Eric Hamer's senior season off cross country raised a few eyebrows--evidently including some at CSU. Photo by Alan Versaw.
Eric Hamer's best marks:
800 meters - 1:57.17
1600 meters - 4:22.37
3200 meters - 8:58.97
5K cross country - 14:55.8
There's no doubt you had plenty of options, what sealed the deal for CSU?
I did want to look around the country and see what was out there, to compare all my options. I was very open to going out of state, but I feel like the more I looked out of state the more I came back. CSU is a beautiful place. I feel that as an athlete, and especially as a runner, to train well in one's sport you have to like where your training. Also the fact that CSU is at a great deal of altitude is a huge plus for me, I love altitude training. Ft Collins is a great town, lots to see and do, along with the great campus life. But above all what set CSU apart was the coaches, team, and staff.
I really believe in what Coach Siemers is doing with the distance program. He has a great and ambitious vision for the future, and I would like to, and can see myself fitting in and thriving with that vision.
What do you plan to study at CSU?
Economics, and probably some type of business. While I don't really see myself as a huge desk job person I do like to work with people, lead, and solve problems. I hope that one day I might be able to travel and work with people through business around the world.
Do you have a particular event you hope to focus on at CSU or is that all just wide open?
Straight up, both the CSU coaches and I know that longer distance is my thing. XC I really hope will be a stand out for me. As for the track, I am very wide open. As grueling of a race that it is, I think I could develop into a good 10,000 meter runner. I don't see myself as a steeplechaser, but if the coaches see something in it for me that I don't, I'm all for giving it a go. You never know, there are a lot more distant events in college track compered to high school track. I might find an event that I was not expecting at all.
Your senior years has been filled with enough highlights for a lifetime. What's a life lesson that stands out for you among those highlights?
You need people to be there for you. Whether it's teammates, your own coaches, a USA coach, your girlfriend, family, or even just the team doctor never undervalue any of them. You may be the one traveling, and racing, and feeling the pain everyday, but through it all you must never forget about the people who got you there and continue to support you and sacrifice for you. I hold a special place in my heart for all of the people that ever helped me get to where I am today with running. From my first race ever to the Cross Country World Championships there were people looking out for me all the way. As I go off to college there are many more trials to face. I will never forget the lesson, and I will carry it with me always that you need good supportive people around you to help you achieve your best potential as a person and athlete both on and off the track.
I'm asking you to guess now, what do you think you'll miss most about high school track and cross country?
I know I will miss my team and coaches. This last year I feel that we've grown very close together. As for competing in high school track and cross country I know there will be things I will miss. I'm guessing, but I think once I start racing in college I'll be able to look back to my high school racing and see how much smaller and low key it all was compered to how crazy the racing in college will be. I think I will miss traveling around Colorado to simply compete as a high school athlete. But all the same I'm exited to be going off to college racing, and just like in high school I will have to start at the bottom and work my way to the top.
Do you have any goals left on the table for what's left of your high school career that you're willing to talk about?
Well, let me start by saying that I'm finally done traveling! I'm all in it now for Colorado and Palmer Ridge Track. A big goal for me is to just be as competitive as I can be. I would like to get my mile down to as fast as possible. I know I will have the chance to run much faster miles in college, but while I'm still in high school there's just something about wanting to have that fast mile. By Colorado standards, that is. Having the very competitive team that we have going into state, I just need to score as many points for the team that I can.