For Harper College student-athlete Colin Weber, he knew that his time competing at the college level was not over. Weber was an All-American for the Hawks in both cross country and track and field during his sophomore year (2012-13) and served as a volunteer assistant coach during the 2013-14 school year.
Although he described himself as an "average" athlete in high school, Weber kept working hard at Harper even while battling anemia. Weber's hard work paid off, as he recently signed his NCAA Letter of Intent to compete for Div. II University of New Haven in West Haven, Connecticut.
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Weber was diagnosed with anemia, a condition characterized by a lack of healthy red blood cells or low iron (hemoglobin) count in the blood (WebMD). As a result, the cells in the body do not get enough oxygen and symptoms of anemia such as fatigue occur because organs aren't getting what they need to function properly.
Couple that with the demands of training and competing in cross country and track and field, and it wore on him.
"You feel really sluggish, tired, and get beat up really easily," he said. "Take your crumbiest day and just put another load on top of it. I felt like I was going to fail my classes because I couldn't stay awake because it was so draining on my body."
In spite of these obstacles, Weber was a member of the two national championship-winning Harper cross country teams in 2011 and 2012 and captured All-American honors with a fourth place finish at the national meet in 2012. On the track, he capped off his Harper career with a national title in the 10k and a second place (All-American) finish in the 5k.
Weber was also involved in Environmental Club, Math Club, and Student Government at Harper. He became vice president of Mu Alpha Theta, the math honors society in his second year and became treasurer of Math Club during his third year. He became one of the Student Government's vice presidents in his third year as well and also was appointed as the Student Trustee. Along with his numerous academic and leadership awards, he also promoted student success as a math, chemistry and physics tutor while at Harper.
While Weber no longer had NJCAA eligibility during the 2013-14 school year, he served as an assistant coach, training with and encouraging the team, serving as a role model for his peers, and learning what it takes to coach college athletic teams.
Weber, who holds a cumulative 3.51 GPA and Associate in Engineering Science degree, is very grateful for his three years at Harper and looks forward to his transition to New Haven.
"It's the best choice I've made and that anybody could make. Nobody ever thought I could be All-Region or All-American," he said. "Athletically, I'm well-prepared and loved Coach (Jim) Macnider's training plans. I'm glad we had a good coaching staff and assistant coaches."
Weber joins a University of New Haven Chargers program coached by Kevin LaSure and Alaric Best and will leave Aug. 18 or 19. He will major in chemical engineering and is considering a double major with chemistry or minoring in chemistry, math or physics.
He reemphasized the vital role Harper plays in the development of a student-athlete.
"Harper provides you opportunities and resources to take advantage of. You'll have faculty that will teach to you, and you'll learn the material and have tutoring support," he said. "If you want to compete as well, come here."