Solis sets the pace at Adams State

At the beginning of his freshman year in college, Jesus Solis '07 was the slowest runner on the cross-country team. At least according to the 10 mile time trials held at the beginning of each academic year; he clocked in at about 70 minutes. Now, Solis holds an Adams State record for the fastest collegiate time in the 10 mile time trial. The new collegiate record, which Solis set in fall 2005, is 49:16.

"I was really motivated last summer and I trained really hard," he said. "I got there a week before and I told myself I was going to break the record."

Solis has a double major in history and English. After he graduates, he would like to run professionally for a few years and then study military history in a graduate program.

A wrestling coach at his high school suggested Adams State to Solis. Solis said knew he wanted a smaller school and a good running program. Adams State fulfilled his two requirements.

"This was the only college I applied to," he said "I was convinced that this was the place for me,"

When he did not make the soccer team his freshman year of high school, Solis's mom encouraged him to try running. Throughout his running career, his mother has played a crucial role in his success.

"My mom is probably the most inspirational person in my life," Solis said. "Every time I was down, she said 'keep your head up.' I live by my mom's words. She said you have two choices, you can feel sorry for yourself or go do something."

Solis also set new stadium records in Gunnison at Western State College for the 10k and 5k runs. The old record for the 10k at Western State was32:05.8 which Solis topped with 31:23.56. The 5k record was at 15:20 and Solis ran 15:06.77.

During the 2004-2005 academic year, Solis competed with the men's team at nationals. Only seven runners are allowed to compete from each school, and so being chosen is a great honor. This was Solis's first time at a national meet.

"It was amazing," Solis said. "It was a dream come true. I felt like I was part of something great and special."

Since the national meet was so important to the Adams State runners, even those who were not on the national team participated.

"Our fans are crazy. Other members who weren't on the national team drove all the way to North Carolina and painted themselves up," he said. "I could hear the fans way in the distance as I was getting out of the van. It gave me chills."

Team support extends beyond cheering at competitions. Solis said his teammates are like family.

"It is a unique relationship I form with my teammates," he said "We are always there for each other- we are like brothers. We are always there pushing each other and always there to say keep your head up when someone is having a bad day."

If his teammates fail to cheer him up, Solis said he can always reflect upon good memories.

"When you don't have a great day, you can go back and replay glorious victories in your mind," Solis said.