Mick Norton recently signed on to continue his education and career at Drake University in Iowa. Photo by Alan Versaw.
Mick Norton's best marks:
1600 meters: 4:38.69
3200 meters: 10:03.89
5K cross country: 16:07.0
Tell us about the decision to go to Drake. Did you have any special pull toward Iowa, was it the school itself, the program, or...?
I knew I wanted to go out of state to a competitive school. Drake University has a really great Division 1 track and cross country program. My main goal is to see how far I can go in the sport. With that in mind, Drake offers me to really live the life of an athlete. Other than that, it is about 30 minutes from my sister Erin who goes to Iowa State so we can hang out on the weekends. I also had two of my teachers go to Drake and I heard great things from them about the school.
What do you plan to study at Drake?
I want to study International Business and minor in Spanish. My dream job is working for the International Olympic Committee or starting my own sporting company.
You've seen success in both track and cross country and both should be part of your college experience, but which one ranks as your favorite between the two, and why?
It's really hard to decide because they are pretty much the same thing. But I like track a lot better. As much fun as 10 mile runs are, there is nothing like the feeling I get when I swing around the final curve during 400 repeats. Track workouts are the best in my opinion because I feel so strong and speedy doing them. Also, in track there are a ton more events for everyone to do. People can explore different areas of track, watch others run their events, and then warm up for their own event. I think that is so fun.
You and your sister both enjoyed nice high school careers. Is there more to the Norton running clan that we might not know about?
Erin and I starting running around the same time. I was in 8th grade and she had just joined the cross country team at Grandview. Before then, we never really were the running type. The first run that I went on with her I had to stop after about half a mile. We both went through all the things that new runners go through together. Now, we go on runs and workout together all the time. When we have to catch up or whenever we have to talk, we go on a run to do it. Now that she is in college, I call her before every race for advice. We always talk race strategy together. She does the same with me.
Pick a favorite moment for us from your high school career.
Every year my cross country team takes a trip during the season and then another one for Nike Regionals. This year we went to the Woodbridge Invitational in California. The meet was the best run meet that I ever went to and I met a lot of really cool people there like Destiny Collins and the Milesplit guy who does all the videos (I don't know his name). My team and I went to Disneyland and the beach that weekend too. It was the best weekend of my life.
Do you have any plans for post-season competition, trying the steeplechase or anything like that?
Actually, I really want to try to do the hammer throw and race walking. A couple years ago I promised myself that I would compete in every track event (or as many different ones as I could) before college and those two events are the ones I have left. I just think it is cool to experience track in its entirety while not sticking to a few events. Other than that, I want to try to squeeze in some last high school PR's in the long/triple jump and middle distance events. Possibly a steeplechase here or there.