Salute to Seniors: Woodmont's Colt Griffith

Name: Colt Griffith
High school: Woodmont
Event PRs: 800 - 1:59
1600 - 4:18
3200 - 9:29
5000 - 15:32
Hobbies: Hiking, video games, telling bad jokes, and running!

What was your most memorable race/competition?

I believe that the 1600 at the 2017 state championships will go down as the most memorable race of my high school career. There was so much on the line and those who watched can agree that it was a race down to the finish with less than a quarter of a second between me and Wynn. I didn't win, but I'm proud of my performance and a solid effort.

Out of all your high school accomplishments, which stands out the most?
October 15, 2016 - definitely one of the most successful race days of my high school career! Woodmont was responsible for hosting the first Region 1-5A cross country championship. In that one race, I claimed the individual title, helped lead the boys to the team title, set a PR, and broke the school record!

If you could do it all over again, what would you change about your athletic career in high school? 
More mileage! Discussion with other runners and Coach Porter at Clemson has shown me how low my mileage is. As I move on to the next level, I hope this leaves a lot of room for improvement!

What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?
I didn't have the smoothest transition into running; I suffered shin splints for the majority of my first cross country season, so I wasn't able to run several of the meets. I experienced a few minor injuries in the following years, but these progressively decreased in frequency and intensity. Ironically, I feel as though physical obstacles weren't as difficult to deal with as mental obstacles. I've always struggled to balance schoolwork with running, but I've been able to manage it successfully. This balancing act has helped me to develop time management skills and the ability to focus under pressure.

What will you miss the most?
It's a common answer, but it's true nevertheless - I'll miss my teammates the most. I'm going from seeing them every day to not at all, and I don't know if I understand the magnitude of that quite yet. What I do know is that as I move on, I can look back on the times we shared as some of my best memories.

Do you have any advice for younger athletes?
Take your easy days easy. Take your hard days hard. Trust your training. Trust your body. Remember why you started. Don't give up.

How have your coaches influenced your performances and your life goals?
Coach DeRoberts and Coach DesChamps have guided me from freshman year to senior year. In that time, they've built me up both physically and mentally. They've helped me develop a strong body and a strong mind. I've been able to approach my races with confidence, and I am now able to approach my future with the same mindset.

What kind of impact did your family have on your time as a high school student-athlete? 
My family has provided me unconditional love and support throughout my running career and my whole life. I can't even begin to explain how much they've done for me. Through tough times, they've been there for me. They set my sights higher than I consider possible. Win or lose, they love me the same. I love them, and I thank them for everything.

What are your college or post high school plans?
I'm proud to say that I will be running track and cross country for Clemson University, pursuing a degree in engineering!

What do you hope to achieve after high school?
I would like to be one of the key contributors to the success of Clemson's program. Scoring points at the ACC level would be amazing! I don't know what I'm capable of, but I'll put in the work and we'll see what happens!

Do you see yourself coaching in the future? Please explain and if so, what level and why?
It's too far away to tell. Right now, I'm focused on college and the resulting career. Life can take so many unexpected turns, so who knows what opportunities will present themselves in the years to come?

God for everything. Mom and Dad for unconditional love and support. Coach DeRoberts and Coach DesChamps for developing my running ability. Harrison for being a great friend since day one (Go Tigers!) Tony for being an amazing training partner who pushed me to be my best (Go Saints!) Emma for shared dreams, jokes, and friendship. All my teammates for their support over the years. Ricky Bobby for telling me that I'm last. Finally, my legs for being there every step of the way. 

If there is one thing in the world you could do, what would it be and why?
I would love to create an innovative form of power production which would solve the world energy crisis. I imagine it would be one of the most fulfilling accomplishments in life to do something that benefits all of humanity.