When Christian Hauge ran the 100-meter dash in 10.77 seconds in the Lynbrook Invitational on March 25—shattering his previous personal-record (PR) and going sub 11 seconds for the first time ever—the Live Oak High junior was floored.
The 5-foot-9, 160-pound Hauge had always known he was fast—he just didn’t know how fast. Now Hauge’s immense potential is being unleashed and he shows no signs of slowing down. His time ranks No. 2 in the Central Coast Section this season, and Hauge said running a 10.5 is possible by season’s end.
If he posts anything close to that in the CCS Semifinals and Finals, he’ll be standing atop the podium as the champion and have the crown as one of the fastest boys in the Bay Area. Hauge admitted consistently going sub 11—he also ran a 10.80 and 10.90 at the Stanford Invitational on April 1—was something he never expected before the season started.
“Honestly, for my goals this year, I didn’t think I could get down to 10.7,” he said. “But since I did it already, it’s motivated and made me want it even more.”
Hauge credits his ascent into the section’s elite to his private coach William Gittens, who is the sprints coach at Valley Christian.
“I’m naturally fast but going from 11 flat to 10.7, that is all Gittens magic,” Hauge said. “I credit him a lot for the speed he’s helped me reach.”
Every event in track and field is distinct and requires a different blend of technical skills for optimum success. Hauge said up until he started training with Gittens, he didn’t know the ins and outs of sprinting and was just relying on his raw ability.
Now, with Gittens honing his technique, Hauge launches down the straightaway—literally. Hauge started training with Gittens in February, only after Hauge’s mom, Joy, crossed paths with Gittens as both were taking a walk on a popular Morgan Hill walking trail in January.
Joy recognized Gittens, they started talking and a meeting was set up with Christian to discuss a possible training plan going forward. Also a standout cornerback/running back on the football team, Hauge has surprised even himself with what he’s done on the oval this season.
“I’ve always been known for being the fastest kid at school type of thing, but I didn’t know I had this kind of track speed,” he said. “Last year it was all raw talent, but this year with all the training I’ve done, I don’t even know my limits.”
Hauge expects to lower his time in the 200—his current season-best of 22.54 is just off his PR of 22.38 he set last year—and potentially be a podium finisher for that event in the CCS Finals as well. Hauge has a rather unique back story.
Born into an orphanage in the southern African country of Zambia, Hauge was adopted when he was a year old and has lived in Morgan Hill since. He credits Joy and the rest of the family for providing a positive and loving environment in which to thrive.
“I didn’t feel out of place growing up an adopted black kid into a white family,” he said. “There were definitely more positives than negatives, especially in an area where everyone is super nice.”
Hauge’s participation in the Stanford Invitational—which runs high school and college races concurrently—was a hint of a future that seems rife with sky-high possibilities. The event at Stanford always draws big crowds and Hauge was understandably nervous at the beginning having never competed in front of that many people.
“Stanford was the biggest meet I’ve been to and when I went there I actually didn’t know there were college teams running,” he said. “Overall, it was a super cool experience running at a big invitational meet like that.”