Paller preps for 2021 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships
LARAMIE — Colton Paller is set to represent the University of Wyoming Track & Field program in the Discus at the 2021 NCAA Track & Field Outdoor Championships on Friday, June 11th at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore.
The Discus is slated to begin at 5:35 (MDT) with 24 athletes in the field.
Paller made a goal at the beginning of the season to get to the Championships and it all started with a conversation with UW assistant coach, Carrie Lane.
Lane said, “Colton came to my office at the end of the 2019 season and asked me 'what do I need to do to compete at the national level?' We discussed several attributes of national-level throwers — physical and mental — and he immediately started working to improve his skills. And so it means a great deal that he has been able to see his goal through to get to this meet in his final season.
"He is the first thrower since Mason Finley in 2014 to qualify for the NCAA finals. I am excited that we can continue to represent the Wyoming uniform to the national meet. It is a streak that our team plans to keep alive for many years.”
Paller started the outdoor season on fire winning the event three straight times while climbing to eighth all-time in the UW record books. At the MW Championships Paller climbed even higher with a first-place finish and a throw of 189 moving to sixth all-time at UW.
In his final year of NCAA eligibility, he is now on the national level and Paller is ready to compete for the Brown & Gold at the highest stage.
Paller said, “It means a lot. I am very proud to represent my team, and I have always believed that representing something bigger than myself has allowed me to push myself past the adversities that comes with athletics.
"Wyoming can expect to see me fighting this weekend. I love to compete and I'm going to fight for a place on that podium Friday night.”
Paller qualified in 10th for the Championships at the NCAA West Prelims two weeks ago with a mark of 185-10 and intends to improve on that mark this week among the best competition the country has to offer, when asked what he is looking forward to most he said, “I'm looking forward to the atmosphere the most, Hayward Field is Track Town, USA and is the best venue in the United States (and perhaps the world).”
The 24-man Discus competition will take place on Friday afternoon and it will be the last time Paller throws for Wyoming in a career that has seen him as a first and third place performer in the Mountain West, a First-Team All Mountain West performer, and into the record books at the University.
Here’s to one more competition.
As Lane says, “Our expectation for the competition is the same as always — to just be excellent at our craft. He has used these extra weeks to perfect his technique and our agenda is to throw our best mark to earn three more throws in the finals. Hayward Field— with its state of the art renovations — is the most historic and proudest stage for track and field in the country. It’s an honor to compete on the infield here.”
The Cowboy senior will be the first Cowboy to compete in the Discus at the NCAA Championships since All-American Mason Finley in 2014.
Colton ended our conversation with two words, “Go Pokes”. Be sure to tune in to NCAA.com to follow along with live results on Friday.
Stay up to date with Wyoming Cross Country and Track & Field by following @wyo_track on Twitter.
* University of Wyoming press release