of the Sports Illustrated 2010 Sports Kid of the Year award could be announced at any moment. Among the nominees is nine-year-old Lucas Bourgoyne, the youngest of the three finalists. He's a world-record-setting runner.

A fourth grader at First Baptist Academy, Bourgoyne is not only a gifted honor roll student he is also an exceptional athlete.

"It's all from the heart," First Baptist Academy Athletic Director Cyndi Strech said. "He has a competitive spirit and a great work ethic, and he wants to be the best."

He may very well be the best. At his young age, Bourgoyne has achieved a truly extraordinary goal. As an avid runner, he started running cross country and track last fall, a passion he picked up while playing soccer.

"It's just relaxing to me," Bourgoyne said. "It's fun, and my dad used to do it so I want to see if I can beat him."

Since he began competing, he's won more than 30 gold medals, set four national records and two world records.

"My arms were fully lengthened, my mouth was screaming, and my arms were over my head and I'm like, 'Aahhhh," he said.

What's more, he regularly competes against boys who are twice his size and sometimes six years older than him.

"You see him do things and you see times he can run on intervals, and it's just like you know almost slightly above average high school kid, but yet he's only nine years old," said Dave Jantzen with the AAU Running Club.

Bourgoyne's father hopes his son's talent and determination will help him win Sports Illustrated's 'Sports Kid of the Year' Award.

"If the pressure is really on, that's when you'll see something amazing because he's just got the ability to dig deep down. I don't know where it comes from," said his father, Ren Bourgyone.

The nine-year-old says it comes from having faith in God.

Bourgoyne is up against a 13-year-old football player from New York and a 12-year-old tennis and hockey player from Minnesota in the Sports Illustrated competition.

If he wins, Bourgoyne will be flying up to New York to appear on an early morning talk show, meet the adult winner of the magazine's Sportsman of the Year award and go to California to appear on a Cartoon Network show.

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