Maria Mettler: A Few Short Miles from High School

Maria Mettler looks to winning the 4A state cross country title this fall as the highlight of her high school career.


Maria Mettler's Best Marks

800 Meters - 2:20.31

1600 Meters - 5:14.92 (at altitude)

3200 Meters - 11:20.98 (at altitude)

5K Cross Country - 17:38.2


You came to Colorado in the middle of your high school experience. Tell us a little about what you'd done athletically before coming to Colorado.

Before coming to Colorado my junior year of high school, I definitely wasn't a committed runner. My passion had always been soccer. Until the end of my junior year, I was certain I would be committing to a college for soccer - not running. During my first two years of high school, I played high school soccer and club soccer along with high school track. I was never able to participate in cross country until I moved to Colorado because high school soccer was at the same time as cross country which was in the fall.

What would you describe as the highlight of your high school athletic career to date?

The highlight of my high school athletic career to date would be winning the state title in cross country. Winning the state cross country race had been a goal of mine all summer. As I look back on my last high school cross country season, I see how all of the hard work paid off. It is a memory I will be able to have the rest of my life.

The Air Force Academy isn't for everyone, but you've seen something there that indicates it is for you. What's the main draw of the Academy for you? What other schools did you consider?

For me, what made me want to pursue the Air Force Academy were the people and the opportunities. The people there all strive to succeed and want to challenge themselves. I will be surrounded by individuals who are dedicated to their education and future just as I want to be. I will also get the chance to run under Coach Cole at the Air Force Academy. I have trained under a lot of coaches in the past two years, and I am looking forward to competing for Coach Cole and with such a great team in college. When making this college decision, I narrowed down my options to the United States Air Force Academy, the University of New Mexico, the University of Tulsa, and the University of Oregon.

What is your planned course of study at the Academy?

I have always been interested in the medical professions and I am considering studying biology or behavioral science at the Academy.

Are there any particular goals you'll be chasing this spring?

Athletically, I want to be a state champion in at least one event in track. I also want to help continue to build the program at Air Academy High School and help bring the track team together. I would also like to run under 11 minutes in the 3200 at altitude and under 5 minutes in the 1600.

You been through a lot of changes in coaching in your high school career. Have you developed a strategy for dealing with that? Do you have any particular words of advice for your fellow athletes who face coaching changes they didn't go looking for?

From what I have experienced, every coach is different in their coaching style and personality. With each new coach, I want to make sure I am giving my best effort for them and keeping an open mind. Their training might be different from what I am used to, but I make sure to listen and trust that they have a plan in mind. Switching coaches is hard, but I am thankful for every coach and role model in my life. I feel like I have become a better athlete because of that.