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This month, Rowland Hall senior Carson Burian committed to the University of Alabama’s track & field and cross country team as a distance runner. He will join the NCAA Division I team next fall as a member of the 2021–2022 roster.

Carson’s dedication to cross country has helped set the tone for Rowland Hall’s team since 2017. Though he will doubtlessly be remembered for his many athletic achievements—among them, four first-place finishes at the Region 17 Championships, a four-year membership in First Team 2A All-State, and recognition as Most Valuable Player, 2017–2020—he will also be remembered for his leadership. As a team member and team captain, Carson was instrumental in leading the boys’ team to a third-place finish at the State 2A Championships (2017 and 2018), a first-place team State finish (2019), and a second-place State finish (2020).

“Carson's discipline and conscientious training are beyond compare,” said Dr. Laura Johnson, Rowland Hall’s assistant cross country coach. “He's built upon his native talent through consistent effort, listening to his body, and pushing himself even during off seasons. But what's been more exciting to watch as a coach is his growing self-awareness as a runner. The development of that faculty led Carson to offer feedback to other runners on their training and form, externalizing his focus in a way that's helped to unify and improve our team. I wish him much success at Alabama, in the form of further self-knowledge as well as top finishes.”

Congratulations, Carson!


We asked Carson to share more about his experience at Rowland Hall and what he’s looking forward to as a member of the Crimson Tide. The following interview has been lightly edited for length and clarity.

Congratulations on signing with Alabama! How does it feel?

It feels great. I cannot thank everybody enough who helped me get where I am. It is extremely relieving, knowing I accomplished what I set out to do freshman year. The feeling I have gained—knowing all the emotions tied with my academics and athletics have paid off at the highest level of NCAA play—is everything I could ask for.

Tell me about your athletic journey up to this point. How did you discover your love of running?

I started cross country in sixth grade; however, I didn’t really have a burning desire to do it. I never trained for any of my three seasons in middle school, and I did not really train that intensely going into high school. However, once I found myself in high school, and competing with remarkable athletes across the country, I realized my love for running, but even more so my love for competing. Once I found the love for both, I didn’t set limits on how far I could go.

You've had an impressive cross country career at Rowland Hall. What is one of your favorite memories of your time here?

I want to let all athletes at small schools know that you are not limited because of your school’s size. It isn’t going to be easy by any means, and you are going to have to put everything you have into it, but you can reach anything you desire.

I have many great memories, but I would have to say my junior year at State was the most memorable. We were the favorites going in, but bad races struck members of the team, leading to an uncertain finish. The pain that I saw some of my teammates go through on the final straightaway was the most pure form of competitive spirit I have seen in my life. The willingness of my teammates to put themselves on the line for a State title, to go through that amount of pain for a trophy, is one of the most respectable things I have experienced, and I am extremely proud to say I was their teammate.

What skills did you build at Rowland Hall—both on the track and in the classroom—that you'll be taking with you to college?

Definitely maturity in every aspect in life. The rigorous academics and elite-level athletics crafted me into a time-efficient student-athlete. I learned how to manage everything I wanted with my athletics, and maintain high levels in each respect.

Is there anything else you'd like to share with the Rowland Hall community?

I want to let all athletes at small schools know that you are not limited because of your school’s size. It isn’t going to be easy by any means, and you are going to have to put everything you have into it, but you can reach anything you desire. I also want to thank Rowland Hall Athletics for supplementing me with help for my recruitment process.

Athletics

Senior Carson Burian Commits to Run for University of Alabama

This month, Rowland Hall senior Carson Burian committed to the University of Alabama’s track & field and cross country team as a distance runner. He will join the NCAA Division I team next fall as a member of the 2021–2022 roster.

Carson’s dedication to cross country has helped set the tone for Rowland Hall’s team since 2017. Though he will doubtlessly be remembered for his many athletic achievements—among them, four first-place finishes at the Region 17 Championships, a four-year membership in First Team 2A All-State, and recognition as Most Valuable Player, 2017–2020—he will also be remembered for his leadership. As a team member and team captain, Carson was instrumental in leading the boys’ team to a third-place finish at the State 2A Championships (2017 and 2018), a first-place team State finish (2019), and a second-place State finish (2020).

