Colton Stice: Gunnison To Western State


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Colton Stice's Best Marks

800 - 1:57.34

1,600 - 4:25.85

3,200 - 9:52.30

5k - 15:41

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Q) Talk about the recruitment process - what other schools were you looking at, and how did you come to choosing the Western State?

 I visited a bunch of schools at all three NCAA division levels. At the end of the recruitment process, I ended up focusing mainly on the University of Sioux Falls, University of Wyoming, Pomona-Pitzer, and Gonzaga University, however, in the end I chose Western. What really made me set on Western was when I met the team and coaches during the running camp that Western hosted over the summer. Experiencing the strong culture that Coach Michel, Coach Wood, and Coach Niksic have built was super encouraging and left me confident that they could develop me to the next level. Being local, I've gotten a pretty great sense of what this team is all about, and the history they have to go along with it. But experiencing it first hand over the summer gave me an even greater idea of what they're trying to accomplish in the next couple of seasons. This ended up being a main factor in convincing me to stay home to potentially add to that history.

Q) What do you plan to study at Western? 

 I plan on studying either Actuarial Science or Exercise & Sport Science for their 3+2 Graduate Program, which happens to work out great for their athletes. If I do proceed to choose the Exercise & Sports Science, I would then go on to pursue a chiropractic or physical therapy degree.

Q) Talk about what it's like to train in Gunnison, which is one of the coldest spots in Colorado during the winter, but incredible during the summer months. 

Training here in the winter is never easy. The outdoor track is always covered in three feet of snow, and the temperature is considered "warm" if it gets into the double digits... The field house is honestly a blessing to have for us to escape the cold and train on a collegiate indoor track. There are days however when the track is closed, and we're back outside. How many layers you have on is really the key to staying warm, and allowing yourself to have a successful run. The summer is the complete opposite however, as it's always sunny and in a constant 70 degrees. It's pretty much polar opposites, but I definitely enjoy it.

Q) What got you into running in the first place? 

I actually used to really be into soccer and swimming growing up, but both sports were basically dead ends once I got to high school. So my family and I decided that it would be in my best interest to try out cross country and track in middle school. I ended up having some decent success and the sport really grew on me from there. I definitely think that choice paid off in the end.

Q) You've had success in everything from the 800 on up to the 5k, what would you say is your favorite event, and why?

The 1600 would have to be my top choice out of all those races, and the 800 would be a close second. I think I've had more success in these because of the shorter distances, but I'm planning on dropping a bunch in the 3200 this year too.

Q) What event do you see yourself focusing on at Western?

Since my preferred race is the 1600. I'm hoping to potentially continue in that, and compete in the 1500. The other race i"d like to specialize in is the 3000 steeple. I raced it once a couple of years ago and had a great time, but whatever race Coach Michel thinks is best for me is the one I will do.

Q) Could you share any goals you have for the upcoming track season?

For this last season, I'm trying to add my name to the school record board in the 800 and 3200. I already have the 1600, so a clean sweep in the distance race would be a great accomplishment. The other thing I'm hoping for is to help put together a strong 4x800 team. We just missed out on first place two years ago, and we have the potential to get to the top this year.

Q) What would your favorite high school moment be (so far)?

It's honestly too hard to narrow down to one specific moment. The runner up finish at state in the 4x8 was a great accomplishment for us, and competing at Desert Twilight against some of the best in the business was an awesome experience. My all time favorite moment however, was at our league meet my sophomore year.  It came in the 1600 (of course) and it was a race I won by .003 seconds. It was a great time waiting with my coaches and teammates to see who had the better lean between myself and another runner. After an extremely long wait, the officials did determine the winner, they announced my name to the stadium and everyone went wild.
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