After taking the month of September to visit schools all over the country, highly touted San Luis Obispo High School runner Callum Bolger finally made a decision about his future Monday by verbally committing to run both track and cross country at Stanford — one of the nation’s elite programs.
“I definitely looked at a lot of factors. I had full-on charts, a layout, rankings,” Bolger said at cross country practice Thursday. “Overall, it was mostly the academics, athletics and fit. Looking over everything I just decided Stanford was the best fit for me.”
Bolger, a senior middle distance runner, had many of the top schools in the nation calling after a stellar junior season that culminated with a memorable third place finish in the 3,200m race CIF California State Championship Finals. In March, Bolger briefly held the title of fastest 3,200m runner in the nation after his time of 8:57.88 at the Atascadero Invite. Bolger also finished second in the 5,000-meter race at the CIF California State Cross Country Championship Finals. After narrowing it down to a diverse few, Bolger took official visits to Washington, Notre Dame, Michigan, Yale and Stanford on consecutive weekends last month. After his final visit to Stanford on Oct. 1, he took a few weeks before making his decision. Weather played a small factor, Bolger said.
“Of course it’s in California, so it’s good weather all year. Some of the schools I was looking at I realized winter training would not be as ideal,” Bolger said.
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In the end Bolger, who scored a perfect 800 on the math portion of his SAT and had a 4.5 GPA last year, liked the combination of academics and athletics at Stanford, where the cross country team is ranked No. 2 in this week’s NCAA DI Men’s National Poll.
“It wasn’t too overwhelming,” Bolger said of the recruiting process. “I did miss quite a bit of school, and that was probably the biggest downside to that whole process. Quite a few plane rides where I was just pumping out homework for three hours straight.”
Bolger said he’s happy the biggest decision of his life is behind him and he can focus on the rest of the cross country season. Bolger has been running in seeded races against the top competition in California and will compete in the Mt. Sac Invitational on Friday in Pomona.
“I’m definitely excited,” Bolger said. “It’s really nice to have that out of the way and be on the way to such a great university.”