Branden Bohling: Trading Valleys



Branden Bohling's Best Marks:

1600 Meters - 4:41.70 (at altitude)

Indoor Mile - 4:36.69

3200 Meters - 11:01.70 (at altitude)

5K Cross Country - 16:21.0


Saginaw Valley State is a long way from Arvada. Tell us a little about how you found out about the school and what attracted you to the program.

I was first introduced to SVSU by a friend and training partner of mine. What attracted me most to the program was the facilities and coaching available. I was really impressed with Coach Hartmann with both his personal experience running as well as his experience training athletes. When talking to him, it became clear SVSU was the best place for me to improve as a runner.

What do you plan to study at Saginaw Valley State?

I will study Computer Science.

What are your preferences in racing? Cross or track? Longer or shorter? Flat or hilly?

I love indoor track meets. They're great because during outdoor season and cross country I worry about weather conditions, what the course is like and if there will be wind, but during indoor track none of that matters. I do love the team aspect of cross country however, and running alongside my teammates has been one of the most fun and rewarding experiences of my high school career. During cross season, I like flat courses where I can wear spikes, especially the coarse at NXN Southwest. I just like to run fast!

Can you point to a moment where you decided you wanted to be a collegiate runner?

I have been running since I was four years old with the Apex summer program. This is really where I fell in love with my sport and decided that I wanted this to be a major focus of my life. In the 5th grade I began training under the Colorado Flyers and the late Tony Wells, as well as Chris Turner and Chuck Dugue who are my coaches to this day. Both of them deserve a huge amount of credit for their excellent coaching and mentoring advice, I know that I would not be where I am today without them. I like to think that I have always known deep inside that I wanted to push myself to be competitive at the highest level, but I remember distinctly a moment where I got serious about it. I had a very nagging injury my sophomore year, as well as a growth spurt. Both of which added together gave way to a very bad outdoor track season. By the end of the season I was healthy, but had not PRed, which made me upset and I began to bog myself down in a negative mentality. After an unimpressive race my coach came up to me and said "you need to start thinking about what you want to do with this".  It was then I realized it was time to get serious, that I couldn't just go out, run laps and hope for the best. I really had to begin studying my sport, put in extra hours of core work in after practice and work for what I wanted.

What track events do you anticipate you'll be running in college?

I love the mile, but really don't know if it is where I will excel the most as an athlete. I'm open to just about anything going into my collegiate career as long as I can remain competitive at it, and trust the excellent coaches I have will guide me well in making that decision. I have run the steeplechase a few times in high school, and I have to say I enjoy it, that may be an option, but I will just have to wait and see. I have remained relatively low mileage throughout my training and me and Coach Hartmann have talked about bumping that up, so it will be exiting to see what I can do with my new training regimen.

If you got to pick a favorite moment from your high school career, what would that be?

I have had so many great experiences over my high school career. One of my best races was at the Arkansas High School Indoor Invitational. There was a very tight field of excellent runners at that race and it was a great experience competing and coming out with a new PR of 4:36. Another was the Broomfield Cross Country Invitational. Admittedly, leading up to the race I was hoping to have gone to the Arvada West XC invite instead. Coach Gomer said to trust him, so I did, and what resulted was an amazingly fun and incredible night of competition, me and my teammates all did well and had an incredible time. I would also like to say that I have had a blast traveling with my teammates and going to different meets around the country. I've had some amazing experiences outside the borders of my home state and I can't wait to continue that tradition in college.