Most don't think about who the fastest middle schooler in the world is, but when they do, do they think he lives in Owensboro, Kentucky? Probably not.
From afar, King Combest looks like your everyday middle schooler, but once he steps foot on the track, the king comes out.
“I belong here, because I’m made of running, and I’m made of everything," said King Combest, seventh grader at Burns Middle School. "God gave me a gift. I’m going to use it, and I’m not going to sit here and goof around.”
The fastest middle schooler in the nation runs track for Apollo High School, despite being almost 5 years younger than some of his opponents, and King's love for the sport and speed on the track is something that comes naturally.
His grandfather, Keith, won three state titles while running for Henderson County, and that drive and passion for the sport has passed down to multiple generations.
“Track has really been a big part of our family," said Casey Combest, King's father. "He (Keith) helped me win two national championships and five state championships. I won the 100 meter twice for the state of Kentucky and the 200 meter. I won two national championships at Columbus, Ohio and Boston, Massachusetts.”
King's grandfather and his father still hold records at Henderson County and Owensboro High School, respectively, and the legacy of his elders drive King to be the best on the track.
“I want to break my dads record, 6.57," said King. "I think about that every time. I want to beat it. When I get older, I’m going to beat it. I’m going to have it for 20 years or 30 years, or even 40 years.”
Outside of the track, King finds his peace and more motivation at Fernwood Cemetery.
“I came out here, and when I was six years old, me, my dad, and my mom, came out here and stood on it, and I was doing a pose, and right then I knew, and I seen Sam king, and that’s when I started on track," said King.
Sam King Combest, is buried just a few miles away from where King trains in Henderson.
King named after his great great grandfather who the family says started the tradition of speed.
This year, King ran the second fastest 60meter dash ever recorded for a middle schooler, and is the fastest middle schooler ever to be recorded in the state of Kentucky.
But beyond the records, one thing holds strongest for the Combest clan.
“When I’m in a track meet, I think about my dad. I think about my papaw, my dad, Sam king, and family," said King.
And his grandfather echoes the same message.
“Yeah, this is all about family," said Keith Combest. "Sports is a great thing, but family is more important than anything.”
King’s goal this year is to be the first 7th grader to ever qualify for the high school state championships, and eventually, he wants to use his speed on the football field at Alabama.