FREDERICK — A few minutes after signing his collegiate letter of intent to run cross country and track for the Colorado School of Mines, Chris Erwin allowed as how the Golden engineering school was a perfect fit for him.
“I’ve been a science kid all my life, so it’s natural,” he said. “I’ve been so based in physics and engineering, it’s a perfect fit for me. It’s a nice, small campus. I talked with the academic advisors and my new team, and everyone loves it. It’s a light-hearted community.
“And the cross country team is good, too.”
Erwin narrowed his choices to CSM and the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs. The scholarship money from each school was about the same.
“Mines was definitely my first choice,” he said. “If you told me a year ago I was going to do this, I would have said, ‘I’m not close to being ready.’ I made a lot of progress with some solid coaching.”
One of those coaches spoke at Erwin’s letter-signing ceremony April 22.
“It’s hard to think of anything nice to say about you,” joked Susan St. Clair. “I’ve been fortunate to watch you grow and be successful. I’m excited for you for next year.”
Erwin’s final two choices are relatively close to Frederick. The distance from home played into his decision.
“It’s nice to stay close to home, especially because it’s only a 45-minute drive from Frederick,” Erwin said. “I can come back here and visit my friends and family.”
Erwin, who qualified for two state cross country meets, is rated 13th in the class 4A 3,200-meter standings this spring. The top 18 qualify for the state track meet in Lakewood in two weeks. His best time of 10:00.76 came at the Boulder County Invitational two weeks ago.
“I’m excited to start something new,” Erwin said. “I liked high school. But it’ll be good to move onto something else. There will be a big transition, but it will be worth it. The biggest challenge at Mines is going to be the academics. It’ll be interesting to see how I manage all the athletics with all the other activities I do. It’s going to be an exciting transition.