Alex Baca: Gunnison To Colorado


 Alex Baca's Best Marks

1,600 - 4:36.59

3,200 - 10:00

5,000 - 15:09


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

It was definitely an amazing experience getting to go through the recruitment process. Deciding where/who you will be spending this next chapter with is a big choice and I am fortunate to have had so much support along the way.

I was considering a wide variety of many different schools, University of Virginia, University of Michigan, Syracuse University, Dartmouth, and Stony Brook were all on my list with Colorado. It ended up coming down to Syracuse, Stony Brook, and Colorado. And when I got the privilege of getting to spend some time with some of the guys on the CU team and I knew immediately that these were the people for me!

Additionally coach Wetmore and Billy Nelson are amazing, they were incredibly kind, forward thinking, and they clearly know what they are doing. 

Q) What do you plan to study at CU

I am planning on studying in the Integrative Physiology program, I have been fascinated with the human body and it's mechanics for as long as I can remember. Some of the early Nike Vaporfly 4%s were tested at CU's IPHY program, so I will be right at home!

Q) What event do you see yourself focusing on at CU

I believe that I am developing nicely to be a 5k and 10k guy. It has been a long time since I have raced a mile or 800, but I certainly want to give those events some attention as well, I want to be as diverse as possible!

Q) You've had success in every event from the 1600 on up to the 5k - what would you say your favorite event is, and why?

Nothing lights my soul on fire quite like the 1600. Although it is not my best event, it is certainly my favorite. 4 laps is a divisible, and it's the perfect balance of speed and endurance in my mind. 

Q) You've consistently made big gains each year (17:23 - 16:16 - 15:44 - 15:09) - what would say attributed to such a big improvement? 

Working with Trent Sanderson and Team Prep USA has been huge for me. He really took the time to get to know my strengths and weaknesses, and he taught me how to fail gracefully.

Through Team Prep, I have also met so many amazing people who have quickly become my best friends, without their support there is no way I would have gotten to where I am today. Such improvement can also be credited to the passion I have for this sport.

I truly have been so invested and in love with running, even though the road hasn't ever been smooth, running has given and taught me so much. I wrote the following in one of my Common App essays: "Running is one of the purest things in the world. It is as freeing as it is imprisoning. It is wrathful blazing flames just as it is resolute water flowing effortless and free."

Q) You've had your eye on winning a state title for several years now - what was it like to go from 45th as a freshman, to 14th as a sophomore, to sixth as a junior, to winning it senior year? Also - what was it like to capture the first state cross country title in Gunnison High School history?

It truly was a dream come true. It was the accumulation of daydreaming and scheming for many thousands of balmy summer miles. It is an indescribable feeling, winning a state title. My dreams and ambitions have always been big, and this is the first time I have ever seen them truly come to fruition.

For years and years I have always just barely fallen short of my goals, and it continuously left me hungry for more. And it was certainly a huge honor, being the first XC State Champ from my school. It is so inspiring to see what teamwork can do, it truly takes a village. 

Q) The first result we have on you on MileSplit is an odd triple - a 5:32 1,600 victory, 4-4 eight-place high jump, and a 12-9 13th place long jump, all from the Cedaredge Middle School Invite in May 2016 - What do you remember from this competition?

Middle school T&F was such a blur for me, I was just having fun and exploring all the routes I could have gone with the sport! Clearly running was the right choice. 

Q) What got you interested in competing in XC/Track in the first place? 

My first time running XC I was a freshman in high school. For the previous 6 years I had played football, but had had this quiet whisper in my subconscious that I was born to run. I finally decided to listen to that whisper, and pursue running in high school. After that first cross country season ended, I was hooked. I just couldn't stop running! 

Q) Favorite book, musical artist, and movie: 

Varies from day to day, I can never decide, but at the moment: Favorite book - Bolder Dreams by Bobby himself;), Musical artist - Jack Johnson, Movie - Arrival

Q) What would your favorite high school moment be?

A few days before state Morgan McDonald was in town training, and I asked him if he would want to come out and go on a run with the boys to hype us up going into the weekend. So we got to go on an easy 4 miler with an NCAA xc Champ! (Shout out Chicken Boy Morgz)