Competitive Drive: WSU Track standout perseveres a year after suffering serious burns

Local Sports

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The track is home for Josh Cable. The 800 meter runner from Springfield, Illinois was close to crossing the finish line of his high school career before heading to Wichita to run for the Shockers.

But on May 1, 2018, Cable’s life would change forever. 

“I mean, I wasn’t thinking much,” Cable said. “It kind of just feels like a dream to me, you know.“ 

Cable describes the night his house caught fire as surreal. He was trapped in the basement looking for a way out. 

“At that point, I remember laying on the ground for a couple seconds, and I remember being like, ‘Shoot, I didn’t make it.’ I was, you know, going to die here,” says the runner who a year earlier had claimed the Illinois Top Times 800 meter champion honor.

He thought he had succumbed to the fire. That is until Cable heard his dad’s voice and ran to escape. 

The cause of the fire was electrical. And, the next race for Cable would be one his hardest. He spent 22 days in the hospital, recovering from his burns and undergoing over 10 surgeries.

“I was burned on slightly less than 50 percent of my body, so the majority of my back, I think my whole back was burned,” Cable said.  “My legs and my hands got it pretty bad. And then my neck was pretty bad as well, and they actually had to do surgery on that too.”

Distance Coach Kirk Hunter says Cable is optimistic.

“He’s coming from a different place, and being able to enjoy it,” Hunter said. “He knows what he could’ve lost and some people don’t realize that.”

In fact, the mid-distance runner was able to cross another finish line in December when he ran in his first indoor race with the Shockers. 

“I started at such a low point this year, you know,” Cable said. “It’s hard to not want to be the comeback kid.” 

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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