CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- In last year's 5K run portion of the Charleston Distance Run, then-9-year-old Noah Castro made waves by finishing second.
A year older, stronger, and faster, Castro brought those waves crashing to shore.
The 10-year-old surged ahead of the pack and finished the race in 17:53.8, clearing second-place Marcus Taylor of Charleston by just under six seconds on a muggy Saturday morning in Charleston.
Runners started at the State Capitol and finished on the track at University of Charleston Stadium.
"I didn't think I'd place that high last year, and coming in and winning it this year means a lot," Castro said.
Castro is coming off of an impressive second-place showing in the 11-12 age group in July at the USATF National Junior Olympics in Greensboro, N.C.
His father, James, said Saturday's race signaled the end of the running season for Noah but both were happy to have ended it on such a positive note.
"He's trained hard, he's played a lot of basketball this summer and ran and I think the combination of those two sports have really made him peak at this time," James Castro said. "We were tapering for this race. We used this race like it was a national race and I'm glad he ends the season with a prestigious race like this."
James and Noah couldn't hang out long to celebrate the youngster's win as the two had to hightail to Ona to watch Noah's older sister Barkley and older brother James Jr. compete in the Geico Invitational cross country meet.
Barkley Castro won the 800-meter run at the state track meet in the spring while running for Winfield. The older siblings have left quite an impression on Noah.