We Salute Colin Underwood, Topeka Seaman

Name: Collin Underwood

Q: What does your training look like right now given the current situation?
A: I'm doing my best to run as much as I can, but it's difficult to recreate the intensity of team workouts. 

Q: What are you doing to stay busy other than run right now?
A: Lots of Working and even more Fishing and Hunting.

Q: What was your most memorable race/moment?
A: Definitely has to be my first time running at KU Relays, it was surreal. Also really nervous, but that's besides the point.

Q: What was the funniest thing that happened during your running career?
A: Well I passed out 20 yards from the finish line during a Cross Country race my Junior year...

Q: Who would you consider your biggest competition over your four years?
A: Myself. I was my biggest opponent. I never really took much note of my other physical competition, I was more focused on bettering myself, and as soon as I found out how to beat the competition in my head, I started beating them on the course as well.

Q: What was your greatest accomplishment?
A: Breaking 17 minutes in a 5k, for a lifetime PR of 16:33. Coming from C Team all of my Freshman year in Cross Country, and then JV in Track, it really was huge in my books to achieve that. I worked hard nonstop for years, training every day through the offseason, and it all paid off.

Q: If you could do it all over again what would you change about your running career in high school?
A: I absolutely wouldn't change a thing. Even if I could have been better in my earlier years, I'm not sure I would go back and do it, because I learned the value of hard work and what it takes to achieve your goals.

Q: What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?
A: I honestly didn't have any obstacles other than my mindset in the very beginning. For about the first year I wouldn't go into races with a good mindset, and I wouldn't perform well. I changed that about the beginning of my Sophomore year, and it wasn't long before my performance started to increase also.

Q: What will you miss the most?
A: The satisfaction of finishing a race on empty. Wether it was Track or Cross Country, that hurt at the end of races had this weird way of feeling so good. I'll miss my team and the bonding that practices made over my 4 years as well.

Q: What advice would you give to younger athletes?
A: Mindset is everything. Training is important, but going into races saying that you are going to do well, and really believing it is the most important thing in my opinion. I've experienced it, and winning the mental race is every bit as important as the physical one. That being said, train hard. When you are hurting in repeats, push harder, because in a race, you have to be tougher than the guy next to you, there's just no way around it. Train like you race, and race like you train. You have to want it more than the guy you are neck and neck with at 750 meters of an 800 meter race.

Q: What kind of an impact has your coach had on you and your team?
A: He has had such a large impact there isn't anything else than I can accurately compare it to. Without Coach Wiens there wouldn't have been a team, at least not a very successful one. I'll admit, we have been blessed with some amazing talent over the years, and there are several runners at Seaman High whose careers haven't ended yet who are full of amazing talent. But without our coach, not one of us could have realized the full potential of that talent. Look at me, I am the perfect example of a coaching success story. From C Team to Varsity athlete competing at State Competitions and KU Relays... all because of my coach. I put in the hard work to get there, but without Coach Wiens pushing and encouraging me every single day, none of that would have happened. He never let me settle for where I was at, and always made me strive to become faster and tougher, so to Coach Wiens: Thank you for making such a large impact on my life, both as a Coach and as a friend.

Q: What are your college plans?
A: I would like to attend KU's School of Pharmacy, but continue to run in the process. I'm not sure what the future holds for my competitive running career, but I hope it continues to go somewhere.

Q: Who would you like to say 'thank you' to?
A: As I said in a previous question, I want to say thank you to Coach Wiens. He is the coach that every runner hopes for, and it saddens me that not every runner gets to have a coach of the same caliber, or have a friend of the same quality. It's crazy how much you get to know a person in the course of 4 years, and I would say that Coach Wiens is the most passionate, hard working, and respectable Coach, Friend, and teacher I have ever met, and I have been lucky enough to enjoy his company in all three of the roles. I will also say that you can tell a lot about a mans character based on how he treats his family, and from all my experiences with him, Coach Wiens is a loving father to his daughter, and a dependable husband to his wife.

Q: Is there anything else you'd like to add?
A: Thank you to everyone who has ever cheered for me... especially my mom. She deserves a special thank you for being by my side every single step of my running career. My coach cares immensely about my running, but it will never compare to a mother's love.

Q: Favorite Meal?
A: Tombstone Pizza. It had been my pre-meet food for four years now and is yet to let me down!

Q: If you could be any animal what would you choose? and why?
A: 100% a Honey Badger. Have you ever seen one of those things? They are vicious! They are scared of literally nothing... the things fight lions and eat King Cobras for lunch... literally.

Q: Your favorite superhero?
A: Definitely Captain America, for obvious reasons... because 'Murica