Colleen grew up the daughter of a high school cross country coach, but she never thought she’d be a runner. In fact, Colleen claims that she wasn’t really that competitive growing up- mainly playing sports for the camaraderie. After watching her will to win in action for a number of years, we frankly find that hard to believe! Attending high school in St. Louis, Missouri, Colleen ran, played soccer, all while building a fledgling modelling career. She planned to move to forego college and model full-time, but Coach Karen Harvey at Florida State convinced her to give college athletics a chance.
She went on to have a tremendous career at FSU, finishing 5th at NCAA’s in the Steeplechase her freshman year. That was the first of nine All-American honors, culminating in an NCAA title in the Steeplechase in 2015. Just two weeks after that championship, Colleen turned professional and debuted in the BTC singlet at the USATF Championships. She finished third in a new PR of 9:24 to make her first World Championship team.
The 2016 Olympic Trials were a showcase for Colleen’s talent and grit. Having struggled with injury throughout the winter and spring, she was only able to race once before the Trials. She entered the last lap in 4th place, 20 meters off the leaders, before storming home to finish third and earn her Olympic spot. So much for “not that competitive”.
Colleen once again made the World Championship team in 2017, cementing her as one of the preeminent Steeplechasers in the country. She’s not just a Steeplechase specialist though. By winning the Millrose Games and making the indoor World Championship team in 2018 as well as winning the US title indoors in 2019, Colleen has proven her chops as a 1500m/miler. Although her training has often been limited by injury, Colleen always seems to bring her ‘A’ game no matter what the distance.
Engaging and inspiring young athletes is a core part of BTC’s mission, and Colleen has embraced that wholeheartedly. She is a dedicated and enthusiastic coach in the Youth program and has organized her own events for young girls and women centered around her #FastBraidFriday campaign. Somehow she finds time churn out Steeple Squigs granola on the side. Her parents are Ann and Gaylerd, and she has an older brother Dan, also a runner. She tries to engage fans as much as possible on Instagram, posting training updates, advice, and sneaking in the occasional picture of her (extremely adorable) dog Pie. For all things Colleen, check our her website.