Nofziger embraces new experiences as his college career comes to an end

24 September 2019

Derek Lee 

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     Originally coming from Oakdale, Minnesota; senior cross-country athlete Sam Nofziger has always enjoyed new experiences, an enjoyment which lead him to choose UCCS and its cross country and track and field programs. 

     “Having all of the different experiences that come with living in Colorado has been enjoyable and a lot different than where I grew up in Minnesota,” said Nofziger via email. “Experiencing something new also appealed to me.” 

     Nofziger helped the men’s cross-country team make it to the national championships in Pittsburgh last year and it’s his favorite moment at UCCS. 

     “After our team qualified for nationals for the first time in four years, it was gratifying for all of the hard work to pay off,” said Nofziger. “During the meet our team was in last place during the first couple of minutes of the race but we stayed composed to finish No. 12 in the nation.” 

     Before he leaves UCCS, Nofziger wants to add a track and field conference championship to his list of new experiences. 

     “Enjoying the experiences that are yet to come, having no regrets and leaving a legacy for those that come after me would be nice to accomplish as well,” said Nofziger. 

     Nofziger, who is majoring in mechanical engineering with a minor in general business, said he has always enjoyed running from a young age and started running track in middle school. After he graduates from UCCS, Nofziger plans to pursue a master’s degree in biomedical engineering. 

     “After running track for a couple of years, I decided to try cross country during my 8th grade year. After my first season I decided I wanted to get serious about running and have enjoyed it ever since.” 

     Nofziger realized he wanted to run in college after working with his high school coach. 

     Nofziger chose UCCS because of the team atmosphere and coaches, the strength of the research in the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences and the campus location. 

     Aside from cross country, Nofziger also enjoys camping, fishing, hunting, hiking, golfing, and cross-country skiing. He also mentioned that a lot of his time is spent training, recovering or being in class. 

     “The most difficult part of being a student athlete is having to balance different aspects of my life while still performing at a high level. Making the necessary sacrifices to be a collegiate athlete can be challenging. However, it has been worth it. Time management is also very important,” Nofziger said. 

     Before each race, Nofziger said that he normally tries to eat some form of carbs that involves pasta. He also stretches a lot and drinks a lot of water. 

     “In order to feel the most prepared, I try and make sure I don’t have to feel rushed on race day by being proactive during the week leading up to the race. Sticking to the same routine has also helped me be successful,” said Nofziger. 

     Being able to keep improving as an athlete and individual has always been satisfying for him. Nofziger has also enjoyed the process that’s he’s taken to get where he is today.