“Carson's discipline and conscientious training are beyond compare,” said Dr. Laura Johnson, Rowland Hall’s assistant cross country coach. “He's built upon his native talent through consistent effort, listening to his body, and pushing himself even during off seasons. But what's been more exciting to watch as a coach is his growing self-awareness as a runner. The development of that faculty led Carson to offer feedback to other runners on their training and form, externalizing his focus in a way that's helped to unify and improve our team. I wish him much success at Alabama, in the form of further self-knowledge as well as top finishes.”

Congratulations, Carson!


We asked Carson to share more about his experience at Rowland Hall and what he’s looking forward to as a member of the Crimson Tide. The following interview has been lightly edited for length and clarity.

Congratulations on signing with Alabama! How does it feel?

It feels great. I cannot thank everybody enough who helped me get where I am. It is extremely relieving, knowing I accomplished what I set out to do freshman year. The feeling I have gained—knowing all the emotions tied with my academics and athletics have paid off at the highest level of NCAA play—is everything I could ask for.

Tell me about your athletic journey up to this point. How did you discover your love of running?

I started cross country in sixth grade; however, I didn’t really have a burning desire to do it. I never trained for any of my three seasons in middle school, and I did not really train that intensely going into high school. However, once I found myself in high school, and competing with remarkable athletes across the country, I realized my love for running, but even more so my love for competing. Once I found the love for both, I didn’t set limits on how far I could go.

You've had an impressive cross country career at Rowland Hall. What is one of your favorite memories of your time here?

I want to let all athletes at small schools know that you are not limited because of your school’s size. It isn’t going to be easy by any means, and you are going to have to put everything you have into it, but you can reach anything you desire.

I have many great memories, but I would have to say my junior year at State was the most memorable. We were the favorites going in, but bad races struck members of the team, leading to an uncertain finish. The pain that I saw some of my teammates go through on the final straightaway was the most pure form of competitive spirit I have seen in my life. The willingness of my teammates to put themselves on the line for a State title, to go through that amount of pain for a trophy, is one of the most respectable things I have experienced, and I am extremely proud to say I was their teammate.

What skills did you build at Rowland Hall—both on the track and in the classroom—that you'll be taking with you to college?

Definitely maturity in every aspect in life. The rigorous academics and elite-level athletics crafted me into a time-efficient student-athlete. I learned how to manage everything I wanted with my athletics, and maintain high levels in each respect.

Is there anything else you'd like to share with the Rowland Hall community?

I want to let all athletes at small schools know that you are not limited because of your school’s size. It isn’t going to be easy by any means, and you are going to have to put everything you have into it, but you can reach anything you desire. I also want to thank Rowland Hall Athletics for supplementing me with help for my recruitment process.

Athletics

Explore More Athletics Stories

Ski racer Mary Bocock, who competes with Utah's Rowmark Ski Academy, has been nominated for the 2021–22 US Alpine Ski Team

Since the age of six, Rowland Hall junior—and passionate ski racer—Mary Bocock has had a big goal: to join the US Ski Team. That dream just came true.

I’ve wanted to be on the team ever since I started racing, so getting the call felt like I was achieving a goal I’d had for over 10 years.—Mary Bocock, class of 2022

On May 3, US Ski & Snowboard announced that 44 top national athletes, including Mary, have been nominated to the US Alpine Ski Team for the 2021–2022 competition season (athletes qualify based on published selection criteria in the prior season). Mary is one of only three new members of the women’s Development Team, also known as the D-Team; she’s also the youngest addition to that team and the only new member hailing from the state of Utah.

“When I got the call from [US Ski Team Coach] Chip Knight congratulating me on my nomination to the D-Team, I was overwhelmed with excitement,” said Mary. “I’ve wanted to be on the team ever since I started racing, so getting the call felt like I was achieving a goal I’d had for over 10 years. I am looking forward to skiing with a group of girls who push me and who know what it takes to be the best.”

