Lukas Haug: Boulder To The University of Colorado


Lukas Haug's Best Marks

1,600 - 4:21.54

3,200 - 9:17.11

5k - 14:44


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

I really wanted to run for a Pac12 school. I lived in CA until I was six, and we would spend summers in CA doing the Junior Lifeguard program for many years.  So, the Pac 12 and West coast schools were my focus.  I talked to UCLA (my dad ran there), Cal Berkeley, LMU, Colorado, Oregon, Northeastern, Portland State, Portland University, and the Naval Academy. Coaches were interested, but many programs were still trying to figure out budgets and rosters due to COVID. 

Ultimately, it came down to Oregon and Colorado. Oregon did not have an Engineering program. Once I was admitted into the Engineering School at Colorado, I made my final decision. I really appreciate the support that Coach Nelson and Coach Wetmore gave me throughout the process. I had a chance to meet some of the team, and it really felt like a great fit. I am excited to be a part of the program at CU and help them win another National Championship.

Q) On the topic of recruiting - how did not having a junior track season affect the process?

It was stressful. Not only did COVID affect me, but I did not have a sophomore track season either due to a torn ACL injury during my last Alpine Ski race season (November 2018). I completely recovered from this injury after six months, and I was looking to really excel in running my junior year. 

I'd never been solely focused on running. I started running when I was younger but never seriously. Both my parents ran competitively in college and well into their 30s. So running was just part of our family lifestyle.  My parents didn't want my brother and me to focus only on running until we were older. So, we took up Alpine Ski racing (Slalom, Giant Slalom, Super-G). I loved it - loved the thrill and intensity.

In my junior year, I decided to try Nordic ski racing - the season runs basically between Cross Country and Track. I had great success given my background in Alpine racing and running. I ended up qualifying for Junior Nationals - an unprecedented feat given it was my first season. I found myself at Nordic Junior Nationals last March representing the Rocky Mountain Division with 12 other U18/U20 men from CO/UT/NM/AZ. It was awesome to compete at the National level, but that ultimately got cut short when COVID started - they canceled the competition half-way through, and we needed to return home.

All this to say that the injury in conjunction with COVID had put my dreams of competing in running at a high-level in college at risk. The pressure was high, and I knew I had to race and put some good results down. If it weren't for my coaches, parents, and teammates, I'm not sure how I would have done it.  I needed to put in the work and stay determined, but that support network was huge. I can't thank them enough. 

Q) What do you plan to study at CU? 

Mechanical Engineering.

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

I am open-minded since I have a lot of un-tapped running potential, especially on the track. Given my background in Nordic with races being a 10k distance and most of my running experience in Cross Country, I tend to favor the 5k and 3200m. I'm also open to trying the steeplechase as it seems like a challenging event.

Q) You've had success in the 1,600 on up to the 5k - what would you say your favorite event is, and why?

I like the 3200m and the 1600m because I enjoy the fast pace and the tactical racing that the track offers.

Q) You made a massive leap over the past year (15:42 as a junior down to 14:44 as a senior) - what attributed to such gains? 

Having missed my sophomore and junior track seasons, I needed to be able to race and show some better results. The Nordic training/racing helped build a strong aerobic base. I was able to continue to train through COVID and do some racing over the summer where I set some PRs. 

I trained harder than ever throughout the summer with the Real Training group. I came into the Cross-Country season strong. Much like Nordic, each race I steadily improved.

I had a great race at State and was able to run some faster times after that. I am currently doing one more shortened Nordic race season in conjunction with running. I'm looking forward to competing in a full track season this Spring, which I haven't done since my Freshman year.

Q) The first result we have on you on MileSplit is a 10:37 3,000, 5th-place finish in the Boulder Valley Middle School Invite in September 2015 - What do you remember from this competition?

I don't remember that particular race, but I remember liking the middle school races. It was fun to be a part of the team, and it was pretty low-key. At that time I had just started running with the Boulder Mountain Warriors. Melody Fairchild and Coach Coop made running fun - and they gave us opportunities to learn how to race. Having good experiences with any sport makes you like it more.

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

My elementary school (Whittier Elementary) had a Bolder Boulder running club after school a couple days a week. I started doing that and really liked it. it wasn't too hard and it was not serious - just to get kids to walk/run the Bolder Boulder. We would also do the Pearl Street mile kid race each summer, which was fun.  But, I also did soccer, tennis, swim team, and ski team.

Q) Favorite book, musical artist, and movie:  

Favorite book: The Old Man and the Sea. Favorite Musical Artist:  A Tribe Called Quest. Favorite Movie:  A Fist Full of Dollars

Q) What would your favorite high school moment be?

Running the State Cross Country race with the seniors as a freshman.