Paul Roberts: Heeding the Call of the Thunderwolf

Paul Roberts recently became Colorado's first boys four-time state champion. Photo by Alan Versaw.

Paul Roberts' Best Marks

800 Meters - 1:58.98

1600 Meters - 4:20.93 (at altitude)

3200 Meters - 9:13.55 (at altitude)

5K Cross Country - 14:57.3


A lot of people were stunned when you went Division II. I'm sure it's a lengthy answer, but tell us about what led to you choosing CSU-Pueblo when you probably could have had pretty much your pick of DI schools.

Yes, it's definitely a story. I visited CSU-Pueblo last January, and I really liked the atmosphere of the team. This is only the second year of the boys' program, and they have already made a lot of improvement. I think it is a team with strong potential, and I'm excited to be a part of that. I enjoyed getting to know Coach Morris and found him to be very knowledgeable, personable and easy to talk to. The facilities are solid, the school is working hard to support and grow their athletic program, and the football team has already won a national title. On top of a group of solid guys, a great coach, and an enjoyable atmosphere, my sister Miriam is there. We're very close, and her positive experience has been an encouragement and confirmation for me. This fall, I visited CSU and I enjoyed the team, coach, and facility. I also visited Kansas when I went to run at Rim Rock. Along with these two schools, I had some lengthy phone calls with Boise State, the University of Colorado, and Oklahoma State. I enjoyed the process of taking to all these coaches and getting to know a couple of the teams, and I think they have a great thing going. I was just really impressed with CSU-Pueblo, and I think that Coach Morris and the team give me the most potential to grow as an athlete and as a person over the course of my college career and hopefully prepare me for a post-collegiate career if that is what the Lord is calling me to do when the time comes. My brother Andrew has been a big influence on my life. He started in DI and finished as a 2-time All-American in DII, and his experience contributed to my willingness to look at both options.

What do you plan to study at CSU-Pueblo?

I am planning on studying Construction Management. However I haven't looked into exactly what that involves as far as career options so I may end up changing it. I enjoy more hands on work, and I have had a small taste of what I will potentially pursue in the future by working with my uncles who are in the building trades. They both run their own business, one as a contractor and the other as a landscape architect, and I've really appreciated the opportunity to see all that is involved.

You're slated to run both Nike and Foot Locker regionals with a great chance of making finals in both. Do you have a strategy in mind for minimizing the impact of so much travel over four successive weekends?

It will obviously be a tough four weeks if I can make both national meets. However, we have geared the whole season for these four meets, and Coach Boelé and my dad will make sure I'm feeling good each and every week with the preparation I have done and with the the layout of the weeks. I plan on going into each race ready to give the necessary effort for the goal of that race. The first two weeks are about qualifying, and the second two weeks would be about giving everything I have to finish as high as possible. If I didn't have to give all-out efforts in the regional meets, that would be nice, but the competition is very good which probably doesn't make that an option. Hopefully I can get better each and every week. Traveling wise, I don't think it will be too bad with short plane flights. As long as I take enough ice baths and take care of my body, I should hopefully be ready on race day.

What goals remain for you this season?

Honestly, time wise I don't have too many goals, although it would be nice to lower my sea level PR. I want to make it to both national meets and put myself in a position to potentially win, and at least get top 5. There are some very good athletes who I look forward to racing, so I just want to go out and run to the best of my ability, respect the other competitors, and give all the glory to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. As long as I do that, the places and times will take care of themselves.

If you had to pick a highlight moment from your high school career to date, what would that be?

If you asked this question before state this year, I would have told you the 4x400 really at state my freshman year. However, I think this year at state cross country topped that. At some level, the 4x400 relay my freshman year showed me the importance of servant leadership and also putting everything on the line for our seniors and the other teammates I was competing with. This year at state cross country, our team made it a point to tell each other that we were going to run the race for each other. No matter if we won or if we lost, I knew everyone was putting everything on the course, so when I saw Joel coming into the stadium in second, and then the rest of our team streaming in a little later, I was beyond excited because it was really rewarding to see our collective hard work and big efforts pay off. Although we wanted to win, even if we would have placed dead last, the teams I had the pleasure of competing with freshman year in the 4x400 relay and especially this year in cross country were truly spectacular teams to race with because of the way they put everything on the course after the work of the season.

You've raced against pretty much all of Colorado's best during your high school career. Was there any one particular athlete you especially enjoyed racing against?

I have enjoyed racing plenty of guys in Colorado, and I think that Ethan Gonzales is one of the ones I enjoyed racing the most my freshman year. However I think I'd have to choose Isaac Green. He is a great competitor, and I know he likes racing me just as much as I enjoy racing him. He has destroyed me in the end of the last few 1600's we have raced, and that just makes me work harder and look forward to the next time I have the pleasure of racing him. We haven't raced yet this season, but I am looking forward to racing him next week in Arizona and during the upcoming track season. Guys like Isaac Green and Ethan Gonzales have helped me to get better over the years. That's the great thing about competition; it helps everyone improve.

Note: If you would like to participate in a signing feature, please drop me an e-mail at the address shown in the black banner area at the bottom of this page.