Mary had a sensational 2020–2021 race season, which included a November 2020 US Nationals performance with Rowmark Ski Academy that earned her an invitation to compete with the US Ski Team in Europe. After placing in several races in Cortina, Italy, and Garmisch, Germany, in early 2021, Mary returned to the United States to finish the season: at the FIS Elite Races at Sugar Bowl Resort and Squaw Valley, California, she took 10th place overall (second for U19s) in giant slalom, and 11th place overall (fourth for U19s) in slalom. At the FIS Spring Series in Breckenridge, Colorado, she won the giant slalom race—a win that currently ranks her second in the nation and sixth in the world in giant slalom for her age, as well as first and ninth in the world in super-G. Finally, she ended the season with a 12th-place finish in super-G at the US National Championships in Aspen, Colorado.

Mary's fierce competitive nature is among the best in the world and I'm confident that she will take advantage of this opportunity.—Graham Flinn, head FIS coach

“Mary has worked incredibly hard day in, day out, not only this season but for many years in order to put herself in a position to accomplish the goal of being named to the US Ski Team,” said Graham Flinn, head FIS coach for Rowmark Ski Academy. “I'm very proud of the way she carried herself throughout this past year's successes and challenges. She continues to impress with her drive and ability to be a student of the sport. Her fierce competitive nature is among the best in the world and I'm confident that she will take advantage of this opportunity.”

The US Ski Team’s alpine athletes have already kicked off pre-season camps, and the official team will be announced this fall once nominees complete required physical fitness testing and US Ski & Snowboard medical department clearance. We will continue to update the Rowland Hall community on Mary’s progress in this exciting new chapter in her ski-racing career—which she’ll balance alongside her senior year at Rowland Hall—through the fall and winter.

Congratulations, Mary!


The below video, first shared with the Rowland Hall community in April 2021, features Mary's reflections on competing in Europe earlier this year.

Rowmark

Skier Mary Bocock, who attends independent private school Rowland Hall in Utah, competed in Europe in 2021.

Congratulations to junior Mary Bocock, who has had a banner year with Rowmark Ski Academy. 

Thanks to her performance at US Nationals in November 2020, Mary was invited to compete with the US Ski & Snowboard Team in Europe, starting in January. She kicked off her journey in Cortina, Italy, where she skied to fourth place overall (second for U19s) in super-G, earning an invitation to travel to Garmisch, Germany. There, she took third place (first for U19s) in super-G, followed by fourth overall and second place in alpine combined, ending with a ranking of 12th overall (second for U19s) at the German National Junior Championships.

“Mary has had an incredible season and has shown on multiple occasions that she is one of the fastest skiers her age in the world,” said Graham Flinn, head FIS coach. “The years of hard work and dedication that she has put in are showing, and we look forward to watching her continue to compete on the international stage. We are proud of her work ethic, ownership, and commitment to being an elite student-athlete.”

Since returning from Europe, Mary has continued to excel on the slopes. In the beginning of March, at Breckenridge, Colorado, she won the giant slalom. At the FIS Elite races at Sugar Bowl Resort and Squaw Valley, California, in March, she placed 10th overall (second for U19s) in giant slalom, and 11th overall (fourth for U19s) in slalom. She then won again in the giant slalom race in Breckenridge, Colorado—with this finish, Mary is currently ranked second in the nation and sixth in the world in giant slalom for her age, as well as first and ninth in the world in super-G. Mary will complete her season at the Women’s US Nationals in Aspen, Colorado, later this week.

Well done, Mary, and good luck in Colorado!

Update April 19, 2021: At the Women's US Nationals in Colorado, Mary placed an outstanding 12th in super-G. 


Check out the below video to hear Mary reflect on her time in Europe, as well as to hear Coach Graham Flinn and English teacher Kody Partridge attest to how Mary's a force on the slopes and in the classroom.

Banner photo credit: Steven Earl

BACK TO THE FINISH LINE

Rowmark

Senior Carson Burian running for Rowland Hall track and field.

