Chris Theodore: Rock Canyon To Duke

Chris Theodore has been a prominent figure in the rise of Rock Canyon cross country over the last three years.


Chris Theodore's Best Marks

800 Meters - 1:58.53

1600 Meters - 4:23.56 (at altitude)

3200 Meters - 9:32.94 (at altitude)

5K Cross Country - 15:23 (at altitude)


I'm sure we could take our guesses, but why don't you just tell us first why you chose Duke.

After talking with some great schools and taking my visits to Texas, Villanova, and Duke, I just fell in love with Duke. Coach Ogilvie really stood out to me as a coach who cares truly about his athletes. The other schools and teams I met was an amazing experience in itself, but I kept asking myself the question of "Is this where I would want to be if running ended tomorrow." On my official to Duke, I was hosted by Josh Romine and his roommate, Alex Miley, who both made me feel at home and driven for something I want to be a part of. The Duke program is very young and has a lot of unknown talent, and I want to be contributing to a program on the rise. As well, on my visit I was with fellow commit Will Dixon from Monarch, which is really exciting to have two Colorado kids commit to Duke and hopefully another one too! Overall, Duke's campus is so beautiful and fit for my academic wants and style. Can't beat the trails in the Duke Forest either!

What do you plan to study at Duke?

I will study Economics with a minor in Finance, eventually setting myself up to continue my education past the normal four years into post-grad!

Was there a point somewhere in your high school career where you said to yourself something like, "Hey, if I keep working at this, it could really lead somewhere?"

Starting my freshman year at Rock Canyon, we didn't qualify for state. From that point on, I made a commitment that we would not only qualify for state, but that we could also podium. I started improving my sophomore year, eventually setting myself up for success my junior year. When I got my first letter in the mail from Wisconsin my junior year, it was the main factor of "this could really lead somewhere." After putting a hard summer in with the team and we sat down for goal setting at our annual Steamboat camp, I saw what this team and myself can accomplish. I did all the little things: sleep, eating, hydration, learning the sport more, and believing in the team and myself. Altogether, it enabled me to finally put together a strong state race to help my team earn the highest finish in school history.

Tell us a little what it's like running in a program where everywhere you turn--whether at invitationals, league, regional, or state meets--there's always Mountain Vista to deal with. Has that been noise or has it been a big motivating factor for you to deal with?

The Mountain Vista squad are some of my closest friends. Guys like Carter Dillon, Parker Mackay, Shayan Zarrin, Paxton Smith, Justin Lund, and the many others that have come from that sea of green have motivated me each and every single day. The gap between our two schools has closed significantly since my freshman year and now it is a close battle every time we go head to head. We know every day we get to practice that we have to do something more than them if we are going to beat them on race day. I will keep our secrets in the bag for my boys to get them next year, but truly, having the 3rd team in the nation being a 3-minute drive and have trails that connect our schools, it is a huge motivating factor. We created our race schedule to face them as much as possible, as it only gets us ready for leagues, regionals, and state. Shout out to Region 5 for 5A, the hardest region out there! After our win at Liberty Bell this year, we knew that we poked a bear and that it was on this year, creating a very exciting final weeks of racing. The Vista boys even thanked us after NXR, for pushing them every day too, so it is quite the nice relationship we have going on. C'mon over for ribs, guys!

You've had a lot of success both in track and in cross country. Do you have preference between the two sports?

This question is most likely the hardest one I get as a runner. I really love both with a true, burning passion. There is something to say about both. As for cross country, the team environment is irreplaceable. My team is my second family and the work we put in together really makes it special. As for track, it is nice to test your limits and be very strategic when it comes to the races. I also just love being a spectator of the sport, especially when you have Emily Sloan and Devin Cadena on your team tearing up the track. If I would have to pick, I would say cross country... but again, I am saying this in the fall... ask me again in the spring.

I'm sure you have your sights set high for the spring season. Do you have any goals in mind you can share with us for track?

After a disappointing finish at NXR, I am more motivated than ever. While I am not sharing all my goals, I think it would be really fun to get the top two mile guys from CO all down to a meet and go after Norman's record. As well, our boys team has a great chance of making a big impact in league and state, so that is something I will be going after for my team. I want to have a great finish to my high school career and as a Rock Canyon Jaguar.