Mike Walker won't be changing elevation much when he does to Durango to run with Fort Lewis in the fall. Contributed photo.
Mike Walker's best marks:
1600 meters - 4:36.46 (at altitude)
3200 meters - 10:02.(at altitude)
5K cross country - 16:16.4
Tell us first a little about what made the decision for Fort Lewis.
Durango is a great place, and fairly close to home. I liked the selection of majors available and the small class sizes. And of course, I wanted to run competitively, and Fort Lewis is making that possible.
What do you plan to study at Fort Lewis?
Right now my major is undeclared, but it'll probably be Business Administration or Political Science.
There's a lot of history woven deep into the fabric of Los Alamos cross country. What's is like to step into the program as a freshman?
I actually stepped into the program for part of my eighth grade year, but spent the first half of my freshman year in Colorado. Exposing our middle schoolers to our program early sets a good foundation for their high school careers, and helps newcomers get acclimated to the level of training that we do. Los Alamos has a great team atmosphere, and freshmen quickly find themselves included in that atmosphere.
You've been part of the program for almost four full school years now. If you had to pick a top highlight of that experience, what would it be?
Our 2012 season and working on being one of the best teams in the US was a great experience. I'd also have to include threepeating as state champions- that was definitely a wonderful surprise.
If you had to choose between the two, would it be track or cross country?
I prefer cross country for the longer distance and stronger team fellowship, but track is fun too.
What event or events will get most of your attention this spring?
I think I'm better at the 3200, but my schedule will mostly be built around trying to qualify by time for both the 3200 and 1600. I'll do whatever it takes to get there, and then focus on getting ready for state.
Although Los Alamos owns three consecutive state cross country titles, last spring was not as kind to the Hilltoppers in track and field. Be certain that Los Alamos will be looking to improve on last year's fourth-place finish at state, and the points that might Walker could provide could be a big part of that. As usual, Los Alamos figures to be making some trips down to compete in Albuquerque, so we should get some good early-season looks at how strong this team could be.