As a business major, John Dressel wants to someday work in the footwear industry.
"I've always had an interest with footwear and shoes such as running shoes, so a goal of mine is to possibly work for a sportswear company like Nike, Adidas, or New Balance, whether it's in product development or in marketing," Dressel said.
At the surface, this may seem like a very peculiar endeavor. However, for Dressel, it makes complete sense given that he is an impressive long-distance runner at the University of Colorado.
As a sophomore, Dressel has already made some significant strides. In his first indoor track race as a freshmen, Dressel recorded one of the fastest times ever for a CU freshman in the men's 3,000-meter run with a time of 8 minutes and 5 milliseconds. Just last week, he won his first Mountain Pacific Sports Federation conference title in the 3,000, recording a personal record of 7:51.44.
If you were to look at Dressel's results as a high school athlete, it is not surprising to know he is doing well on the collegiate level. From winning a state title in Washington, to being the top American finisher in the junior men's 8K at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in 2015, it is also no surprise Dressel was recruited by many impressive universities, such as Stanford, Georgetown, Oregon, Princeton, and Notre Dame, to name a few.
"When it came down to it, I felt the most comfortable at CU," said Dressel. "I like the team dynamic here, and Heather (Burroughs) and Mark (Wetmore) are experienced coaches."
The CU track team has a reason to celebrate that Dressel chose to attend the school, as his contributions have been tremendous in his first two years. As time progresses, it is likely that Dressel's success will be multiplied.
"I hope that he will continue to train carefully and race intelligently," said Mark Wetmore, the head coach for both CU cross-country and track and field."Two and a half more years of that, and he may establish himself among the most successful of our long history of excellent distance runners."
Recently, Dressel has been running his fastest times since being at CU, collecting a new personal record with each race. The MPSF conference title has given him a confidence boost going into the NCAA indoor championships on Friday and Saturday, but Dressel's strategy is rooted in staying focused.
"In years past, there have been guys that have made it to indoor nationals, and then they end up not running as well as they would have liked to, so I think the big thing is to go into nationals with confidence and listen to Mark and Heather as I'm racing," Dressel said. "It's one thing just to make it, but it's another to actually execute and do well, so I'm excited. It's a first time experience for me."
Looking even further ahead to the outdoor season, Dressel is entering this season with a bit of a chip on his shoulder after falling short of competing in the NCAA championship round. In the NCAA West Preliminary round, he placed 13th in the 5K, but only the top 12 move on to the finals. Though the season ended in frustration, Dressel is hopeful this year will be different.
"Based off of how west regionals went, it definitely has fired me up and kept me more focused on the season, and definitely has motivated me to make sure I do make it this yearfor outdoor nationals," Dressel said.
Dressel also intends to do whatever he can to avoid mental exhaustion by the outdoor track season, a feeling many long-distance runners experience after cross-country season in the fall and an indoor season in the winter.
If he can maintain health and endurance throughout all his seasons as a CU athlete, it is very likely he will accomplish many of his goals. In fact, he can already cross a few off his "bucket list." All-American? Check. Breaking CU records? On his way, as he recently moved to fourth best time at CU in the 3,000 meters.
Winning a team NCAA championship? Winning an individual title? Running professionally?
Only time will tell.
Ben Saarel, Zachary Perrin, Joe Klecker and Dressel will represent the men's team, while Erin Clark, Dani Jones, Makena Morley and the members of the women's distance medley relay (Tabor Scholl, Elissa Mann, Sage Hurta and Jones) will race for the women's team.