Cruz Culpepper: Niwot To Washington


Cruz Culepper's Best Marks

400 - 51.25

800 - 1:52.93

1 Mile - 4:04.82

5k - 14:43


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

I was also looking at NAU, and CU. I came to choosing University of Washington because a felt a strong connection to Coach Powell and believe that he will take me to where I want to go. Also Also Seattle is an amazing city and I felt I connected very well with the team.

Q) What do you plan to study at Washington? 

It's hard to say for sure, I've had interest in physiology but we will see if that plays out. 

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

The 1500 primarily, both me and Coach Powell feel this will be the best route given my talent package.

Q) The first race we have on your MileSplit account is a 17:25 JV victory at the Pat Patten Invite in 2016 - what do you remember about this race? (Can you share your experience?)

Yes I do remember this race! I actually transferred to Niwot from Boulder High after just a month or so, so I lost all my cross country eligibility. But I remember it being a fun race! 

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? 

Definitely the mile, I feel like my combination of strength and speed works out very well for running a mile.

Q) You've had many big races, what race do you covet the most so far?

Probably when I first ran a national caliber time in the mile my sophomore year at Texas relays. It was a super fun trip in general, me and my great friend Ares Reading who most will know. Went down to Texas, spent some time with my grandparents who live down there. Then headed down from Fort Worth to Austin to race and spend a couple days down there. Them ended off the trip with a great race! Very fun memories.

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

Early on success. I played tennis from 3rd grade to freshman year and I would also be so angry when someone would beat me with no athletic ability, so I was like why not run where most of what you do is physical.

Q) Both of your parents were stellar distance runners, what is the best advice you've gotten from each of them?

I think all the advice surrounding, stretching, recovery, hydration, and nutrition. They have just taught me how to deal with these things properly and I think it's gonna do me well especially moving into college.

Q) Could you share any goals you have for your senior year?

I would like to do some special things regarding time this track season.

Q) What would your favorite high school moment be?

Probably my first state title, which was cross country last year. I was hurting so bad from so early and Dylan (Schubert) made me really work hard to get that one. It took something else to get to that place of pain, and the reward afterwards felt great.