Demons’ Mansfield signs letter of intent to attend Colorado Mesa U. |

Demons’ Mansfield signs letter of intent to attend Colorado Mesa U.

Jeff Caspersen Post IndependentGlenwood Springs High School senior Andrew Mansfield, seated, signs his letter of intent to attend Colorado Mesa University. Pictured behind Andrew, from left, are sister Michaela, mother Linda and father Michael.

GLENWOOD SPRINGS – During his sophomore year at Glenwood Springs High School, distance running became Andrew Mansfield’s thing.

Previously, he had played soccer and really only ran for fun and to hang out with his buddies.

“I actually started trying,” Mansfield said. “My freshman year, I’d just run with my friends. It was more of a fun thing. Once I started actually running, I realized what I could do.”

After qualifying for state in cross country in the fall of 2009, Mansfield broke out on the oval in the spring of 2010. He placed sixth in the 3,200-meter run and 14th in the 1,600 at the state track and field meet. Since, he’s twice finished in the top 10 at the state cross country meet.

“My sophomore year, when I went to state in the mile, two mile and the 4×8 and, you know, I realized I could actually run,” he said. “I was getting letters in the mail. I realized I could actually do that in college. That was really exciting.”

Running in college is something Mansfield will do at Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction, where he’ll lace up the running shoes for the school’s young cross country and track and field programs.

“It’s close to home,” he said. “The campus is awesome. It just had everything I wanted. When I met the cross country runners, they were great. Just everything that I was looking for in a college was there.”

Mansfield plans to pursue a degree in environmental science and technology at CMU.

“I just want to do something outdoors,” he said. “Anything outdoors.”

Participating in college athletics is a trend for the Mansfield siblings. All three of Linda and Michael Mansfield’s children – Andrew, Michaela and Leah – are or will be college athletes.

Michaela, Andrew’s fraternal twin, will play soccer at University of Colorado at Colorado Springs next school year, and Leah is just finishing up her sophomore year at the University of Redlands in California.

“It’s great,” Andrew said. “We’re all rooting for each other, cheering each other on. It’s exciting to see all three of us competing at that level.”

Before he officially arrives at that next level, Mansfield has some unfinished business as a high school athlete. Track season is winding down, and he hopes to end an injury-riddled senior campaign with a state appearance.

“I tore a ligament that holds my fourth metatarsal in place, so I went from not doing anything for four months to two weeks in the season before starting up again,” he said. “I’m just trying to get back into anything with distance. Distance is all about base, so not having any base, I’m doing more faster stuff, just because I have a better chance at it.”

Mansfield is likely headed to state with Glenwood Springs High School’s 4×800 relay squad. He hopes to add the open 800 and maybe the mile or two mile to that list before the season’s done.

Track and field athletes qualify for state based on a ranking system. The top 18 in each Class 4A event earn a berth.

“I’m just trying to get back into the whole running groove,” he said. “We’re just trying to qualify for individual events now. It’s questionable, but I’m not ruling it out.”

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