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Fort Collins Track Star Slows Down To Help Kids Speed Up

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Raymond Bozmans (credit: CBS)

Raymond Bozmans (credit: CBS)

FORT COLLINS, Colo. (CBS4) - Raymond Bozmans is a young man in a hurry. The kid from Fort Collins can fly on the track, but he’s also smart enough to slow down and let younger kids catch up.

The race is over before it starts. Like a blur the boy in blue explodes and the results are stunning — 10.27 — the fastest 100 meters in Colorado high school history. The third fastest in the country, and it’s not even Bozmans’ favorite event.

“The 100, it’s just too quick. One little mishap, especially when you’re going 10.2, 10.1s and stuff like that, it’s just like ‘boom,’ and if you don’t quite hit it, then you don’t quite hit it,” Bozmans said.

Bozemans rewrote the Colorado record books. He’s a 4A state champion in the 100, 200 and 400. His dream is to someday run in the Olympics. He can see himself when he watches the Olympics.

“Of course I’m interested … I want to see what Bolt does … should be fun,” Bozmans said.

Running has always been fun for Bozmans. He started running as a 9-year-old — a 9-year-old competing against 12-year-olds.

“When I was running this I was running up several grades, like several age groups, I guess,” Bozmans said. “I haven’t really seen (anybody) do too much of that, but I bet there’s somebody close out here.”

The fastest kid from Fort Collins is spending his summer coaching Fort Collins kids in the same track meets he used to run, working with the same coach who coached him.

“To have somebody I coached as a little kid, to have coached him in high school, Fort Collins High School, watched the success that he’s had, breaking records, winning state titles; there’s nothing that means more to me than seeing him come back and coach because it means that he’s taken a lot of what his coaches have taught him and he wants to teach that to other kids,” Laurie Fox-Rice said. “It shows the love of the sport and the love of kids in general.”

“I remember Laurie’s kid, she got like a pink ribbon, I think it’s like sixth place, but she was so happy that it was pink,” Bozmans said. “She really didn’t care, she was like, ‘Look, it’s pink, it’s pink.’ So she was just happy to get a ribbon. That’s how I was. I still have all my CARA ribbons, actually.”

CARA stands for Colorado Association Of Recreational Athletics. Each summer they hold track meets for kids of all ages, and the kids know all about Coach Bozemans.

“Oh they know. We made sure that they knew and it’s neat for us because not only do our kids know that he is the state record holder in the 100, but when we go to meets other kids from other teams come up to him, they recognize him and they want to talk to him and touch him and shake his hand,” Fox-Rice said.

“They like to try to race me. Sometimes we’ll run with them on relay days when there’s not enough kids and they’ll get mad because I’m not really running that hard and to them it’s like all out,” Bozmans said.

They say you can’t teach speed, but Fox-Rice remembers teaching 9-year-old Bozmans one thing about running.

“To bring his running shoes. One meet he forgot to bring his running shoes and I’m pretty sure he ran barefoot,” Fox-Rice said.

He did run barefoot — and won.

Bozmans’ 10.27 in the 100 would have won him a gold medal in the Olympics in 1935.

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