Race to Success

Gretna High School senior Colby Erdkamp loves to run—probably more than most young men his age. He grew up playing basketball, baseball, and football, but his freshman year he decided to give cross country a shot. “In my first cross-country race, I ended up winning at the Class of the Metro meet. It was a big surprise because I had no idea where my racing abilities were prior to the race. I have always liked to run and liked to run fast. When I realized I could be good, I really started to love cross country and track.”

Gretna Cross Country and Track coach Bryce Brunswig believes it’s Erdkamp’s attitude that makes all the difference. “Colby is willing to do the extra work that it takes to go from good to great. He embraces and enjoys challenges and competitions and views them as a way to get better. His calm, get-the-job-done demeanor rubs off on his teammates and helps to keep everyone focused during workouts and before races.”

Despite having to quarantine due to COVID three separate times during last year’s cross-country season, Erdkamp remained calm. “It was really hard to stay motivated to keep pushing forward when I was missing meets.” He was unable to participate at districts because of a quarantine, but the team qualified for state and fortunately, he was able to compete. In the future, Erdkamp plans to compete at a Division I school. “I want to see how far I can possibly go as a runner.”

Erdkamp is proud of how far he’s come since that first race his freshman year. “My motivation and confidence have gotten much higher over the last three years of track and cross country. The main thing that motivates me is that I always want to beat myself. I push every day so that I can succeed and beat my old personal bests.” He credits his growth as an athlete and a person to his experience with running for Gretna. “Running has encouraged me to grow more than all of the other sports that I have competed in simply because it is all me and how much I want to push myself to get to my full potential.”

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