Making a Contender: Calan Bollman a natural competitor

Every successful athlete has unique attributes that make them elite competitors. The Making a Contender series will showcase what makes some of the best Pennsylvania athletes.

Calan Bollman of Chestnut Ridge is one of the state's leading 1A cross-country runners, coming off a breakthrough season on the track.

On the cross-country course, Bollman has proven himself to be a competitor with his 17th place finish in the 2020 PIAA Cross Country Championship and his 4th place finish at the 2021 PIAA Cross Country Championship.

Regarding the track, he is on the bubble of being a state medalist as he finished 9th in the 3200-meter run and 10th in the 1600-meter run at the 2022 PIAA 2A Track and Field Championship.

If being one of the top distance runners in the state is not impressive enough, Bollman also happens to be a state-caliber wrestler.

He finished 2nd at the 2020 PIAA Wrestling Championship in the 106-pound weight class and 5th at the 2022 PIAA AA State Wrestling Championship in the 132-pound weight class 

When asked about the correlation to success in these two sports, Bollman stated, "Running and wrestling are both mental sports. I always work to be the best I can be, whether it's going for a PR in a race or winning a big match. 

Bollman is no stranger to individual sports, but one of his favorite parts of training for cross-country is working with his teammates. He also mentioned, "I enjoy seeing the results of the hard work I put into training come race day."

Racing at a high level is challenging without motivation. Bollman's drive comes from "Knowing there are kids out there better than me."

 His motivation shows in his progress as a runner. Especially the way he has developed on the track. Between Bollman's sophomore and junior year alone, he has gone from a 4:47.64 1600-meter runner to a personal best of 4:24.25. Likewise, in the 3200-meter run, he went from a 10:46.24 to a 9:35.01 in just one year.

All runners have inspiration, and one of Bollman's biggest is his coach, Jason Tew. Bollman said, "He pushes all of us; at the end of the day, he's making sure we are having fun and getting better."

Bollman is an excellent example of being a holistic individual and living a positive lifestyle. Outside of training and competing, he focuses on getting good rest to keep his body right. He is also a very involved student, and he has volunteered at a Healthy Kids race to help get younger children into running. Some clubs and organizations he is involved with are Future Farmers of America and the National Honors Society. 

With fast times and top finishes at state championships, there is no arguing that Bollman is a proper Pennsylvania distance running contender.