Zack Retzlaff: Keeping it Local

CSU-Pueblo tries their hand with some homegrown talent in Zack Retzlaff. Photo by Alan Versaw.


Zack Retzlaff's best marks:

800 meters - 1:55.87

1600 meters - 4:25.61

3200 meters - 9:56.43

5K cross country - 16:05.7


I'm sure you had opportunities to go lots of different places for college. What factors contributed to staying close to home at CSU-Pueblo?

I was looking at a few other places and actually didn't consider going to CSU-Pueblo until about two months ago. When I took my visit, the team was such a close-knit group of guys and so much fun to be around (it also helps that they're fast). Coach Morris has done a great job in building the program over the past two years and I wanted to be apart of a National Championship contending team. He also cares a lot about the individual, which meant a lot to me when making my decision.

What do you plan to study at CSU-Pueblo?

I'm planning on majoring in engineering with a minor in math.

I'm guessing you'll run both track and cross country in college. Do you have an event you're hoping to specialize in at college?

That's right, I will be doing both. I hope to specialize in the 800m in college but I don't want to be limited to that; CSU-P has a stellar group of middle distance guys, and I think I can fit right into that mix.

If you had to choose between the two, would it be track or cross country?

I love the sport of cross and the team aspect but I would have to choose track. The team aspect is pretty much the same during track and it's not just the distance kids. But overall I just like to run fast and it's a lot more fun when the races are shorter, haha.

At what point in your high school career did you start to think seriously about running in college?

I actually wanted to be a collegiate basketball player up until my freshman year. After I barely qualified 18th for state freshman year in the mile was when I decided to stop playing basketball altogether and realized that I had a chance to run in college.

Pick a favorite moment for us from your high school career to date.

My favorite moment would have to be when we ran the 4x400m at league the week before state last year. Everyone that was on the team had three events prior in the meet so we were all pretty tired, but excited at the same time. We got together and thought that we could win it and that's what we went for. The guys handed it off to me in first and I kept it. We ended up qualifying for state and setting a new school record, I don't think I've ever experienced the team aspect of track like that before.