Colin Detels, a senior at McAlester High School, comes from a family of runners. Both his brother and mother previously ran for McAlester and now Detels is a member of the cross country team under the guidance of head coach Jamie Martin.
Coach Martin has been working to build the team back up after dwindling numbers over the past few seasons. However, for Detels, the spark and passion for running has never been in doubt.
“We’ve had a rough go of it the last couple of years in cross country and I was asked to take the program back over and am in the process of building it back up,” Martin said. “Last year everyone quit, but Colin loves the sport so much he just kept running on his own.”
Detels started running competitively in sixth grade and has been hooked ever since. He even achieved a bit of success in his first competition which helped spark his interest in the sport.
“I ran one meet and got a medal,” Detels said. “That got me started on running and staying active at it.”
While running came natural to Detels, he still works hard every day to improve. As a senior, Detels knows this is his last year to compete in high school and said he will continue to give 110 percent effort at every opportunity.
For newcomers to the sport, Detels has some advice: “When you feel pain, think of something different to keep your mind occupied. Like how you can open up more or keep your arms moving, or as my coach told me which has helped, count your steps.”
He also encourages other runners to start small and work their way up to longer distances.
“My coach really inspires me to push myself to the next level,” Detels said. “I set a new time each week that I aim for. Know that every day you can be better than the day before.”
After high school Detels plans on furthering his education by attending college where he wants to work toward becoming an ER nurse or teacher and plans to run in college as well.