Purviance to run for Chadron

Sonja Karp

Phpoto by Sonja Karp/NLJ

Zach Purviance’s family looks on with pride as he signed his letter of intent to run middle distance for the track team at Chadron State College, on Aug. 5.

Sonja Karp

NLJ Sports Editor


Zach Purviance finished his senior year by flying around the track as a middle distance runner, and in doing so, caught the eye of the Chadron State College track coach who wanted him as an Eagle this year.

Head Newcastle High School track coach Chad Ostenson was aware that Purviance was looking around for some post-secondary running opportunities, and also knew that he had the talent to compete at the next level, so when he found out that Chadron wanted Purviance he was pleased.

“Anytime a college tells a kid they want them, and then also gives them a little money to go there, it’s pretty cool,” Ostenson said. “Chadron is a pretty solid division two school and they have a pretty good program, so it’s a great opportunity for Zach to carry on his career. I feel bad for him because COVID got in the way of him reaching his full potential in high school.”

Purviance admitted that he had made the decision to attend University of Wyoming in the fall and forego college athletics, however near the end of his senior year he reached out to the track coach at Chadron to see if there might be some interest.

“When I messaged him, he said that he had been aware of me for a while and was waiting for me to reach out to him,” Purviance began. “I went on a tour in June and I liked the campus and the coaches and thought it was a good fit for me, so I told the coaches that I planned to come to CSC.”

Ostenson explained that between his sophomore year and senior year, Purviance had done a great deal to be ready for his final season of high school competition.

“He spent a lot of time in the weight room and got a lot stronger, and he’s got the right frame for running so he has the potential to be pretty darn good,” Ostenson said. “With a college workout and environment, we’ll see him drop quite a bit of time from his events and I’m excited to see what he does this year.”

At the 3A East Regional meet last spring, Purviance set a personal best time of 53 seconds in the open 400 Meter Race as well as another PR in the open 800 of 2:02. He also ran a split in the 400 Free Relay of 51 seconds.

“The coaches don’t have a goal time for me, but they were comparing me to another kid who came in running 54 seconds in the 400 and they got him to 50 seconds flat in his first year,” Purviance explained. “They figure they’ll be able to drop my time, too.”

In order to prepare for the indoor season which officially begins in January, Purviance has been working out with the cross country team at CSC this fall, and as such has gotten a taste of what a college workout and workload looks like compared to high school.

“We actually have a lot more easy days than we did in high school, but our hard days are super hard,” he chuckled. “And then there’s quite a lot of school work to add on to morning practices so it’s been a lot. But once I get into a routine, I think it’ll get easier.”

Purviance also feels very lucky to have received a scholarship to run middle distance for CSC. The coaches have run the possibility of running the mile in addition to the 400 and 800 Meter races, however given he hasn’t competed at that distance since middle school, he stated that he is not sure he will take that on as well.

Purviance will have the opportunity to participate in a preseason meet in December.

“That meet is just kind of to see where you’re at and to give you an idea of what you need to work on before the season gets under way,” he explained. “I am planning to compete because I’ve been working out with the cross country team so I will be in shape to do it.”



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