The running man: Trac Norris may have the best name a runner could possibly be given, but that isn’t what makes him a great athlete.

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Micah Jensen, Staff Writer

First appearing in print September 8, 2014.

Utah Valley University is full of talented athletes. This is clear from the success of our sports teams. This talent is especially evident when you look at the cross country team. One such athlete that stands out is Trac Noris.

Besides having one of the best names in running history, Norris is an exceptional runner. Originally from Panguitch, a small town in southern Utah, he found his love for running at a very young age. In his first running competition in elementary school he not only won, but set the school’s record for best time.

This was just the tip of the iceberg for Norris’ running career. He eventually went on to run on the high school track team where his father was coaching. While running in high school, Norris ran with a teammate named Chase Englested, who ran for UVU before Norris and set many school records. This was a big reason that Norris decided to become a Wolverine.

“I knew Chase came here to run and loved it, so I wanted to check it out.” he said. This proved to be a great thing for the cross country team and both runners, who competed together for one year. After the impressive running years Engleseted spent here, Norris beat all of his school running records.

Norris knew Englested wouldn’t be thrilled about his records being broken. “I don’t think he would like that too much,” Norris said.

Despite being such a successful runner, Norris had other college dreams growing up. Spending lots of time shooting hoops, Norris also desired to play basketball at the collegiate level. “I realized I was a better runner than basketball player,” Norris said with a laugh.

But his talents playing ball didn’t go unrewarded. While playing a game at a local church, Norris played a pickup game with Karlee Kartchner, a star women’s basketball player for UVU. They continued to see each other and just four weeks ago were married in Logan, Utah. “My wife is a much better basketball player than I am.” Norris said with a smile. They are both able to help one another because they are athletes at the same school.

We seem to forget sometimes that UVU athletes are students, too. Currently, Norris is working on a degree in physical therapy, and says he would love to eventually work in a field where he can be around sports. “Sports has always been life,” he said.

This makes physical therapy an ideal choice. Norris loves being able to work in an environment where he can help people. Until recently, he worked in a local physical therapy clinic.

Growing up in southern Utah, Norris spent a lot of time with his family, hunting and fishing. So when time permits, he tries to get out of the city and back to nature. Although he understands the importance of staying in shape, he still relaxes with his favorite snack. “People always seem to make fun of me because I am a runner and I love a big plate of Nachos,” Norris said.

UVU has some of the greatest athletes in the state and they compete while working jobs, going to school and maintaining social lives. This is hard because they also work to build the school’s reputation by their success in the sporting world.

“Names are built on athletics, so we need student support,” Norris said.

School spirit and support go a long way in building a university. Norris continues to run, so that he can do his part.

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