This month, Rowland Hall senior Carson Burian committed to the University of Alabama’s track & field and cross country team as a distance runner. He will join the NCAA Division I team next fall as a member of the 2021–2022 roster.

Carson’s dedication to cross country has helped set the tone for Rowland Hall’s team since 2017. Though he will doubtlessly be remembered for his many athletic achievements—among them, four first-place finishes at the Region 17 Championships, a four-year membership in First Team 2A All-State, and recognition as Most Valuable Player, 2017–2020—he will also be remembered for his leadership. As a team member and team captain, Carson was instrumental in leading the boys’ team to a third-place finish at the State 2A Championships (2017 and 2018), a first-place team State finish (2019), and a second-place State finish (2020).

“Carson's discipline and conscientious training are beyond compare,” said Dr. Laura Johnson, Rowland Hall’s assistant cross country coach. “He's built upon his native talent through consistent effort, listening to his body, and pushing himself even during off seasons. But what's been more exciting to watch as a coach is his growing self-awareness as a runner. The development of that faculty led Carson to offer feedback to other runners on their training and form, externalizing his focus in a way that's helped to unify and improve our team. I wish him much success at Alabama, in the form of further self-knowledge as well as top finishes.”

Congratulations, Carson!


We asked Carson to share more about his experience at Rowland Hall and what he’s looking forward to as a member of the Crimson Tide. The following interview has been lightly edited for length and clarity.

Congratulations on signing with Alabama! How does it feel?

It feels great. I cannot thank everybody enough who helped me get where I am. It is extremely relieving, knowing I accomplished what I set out to do freshman year. The feeling I have gained—knowing all the emotions tied with my academics and athletics have paid off at the highest level of NCAA play—is everything I could ask for.

Tell me about your athletic journey up to this point. How did you discover your love of running?

I started cross country in sixth grade; however, I didn’t really have a burning desire to do it. I never trained for any of my three seasons in middle school, and I did not really train that intensely going into high school. However, once I found myself in high school, and competing with remarkable athletes across the country, I realized my love for running, but even more so my love for competing. Once I found the love for both, I didn’t set limits on how far I could go.

You've had an impressive cross country career at Rowland Hall. What is one of your favorite memories of your time here?

I want to let all athletes at small schools know that you are not limited because of your school’s size. It isn’t going to be easy by any means, and you are going to have to put everything you have into it, but you can reach anything you desire.

I have many great memories, but I would have to say my junior year at State was the most memorable. We were the favorites going in, but bad races struck members of the team, leading to an uncertain finish. The pain that I saw some of my teammates go through on the final straightaway was the most pure form of competitive spirit I have seen in my life. The willingness of my teammates to put themselves on the line for a State title, to go through that amount of pain for a trophy, is one of the most respectable things I have experienced, and I am extremely proud to say I was their teammate.

What skills did you build at Rowland Hall—both on the track and in the classroom—that you'll be taking with you to college?

Definitely maturity in every aspect in life. The rigorous academics and elite-level athletics crafted me into a time-efficient student-athlete. I learned how to manage everything I wanted with my athletics, and maintain high levels in each respect.

Is there anything else you'd like to share with the Rowland Hall community?

I want to let all athletes at small schools know that you are not limited because of your school’s size. It isn’t going to be easy by any means, and you are going to have to put everything you have into it, but you can reach anything you desire. I also want to thank Rowland Hall Athletics for supplementing me with help for my recruitment process.

Athletics

Upper School girls soccer coach Colette Smith on the Steiner Campus fields.

Rowland Hall is thrilled to welcome Colette Smith to Winged Lion Athletics.

Rowland Hall girls soccer head coach Colette Smith.

Colette Smith

Colette joined Rowland Hall in summer 2020 as head coach of the Upper School girls soccer team, taking the reins from longtime coach Bobby Kennedy (BK, to players), who now teaches physical education and coaches girls soccer at Rowland Hall’s Middle School. With her impressive resume, Colette is an ideal successor to BK, who led the Winged Lions to three State Championship victories.

