Rupe turns two-week track trial at Central into D-I scholarship

Central’s Alec Rupe doesn’t have a lot of track experience, but the two weeks he competed, including this file photo from the Class 5A state championships, were enough to convince the University of Northern Colorado that he has enough track talent to attend the school.

Alec Rupe is taking another leap in his unlikely story.

With only two weeks’ experience in running high school track, Rupe recently signed a national letter of intent with the University of Northern Colorado track team.

Rupe will be a long jumper and run the 60- and 100-meter dashes.

“It’s exciting,” Rupe said. “It’s all still a little crazy.”

Rupe was a four-year baseball player at Central and was talked into coming out for the track team the final two weeks of his senior year to run on the Warriors’ 400-meter relay team.

On a whim, Rupe attempted the long jump during the Southwestern League meet and finished first with a jump of 22 feet, 5.25 inches.

The jump was also a school record.

Rupe broke his own record at the Class 5A state track and field championships the next week with a leap of 22-10, placing fourth.

Rupe planned to play baseball at Colorado Northwestern Community College, but reconsidered after his track experience.

Rupe said the UNC coaches told him he has a bright future in track because he has no past.

“They talked about how I’m fresh and I don’t have any bad habits,” Rupe said. “They can start new with me and that’s a good thing.”

Rupe ran only one short-distance race in 2011, finishing ninth at the SWL championships in the 100 meters.

“I wasn’t in shape for that, so I was in the lead the first 50 meters, but I ran out of gas,” he said.

Rupe plans to study sports science at UNC.

The track season begins in January for the Bears, who are in the Big Sky Conference.


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