(Photo by Statler Willand)

by John Buckridge

The worst nightmare any gifted athlete can think of is sustaining a season—or career—ending in injury. What separates a strong will from a weak one is the ability to bounce back. An injured athlete that can not only return to their sport, but return with success, is truly a special individual. Scott Colello of the Mount Saint Mary College cross country team falls into that category.

Colello is an all-around athlete, as he participated in track, baseball, basketball, football, soccer, and swimming during his high school and his pre-high school days in Poughkeepsie, NY. He still teaches swim lessons for ages four and up in his hometown. It was at Spackenkill High School where he chose to make track and field his primary sport, a sport he had competed in since the 7th grade.

“Track interested me because there are so many different events you can do, and I enjoyed the team and individual aspect to the sport,” says Colello .

When most people think of track, it is common to think of it as mainly an individual sport. But Colello assured the team camaraderie is not at all lost. He explained that when you spend so much time with your teammates a bond is inevitably made. Also, all the points that an individual earns goes toward an accumulative team score.

At Spackenkill High, he was named his team MVP three consecutive seasons and felt extremely grateful for his peers’ recognition. He says it was a small team, but a very good one, and stressed that it was quality, not quantity for the Spackenkill track squad. He also earned the title of team captain in high school, a title that he would eventually regain in college.

Colello came to the Mount and hit the ground running his first year as he finished 16th out of 90 at the Purchase College Invitational as a freshman. During his freshman year he continued to run track despite a nagging Achilles tendon injury, which he admitted affected his performance. Despite his Achilles, he managed to finish 43rd overall at the Skyline Conference Championship. He was proud of his placement but knew he could do better and did not want to settle.

However, during his sophomore year, the Achilles tendinitis became too much to handle and cut his season short after just three meets.

Colello reflects, “It was definitely disappointing, especially when I had more to prove.”

Colello admits that his Achilles has not fully healed and it still bothers him, but that is not enough to stop him.

In his junior year, aside from his high-placed finishes in several track events, Colello took first place at the Purchase Invitational, and 12th place at the Queens Borough Invitational. In addition, he made the Eastern College Athletic Conference Championships with a time of 55.8 seconds in the 400-meter hurdles, which is his favorite event to compete in. What really made his comeback worth it was his performance at the same Skyline Conference Championship where he finished 43rd his freshman year. He always knew that he could finish better and just a year later, he finished 15th, 28 places higher. Colello’s comeback was complete.

His driven attitude does not end at the finish line, though; he has maintained a GPA above 3.0 in a demanding major. As a biology major with a minor in chemistry, it is safe to say that enough of his time is devoted to school work. He mainly focuses on physical therapy and plans to become a chiropractor one day. Colello was recently accepted to the University of Bridgeport where he will continue his hard work to reach his career goal.

Colello explained that he takes it upon himself to train an extra 8-10 hours per week in the mornings to stay in shape. His schedule may be busy, but he admits track actually helps him manage his time better because it forces him to get all his work done before practices. That kind of positive outlook has enabled Colello to not only survive his major and sport, but excel and overachieve in both.

“No matter how crazy things may get or how stressed out you are, keep pushing forward and never give up.” – Scott Colello