By: Mikayla Cottrell, [email protected], reporter
His name may have been what set him up from the very start to become a track & field athlete, or it could be the fact that Trac Norris comes from a family of athletes, but either way he is here to break records.
Norris, a sophomore on the cross country team, was UVU’s first-ever athlete to be named the Western Athletic Conference Athlete of the Week for two consecutive weeks. This is a great achievement for both him and UVU, and it builds recognition and reputation.
“More than anything, it’s just kind of something to build off of,” Norris said. “It’s encouraging for our team. Just to see our team win that award and many others gives us confidence… it helps us see that we can be the best team out there.”
His grandfather, Nyle Norris, passed away when Norris was in eighth grade. Nyle was a three sport collegiate athlete who excelled in wrestling, track and football. His father, Troy Norris, ran track at SUU and was Trac’s coach in high school. Both men are a huge inspiration for Norris and he says his family is his biggest supporter.
“Before I could barely walk I would go to track meets with my dad,” said Norris.
Norris began attending UVU right out of high school in 2009, and immediately began breaking school records. In his freshman year he competed in five of the six races on the season. He placed eighth overall in the GWC Cross Country Championships in New York and helped his team win its first conference championship with a time of 26:49.0. He finished in 16th place at SUU’s Color Country Invitational in Cedar City with a time of 26:40.3
“I love to achieve goals, and I’ll work my butt off to achieve them,” said Norris. “I have always loved looking at records and then trying to break them.”
Norris attributes much of his success to his capability to work towards goals. When he was a young boy he would research school records and then make it his objective to break them. He believes that it not only encourages him, but also others to achieve their goals.
“I always set my goals high, and then I beat them, and then I set them higher,” said Norris.
A member of both the cross country and track & field teams at UVU, Norris has exceled as a Wolverine. He said that the track program has improved dramatically over the years and that helping the growing program succeed has been one of his favorite things about UVU.
“I feel, in a sense, that we are kind of an underdog and people kind of look down on us,” said Norris. “So, it’s cool to surprise people with how good we are.”
This isn’t the first time Norris was part of an exciting, growing program. At Panguitch High School, he broke the 800m and 1600m 1A state records. His cross country team won state his sophomore and junior years and his track team was state champions his freshman, sophomore and junior years. He also graduated with a 4.0, was on the Honor Roll, the National Honor Society, was named a Sterling Scholar and earned academic all-state recognition in basketball, baseball, track and cross country.
His time here hasn’t been any different. His coach, Scott Houle, attributed his great success to his dedication to the sport and his team. According to his coach, his best attribute is his foot speed and his mental toughness.
“He’s had a tremendous impact here because of the person he is. He helps everyone work hard and improve,” Houle said.
Norris is currently studying exercise science and wants to continue his education to get his doctorate in physical therapy. Norris’s goals for the future include qualifying for Nationals this year and becoming a National Champion. His sister also attends UVU and is an outside hitter for the volleyball team.