Athlete: Collin Buck
Major: Secondary Education
Hometown: Great Falls, MT
Being named the Big Sky Conference Male XC Athlete of the Week recently, how did that feel?
It was pretty exciting. It’s cool to get some recognition, especially with the guys in the conference like Luis (Grijalva of NAU) and Brody (Hasty of NAU) and all of the people that are really good coming out of NAU. There are a couple coming out of Weber and SUU that are really strong, so that was kind of cool, especially amongst those names.
With a young team this year, how has your role changed from previous seasons?
I’m going from the edge of scoring to being the lead on scoring. Now I am running the paces during workouts, but that really hasn’t changed much since I got here. I have usually been in the top few but my first year here I wasn’t even on the team. So coming from that it’s been a big change. Having the younger guys here has changed a lot. A few years back, for example we only had something like six guys that could travel, so having all these new guys has lit a fire under us top guys like Ty [Mogan], Cam [Carroll], Gannon [Chamberlin] and myself to kick it up a notch.
With Big Sky Conference Championships coming this weekend, what are your goals?
I would definitely like to break up some of the NAU boys if I can. That would hopefully be the goal, but I am not entirely sure where they stand because I haven’t been able to race them yet. That’s the hope, to keep them from sweeping.
Does your mustache have any performance boosting benefits?
I would say a little bit, it’s a mood-booster for sure. It’s kind of a tradition amongst all of cross country. You have to look a little greasy for cross country. It’s mustaches and mullets, anything you can do like that. It’s just tradition across the nation and you want to get as many guys to participate as you can.
How did you decide to become a Secondary Education major?
I wasn’t a really great student during my elementary and middle school years and then I had a couple of teachers that really helped me grow out of that phase in high school. So I always felt that I was interested in teaching and having a class that makes students want to go to school. It’s really about helping a kid want to be there. In my early years of school, I just never felt like I fit in somewhere, so I want to help some kid fit somewhere.
What is your most memorable moment with the cross country program?
It was pretty cool signing two guys from my hometown last year. That’s a big deal to me to come on to this team with only one other CMR kid on the team (Trisha Carlson) and just to have them say the next year, “Yeah, we will scoop a couple more up.” So that was kind of cool. The same people I have known for two or three years jump up to my team, so I will know them for seven or eight years total so that will be pretty cool.
What have these last couple of years at Montana State meant to you?
It’s definitely meant a lot to just get a position on this team. You know, it was something that I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to do at the end of my senior year of high school. Eventually getting that spot was pretty huge because it took a lot of months of running on my own to pick up that spot and it is definitely really cool to be around the guys I am around now like Ty, Cam and Gannon and all of the sophomores that we got last year who are all really exceptional people. It is just really neat to be around a bunch of exceptional people who have this team goal and to be around people who want to accomplish a lot.