In 2008 I left the comforts of home to go to Weber State University.  How did I make the choice to go there?  I liked the campus and the the distance running program, and there weren’t really any other Utah schools that were showing a lot of interest in me as far as running goes.  Although I was an accomplished runner in Wyoming, I did not really stand out very much compared to athletes in other states.  I went to Weber without a scholarship.

It was a big change: moving from a quiet country town to a faster-paced college town.  Suddenly I had to worry about traffic lights and multiple-lane highways when driving! People always seemed to be on the go and had something to do.  On the plus side, food and entertainment were all now within a short drive.  Also, there were running trails right off of campus that went up into the mountains.  Bonus!

bkgd_photo

Weber State

I was introduced to a new event in college that would greatly affect my collegiate running career: The steeplechase.  7 laps around the track jumping over barriers and jumping into a water pit.  It hardly sounds like a race for human beings, more for a horse, but that is where I found the most success.

I got a lot faster my Freshman year. My biggest accomplishments were that I made the traveling team; which included the top seven runners on the team, I was All-Conference in the DMR in Indoor track, I qualified for the First Round of Nationals in the steeplechase, and I went to Junior Nationals in the steeplechase.  I made enough of an impact so that the coaches offered me a scholarship for the next season.

But I would have to postpone my sophomore year of college.  Later that year I left for Peru to serve a 2 year mission for my church; the LDS church.  I could write pages and pages about my experience in Peru, but I’ll just sum it up that it was challenging, rewarding, and a big period of growth.  I got to meet amazing people, see some of the most spectacular places, have crazy experiences and learn some hard life lessons.  I am very thankful for my opportunity to serve during those 2 years, and owe a lot of who I am today to my time in Peru.

10443601_10203920827451137_3676569607697365020_n

Peru

I got back in late 2011 and jumped on the train back at Weber State.  Time to see what I could do on the track!  The team had changed a lot and suddenly I was a veteran.  Luckily I hadn’t lost my edge for running while I was on the other side of the equator and it came back pretty quick.  I was second place in the steeple at the Big Sky Conference Championships; the champion was fellow team mate Mike Hardy, who had come on the team with me as Freshmen, and who had also served a church mission.

From there, I kept on having success on the track.  Training was going well, and it was a lot of fun being on the team.  I owe most of my social life in college to my team.  We did a lot together and had fun times.  I also roomed with other runners, which made it a lot more fun because I could relate to them and get involved a lot easier.

My college coach was Paul Pilkington, who had built up quite a name for himself in running.  He was an extraordinary runner with a 2:11 PR in the marathon and many other accomplishments.  As a coach he was disciplined and had a set method of working out for his runners.  His coaching style matched up with me very well and I got significantly faster while in college.

528535_10200800737330834_141224869_n

Steeplechase

My next year of college was probably my most successful.  I was Conference Champion in the steeplechase and went into NCAA first round nationals ranked as the 10th fastest runner in the nation.  It was about that time that I was realizing I was becoming a runner on the larger scale.  That same year I was MVP for Weber State in cross country, and then MVP for indoor track.  That year was where most of my lifetime personal records come from.

I finished up my senior year well.  There was a strong pack of senior runners on the team and we wanted to end on a high note.  It was a fun season and we continued to have success.  My final track season didn’t go as I wanted; I couldn’t quite reach the level that I wanted in the steeplechase.  It seemed as if my body was burnt out and had had enough; it happens.

College came to an end, and looking back, I am very thankful for my time at Weber State.  I wouldn’t trade the memories for anything else, and being part of the team was so rewarding and gave me such a feeling of accomplishment. I went through a lot of hard workouts, and good and bad races with the guys on the team, and you can’t help but build a sort of a comradery.

552427_4787361087058_1871301853_n[1]

The Team

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s