“Colette brings with her a wealth of soccer background, both as a decorated player and as a successful coach,” said Athletics Director Kendra Tomsic. “She has brought on board two equally qualified assistants, Annie Hawkins and Haylee Cacciacarne. Together, this dynamite staff—full of positive energy, enthusiasm, and love of the game—is inspiring our team to a very successful 2020 season.”

To help introduce Colette to the Rowland Hall community, we asked her to play a round of 20 questions. Her answers—lightly edited for style and context—appear below.


1. Welcome to Rowland Hall! This summer you joined our community as head coach of the Upper School girls soccer team. Why did you choose to come to Rowland Hall?

I applied for the job and after the first interview knew it was a special community. I wanted to be a part of something that I believed in, both on a soccer and community level.

2. Soccer has been a major part of your life. How did you first become interested in the sport?

I have four brothers that played. My dad also played soccer, and he and I would go to the park to play. It was the best because we’d just play. He didn’t coach or expect anything. I just followed him with the ball.

3. You’re not new to coaching. You previously assisted Davis High School to three state and two national championships, and you coached the Utah Royals FC Reserves to a runner-up spot in the Women's Premier Soccer League National Championship in their inaugural season. What’s the number-one thing you’ve learned about coaching (so far)?

It’s all about the players. I genuinely care for every player and respect their needs and feedback. My job is to help them be their best. That takes us understanding each other.

4. What do you think is the best thing about coaching at the high school level?

Being with the team almost every day. We are able to implement tactics and build off each game and practice. I also enjoy getting to know the girls. It is a rather quick season, but we spend so much time together and that makes it so much fun.

The girls have learned that they can do hard things. They are sacrificing to be able to play the sport they love. I am incredibly proud of them every day.—Colette Smith, Upper School girls soccer head coach

5. In addition to coaching, you have an impressive background as a player—you played for Brigham Young University, where you captained the team to two West Coast Conference Championships and an NCAA tournament run to the Elite Eight, and you played professionally for Real Salt Lake Women and Utah Royals FC. What moment from your own athletic career are you most proud of?

I am honestly just happy I got to play the game I love competitively for so long.

6. We’ve been hearing a lot about challenges in athletics this fall due to COVID-19, but do you think there are unique opportunities or benefits to this season?

The girls have learned that they can do hard things. They are sacrificing to be able to play the sport they love. I am incredibly proud of them every day.

7. Let’s take a moment to learn a little bit more about who you are off the field. What three words would you use to describe yourself when you’re off duty?

Mom, playful, adventurer.

8. Where’s your happy place?

Outdoors.

9. Where do you want to travel next? (You know, when air travel isn’t quite so scary.)

Greece.

The Rowland Hall girls soccer coaching team looks on at a September 2020 game.

Colette and her coaching staff look on as the Winged Lions play the Logan High School Grizzlies on August 27.

10. What’s your favorite way to unwind at the end of a busy day?

Reading books with my boys.

11. If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Plums.

12. What book do you read over and over?

Atomic Habits by James Clear.

13. What was your favorite subject in high school?

Psychology.

14. What’s your family’s favorite thing to do on the weekend?

Mountain bike.

15. What’s one fun fact about you that you don’t often get to share?

I broke my jaw and had it wired shut.

16. Who’s your favorite soccer player of all time?

Mia Hamm.

17. Is there a sport you enjoy watching or playing besides soccer?

Spikeball and pickleball.

18. Who has been one of the biggest influences in your life?

My husband.

Every action you take is like a vote for the type of person you want to become.—Colette Smith

19. To wrap things up, let’s talk a bit about your goals during your first season at Rowland Hall. We know that playing sports helps young adults build important life skills. What top life skills do you want to help build in your student-athletes this season?

Confidence in themselves and empathy for others.

20. What’s one piece of advice you have learned over your career that you want your players to keep in mind this year?

Every action you take is like a vote for the type of person you want to become.


Update December 18, 2020: Kudos to Colette for winning high school regional coach of the year in our category (private/parochial – fall Northwest) from United Soccer Coaches.

Update October 26, 2020: In her first season as head coach, Colette led her team to their fourth consecutive State Championship.

Athletics

You Belong at Rowland Hall