Rodeo Jive: Beverly Hills' Running Phenom

Nine-year-old Louie Kunin is that kid who just blew by you on the track.

Louie Kunin is a fast 9-year-old. The soon-to-be El Rodeo School fourth-grader whips around the track at Beverly Hills High School with the determination of an Olympic athlete, which he just may be one day.

"I like running because I get to push myself to the limit," he said. "I like meeting new people at the track and at the races I run. It's a great sport."

Mom Nathalie Kunin, who is vice president of development for the , said her son took up an interest in running at a very young age. 

"Almost as soon as he walked, he was running," she said. "I wouldn't be surprised if he was doing laps in his sleep. Louie was born to run."

These days Louie has taken running to a new level by getting more competitive with his sport and working with a personal trainer at the BHHS track. He even took 12th place overall in a 5K race July 17 at the Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area in Baldwin Hills and is setting his sights on running a 10K soon.

Dad Doug Kunin believes his son has the drive to be a competitive runner on the world stage.

"Louie is like a little Steve Prefontaine," he said. "Louie has the discipline to be a serious runner. He's totally into it."

With his goal to run a mile in 6 minutes and 45 seconds by August, and get that down to 6 minutes and 25 seconds by December, Louie is constantly working toward improvement. 

"With running, I get to use my mental and physical skills," he said. "It's just you out there, but that means you have to be very focused."

Louie wants to run cross country and track when he gets to high school. He sometimes trains with his older brother, Ethan, a BHHS cross country runner and tennis player. But you'll never see Louie swinging a racket—he's a one-sport guy.

"I'm a runner," Louie said. "No doubt about it."

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WM GOLDSTEIN July 22, 2011 at 05:18 PM


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